Jewish Life_Lifecycle_Weddings

Getting Married? Mazel Tov!

Marriage

What an exciting and beautiful time in your life. We are here to help you in any way we can to make this day meaningful and memorable as you begin your lives together. To help you understand how we “do weddings” at Beth Ami, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

  • If you are looking for a spiritual Jewish wedding ceremony, then we’ve got a rabbi or cantor for you! Our clergy team is pleased to officiate for couples where at least one person is Jewish and both partners are committed to creating a Jewish home, beginning with the marriage ceremony. Beth Ami members and the children of members receive priority for scheduling weddings with Beth Ami clergy.  Our team may also perform ceremonies for couples who are not members, depending on our clergy’s availability.  Our clergy can commit to non-member weddings nine months prior to the ceremony.

  • We understand and honor the special relationships families develop with their clergy over time, and our team will co-officiate with Rabbis and Cantors from other communities. However, because we only perform Jewish religious wedding ceremonies, we cannot co-officiate with clergy from other spiritual traditions.

  • Personal chemistry is a key ingredient for a meaningful ceremony, so we recommend finding the right person on our team for you before scheduling a date. The first step is to make an appointment to meet with Rabbi Pokras, Rabbi Weiss or Cantor Eschler by contacting our Executive Clergy Assistant, Susan Neumann. We want to get to know you and give you the opportunity to get to know us. Once you have found the right fit, then we can work together on scheduling your ceremony. If your date is already fixed, Susan can check on our availability before you schedule your first appointment.

  • Wedding ceremonies are prohibited by Jewish law on Shabbat and during some Jewish holidays.  Our clergy team is not available during those times. Shabbat ends early during the winter months and late during the summer months, so clergy availability for Saturday night weddings will vary based on the conclusion of Shabbat.  Please discuss with the clergy when they are available to officiate.

  • No, you do not. The decision to convert is intensely personal and serious. We do not recommend converting for the sake of a marriage, meaning for your future spouse and/or in-laws. For couples seeking to intermarry (one person is Jewish and one is not), we require that you take an Introduction to Judaism course prior to the ceremony, and make a commitment to creating a Jewish home and raising a Jewish family. Even if both partners are Jewish, we encourage participation in the class.

  • Of course! You are unique, and we strive to make each ceremony a reflection of the couple.  While there are certain prayers and elements that must be included in the Jewish wedding ceremony, there is always room for a more personal touch.  During our pre-marital meetings, we will work with you to create your perfect ceremony.

  • We are happy to include multi-cultural elements in your ceremony, and we have done trilingual ceremonies, used melodies and poems from around the world, etc. However, since the ceremony will be Jewish rather than interfaith, we cannot include material from other faith traditions.

  • There is no charge for the clergy to officiate at the wedding of a Temple member or the children of Temple members. Clergy rate for non-members (which includes pre-marital counseling and the ceremony) is $1000.  Should you wish to hold your ceremony at Beth Ami, building rental fees for the sanctuary and chapel can be found here.

  • Yes.  We have two social spaces; the larger one can accommodate 300 people and the smaller social hall about 110 people.  Our halls were designed to be a blank canvas that can be decorated for your special day.  We also have outside areas for the ceremony and reception. For rental fees and policies click here or contact the Temple Administrator, Diane Ferraro at idf@bethami.org or 301.340.6818.

  • For information about the clergy or the ceremony, you may contact the Clergy Assistant, Susan Neumann at spn@bethami.org or 301-340-6818.  For facility information, please contact the Temple Administrator, Diane Ferraro at idf@bethami.org or 301-340-6818.  They, or any other member of our staff, will be happy to assist you.