Bride’s parents Zoom in from Australia to share big day

How the family of Leora Rudansky joined her wedding ceremony in Stanmore


The wedding of educators Leora Rudansky and Ben Gordon had all the traditional features. There were family photos and the bride’s parents gave her a blessing. The difference was that Ms Rudansky’s family were some 9,000 miles away, taking part in the ceremony via Zoom.

With coronavirus cases relatively low last September, the couple got engaged. They made plans for a December wedding, hoping that Ms Rudansky’s parents would be able to travel.

But as Covid cases began to rise, the wedding was pushed back to February half-term, and finally to April. And it became obvious that Covid restrictions would prevent the bride’s parents visiting, leaving her facing an agonising decision.

“I was torn between wanting to marry the love of my life and having my parents at the wedding,” said the 29-year-old, who teaches at the Independent Jewish Day School in Hendon. “We wanted to wait, but the problem was that we didn’t know how long we’d be waiting.

“Plus, my class has had to isolate a few times and each time it meant I couldn’t see Ben.”

Her parents insisted they go ahead and with her family far away, albeit digitally connected, her adopted community stepped in, including her Year 4 students at IJDS. On its way to the ceremony, the bridal car passed the school, where pupils lined the pavement, waving banners and balloons.

The wedding took place in a marquee at the Stanmore home of the parents of Mr Gordon, who is head of Jewish studies at Yavneh College.

Ms Rudansky’s parents and siblings had pride of place on a screen behind her. Indeed, the celebration party in Australia involved more people than were allowed at the London ceremony.

Her school class also held a party as they watched proceedings over Zoom. Pupils additionally made the newlyweds a sheva brachot celebration in the school hall. “My students were so invested in this wedding,” Ms Rudansky added. “They learned all the traditional songs for the wedding and sheva brachot so they could sing with us.

“Having them and the staff at school so excited about our milestone really brought that extra bit of simchah to the celebrations.”

Ms Rudansky moved to London from Sydney three years ago and not long afterwards met her future husband, who is the brother of a close friend.


Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive