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Jewish Wedding Program Templates

A traditional Jewish wedding is full of meaningful rituals, symbolizing the beauty of the relationship of husband and wife, as well as their obligations to each other and to the Jewish people. A Jewish wedding program can explain wedding rituals to the guests in attendance. Some of the most common rituals in a Jewish wedding include the Kabbalat Panim (Opening Reception), the Badeken, the Chuppah, Kiddushin, Presentation of the Ring, the Ketubah, the Sheva Brachot (Seven Blessings), the Breaking the Glass, Yichud and the Seudat Nissuin (Festive Meal).


Jewish Wedding Program Template 1

Our wedding day is a collection of Jewish Customs and traditions. The wedding ceremony is broken down into different parts and this program was created to help enhance your understanding of each. We hope that you enjoy!

Wedding Traditions

Ketubah
The Ketubah is a marriage contract, required by Jewish law, attesting to the commitments and obligations Sara and Jordan make to each other as a married couple. It is one of the oldest elements of Jewish weddings, dating back over two thousand years. Prior to the ceremony, the Ketubah was signed by Sara and Jordan.
Witnesses to the Ketubah Signing
Gary Mayer
Dear Friend of the Bride and her Family

Mitchell Weisband
Uncle of the Groom

Bedeken
The Bedeken is the veiling ceremony during which the groom placed a veil over the bride. The Bedeken took place before the ceremony and is considered one of the most moving elements of a traditional Jewish wedding. By covering his bride with a veil, the groom ascertained her identity, and confirmed that he is marrying the woman of his heart’s desire.

The Chuppah
Sara and Jordan will be married under a wedding canopy known as the Chuppah, which symbolizes the home that they will build together. The Chuppah rests on four poles, yet has no walls, reflecting the idea that family and friends will always be welcome in their home.
The canopy of the Chuppah is the prayer shawl (Tallis) that Sara was given at her Bat Mitzvah. The Tallis was designed and painted by hand on silk by Dr. Louise Albagli, a dear friend of the Goldstein family.

The Chuppah Pole Holders
Sara Hajdamowicz
Aunt of the Bride

David Evangelista
“Uncle” of the Bride

Christopher Hajdamowicz
Uncle of the Bride

Dr. Arcangelo Imber
Step-brother of the Groom

Hakafot
The bride, the bride’s mother, and the groom’s mother circle the groom (Hakafot) seven times. Two interpretations of the significance: seven is the number of days of creation, and the wedding ceremony is the creation of a new household; seven is the number of times the phrase “when a man takes a wife” occurs in the Torah.

Blessings of Betrothed - Kiddushin
The Kiddushin begins with the recitation of two blessings. The first is the blessing over the wine, a Jewish symbol of joy and sanctification of a celebratory time. The second blessing expresses the sacredness of the marital bond.
The Kiddush cup from which Sara and Jordan will drink from belonged to Sara’s Great-Grandparents, Sara (Sara was named in her honor) and Max Goldstein, who lived in Slovakia. The Kiddush cup was made to honor their 15th wedding anniversary. This Kiddush Cup is the only item that Sara’s late grandfather, “Aba” Asher Rosenthal, was able to take with him when he fled the Nazi Occupation and joined the Jewish Resistance Movement. Sara, Max, and Asher’s youngest sister, Mindy, all perished in the Holocaust. May their memories be a blessing.
Sara and Jordan will also drink from the Kiddush cup that her parents, Linda and Bruce, used at their wedding 31 years ago and which was a gift from her mother to her father.

Exchanging of the Rings
Following these blessings, Sara and Jordan will exchange rings. According to Jewish law, the rings must be solid metal, devoid of any cuts or stones. As the rings are circles with no beginning and no end, they symbolize that Sara and Jordan’s love is never ending.
For the ceremony, Sara will be using her Bubbie’s wedding band which Bubbie wore when she married Sara’s late grandfather, “Aba” (Asher). Jordan will be using his PopPop’s wedding band which he wore when he married Jordan’s late grandmother, Faye, and wore for 53 years.

The Seven Blessings - The Sheva Brachot
The Sheva Brachot comprise most of the wedding liturgy. These seven blessings symbolize the seven days of creation. The blessings represent the joy of creation both in the ancient times and the newest creation which occurs under the Chuppah.

The Sheva Brachot Readers
Rabbi Jacob B. Perlman
Elizabeth and Mitchell Mayer
Dear Friends of the Bride and her Family

Mindy and Steven Weisband
Aunt and Uncle of the Groom

Nancy and Mitchell Goldstein
Aunt and Uncle of the Bride

Ronnie Neff and Andy Shamberg
Dear Friends and Cousins of the Groom

Wendy Goldstein and Gary Goldstein
Aunt and Uncle of the Bride

Kathy and Michael Mond
Dear Friends and Cousins of the Bride

The Breaking of the Glass
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Jordan will break a glass by stepping on it. Tradition says that this represents the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Other modern interpretations say that the broken pieces of glass remind us that life is fragile and even in times of great joy, we must not forget our people’s journey throughout history. The glass that Jordan breaks will join the glass that the bride’s father, Bruce, broke at his wedding to Sara’s mother, Linda, in 1983 as it is wrapped in the same napkin and contains the shards of glass from their wedding 31 years ago. The sound of the glass breaking is greeted by shouts of “Mazel Tov,” a wish for good fortune to the newly-married couple.

Jewish Wedding Program Template 2

Ketubah
The Ketubah is a marriage contract, required by Jewish law, attesting to the commitments and obligations Rachel and Anders make to each other as a married couple. It is one of the oldest elements of Jewish weddings, dating back over two thousand years. Prior to the ceremony, the Ketubah was signed by Rachel and Anders, Rabbi and witnessed by Witness and Witness.

The Chuppah
Rachel and Anders will be married under a wedding canopy known as the Chuppah, which symbolizes the home they will build together. The Chuppah rests on four poles, yet has no walls reflecting the idea that family and friends will always be welcome in their home.

Blessings of Betrothal - Kiddushin
The Kiddushin begins with the recitation of opening blessings. The first is the blessing over the wine. Rachel and Anders will share a cup of wine, a Jewish symbol of joy and the sanctification of a celebratory time. The second blessing expresses the sacredness of the marital bond.

Exchanging of the Rings
Following these blessings, Rachel and Anders will exchange rings. According to Jewish law, the rings must be solid metal, devoid of any cuts or stones. As the rings are circles with no beginning and no end they symbolize that Rachel and Anders’s love is never ending.

The Seven Blessings - Nisuin
The Sheva Brachot (Seven Blessings) comprises most of the wedding liturgy. These seven blessings symbolize the seven days of creation. The blessings represent the joy of creation both in the ancient times and the newest creation which occurs under the Chuppah. A second glass of wine is shared at this time.

The Breaking of the Glass
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Anders will break a glass by stepping on it. Tradition says that this represents the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Other modern interpretations say that the broken pieces of the glass remind us that life is fragile and even in times of great joy, we must not forget our people’s journey throughout history. The sound of the glass breaking is greeted by shouts of “Mazel Tov” - a wish for good fortune to the newly married couple.

Yichud
Immediately after the ceremony, Rachel and Anders will adjourn to a private room for several minutes of yichud (seclusion) to share their first moments together as husband and wife.

Siman tov, u’mazal tov, Ye’hei lanu ul’chol Yisrael
(May good fortune come to us and to all Israel)

Jewish Wedding Program Template 3

Our wedding day is a collection of Jewish traditions. The ceremony is comprised of distinct parts. We have created this program to enhance your understanding of these customs. We hope you enjoy!

Ketubah
The ketubah is a marriage contract that is required by Jewish law. It attests to the commitments and obligations Karen and Ariel make to each other as a married couple. It is one of the oldest elements of Jewish weddings, dating back over two thousand years. Prior to the ceremony, the ketubah was signed by Karen and Ariel, and witnessed by Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg, Jacob Oksman and Lisa Berman.

Bedeken
After the ketubah has been signed, Ariel will place the veil over Karen’s face. This custom is based on the biblical story of Jacob, who was tricked into marrying a veiled Leah, rather than her sister Rachel.

The Chuppah
Karen and Ariel will be married under a wedding canopy known as the chuppah, which symbolizes the home they will build together. The chuppah rests on four poles, yet has no walls, reflecting the idea that family and friends will always be welcome.

Hakafot
Traditionally, the bride circles (hakafot) the groom seven times. Two interpretations of the significance: (1) Just as the book of genesis describes the creation in seven days, Karen and Ariel are creating their new household in seven circles; (2) Seven is the number of times the phrase “when a man takes a wife” occurs in the torah. As Karen and Ariel are building this home together, they will each circle each other three and a half times.

Kiddushin
The kiddushin begins with the recitation of opening blessings and the blessing over the wine. Karen and Ariel will share a cup of wine, a Jewish symbol of happiness and the sanctification of a joyous time.

Exchanging of the Rings
Following these blessings, Karen and Ariel will exchange rings. According to Jewish law, the rings must be solid metal, devoid of any cuts or stones. As the rings are circles with no beginning and no end, they symbolize that Karen and Ariel’s love is never-ending. Karen and Ariel will borrow Alina and Moysey Brio’s original unadorned wedding bands for this ceremony.

Sheva Brachot
The sheva brachot (seven blessings) comprises most of the wedding liturgy. These seven blessings symbolize the seven days of creation. The blessings represent the joy of creation both in the ancient times and the newest creation, which occurs under the chuppah. Some of the special people in our lives will be reading these blessings.

The Breaking of the Glass
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Ariel will break a glass by stepping on it. Tradition says that this represents the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Another modern interpretation says that the broken pieces of the glass remind us that life is fragile and even in times of great joy, we must not forget our people’s journey Throughout history. Finally, one more interpretation says that Karen and Ariel’s marriage will last as long as it takes to reassemble the glass - an impossible feat. the sound of the glass breaking is greeted with shouts of “mazel tov” - a wish for good fortune to the newly married couple.

Yichud
Immediately after the ceremony, Karen and Ariel will adjourn to a private room for several minutes of yichud (seclusion) to share their first moments together as husband and wife.

Jewish Wedding Program Template 4

Jewish Wedding Traditions
A traditional Jewish wedding is full of meaningful rituals symbolizing the beauty and relationship between husband and wife, as well as their obligations to each other and to the greater community. The following is a guide to the law and customs we will perform at our wedding.

Bashert
Bashert is a Yiddish word that means “destiny.” In Jewish life, this expression is taken quite seriously, since no one is considered to be a complete entity, and every person has a potential spouse who will fulfill their identity. According to the Talmud, even before a child is born, Hashem has already made his or her “match,” and, when the time is right, he or she will go in search of their “bashert” or soul mate. Kerri & John believe that they have found theirs in each other.

Ketubah
The Ketubah is the Jewish marriage contract, with a legacy spanning two thousand years. It is typically signed by the couple and at least two witnesses. The original formulation was written at the end of the first century CE. It was a legal document that detailed some of the rights and obligations of the bride and groom. It offered some protection, in this case for the bride, in the event of divorce. Given the era in which it was written it was quite extraordinary, giving some legal rights to women in an age when they had few. Modern ketubah are typically spiritual, not legal, covenants that the bride and groom make with one another, and use egalitarian language. The ketubah is often written as an illuminated manuscript and becomes a work of art in itself. Kerri and John will frame theirs and display it in their home.

Bedeken
This is the ritual veiling of the bride by the groom. The custom was developed from the biblical story o Jacob, who married Leah by mistake instead of Rachel, the woman he loved. John will lower Kerri's veil over her face as a special prayer is recited.

Chuppah
The Chuppah, or marriage canopy, represents the home that Kerri and John will build together. The Chuppah has no walls to represent that marriage begins with just a roof. Kerri and John will build the walls with love and friendship, based on a foundation of love and respect. The Chuppah is open on all four sides, symbolizing a home that is open to family and friends.

Circling
Circling is an old symbolic custom meant to represent the seven wedding blessings, the seven Torah verses that begin “when a man takes a wife,” and the seven days of creation. Although in ancient times the bride circled the groom seven times, Kerri and John will circle each other three times each, and then complete a circle together to represent their protection of and for each other.

Birkat Erusin
The rabbi begins the ceremony with greetings to all present and to the bride and groom. He then recites the Birkat Erusin, the engagement blessing, over a cup of wine. The cup is filled to overflowing, as we hope that the lives of the bride and groom will overflow with blessings. John and Kerri will share a sip from the same cup to symbolize the life they will share together from this day forth.

Ring Ceremony
The exchange of rings is the central act of the Jewish marriage ceremony. Under Jewish law, a verbal declaration of marriage is not legally binding; there must be an act of formal physical acquisition of some object of value. The continuous circle of the wedding rings represent the unity and harmony of marriage, which like the rings, have no end. The rings are placed first on the forefinger of the right hand, based on the ancient belief that this forefinger is directly connected to the heart. They are then moved to the fourth finger of the left hand in a nod to contemporary culture.

Sheva Brachot
The Sheva Brachot, or seven traditional blessings, is the most ancient of the Jewish wedding traditions and the heart of the ceremony. Taken from the pages of the Talmud, the blessings recited by the Rabbi in Hebrew begin with the kiddush over wine and then give praise to God, pray for peace in the Holy Land, and wish joy and good luck to the bride and groom. Instead of a literal English translation of the blessings, Kerri and John have chosen a modern interpretation of the seven blessings to share on their wedding day, embodying the essence of the blessings, which are meant to convey a sense of joy and project happiness upon the new couple.

Breaking of the Glass
The ceremony concludes with John stepping on a glass and breaking it. Traditionally this custom is a reminder of the destruction of the first temple and the may losses that have been suffered by the Jewish people. It is also a reminder that relationships are as fragile as glass, and must always be treated with care and love. A more contemporary interpretation is that the sound of the breaking glass travels through time and space to share the couples’ joy with all who have loved them, including those separated by time and distance. The sound signals all assembled to join together and joyously wish the new couple “mazel tov!” – congratulations!

Yichud
Historically, yichud was the time when the bride and groom were left alone to consummate their marriage. Today, couples retreat for a few moments of private time at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony to share the first few moments of their marriage privately.

Seduat Mitzvah
In Judaism, it is a mitzvah, or religious obligation, to rejoice with Kerri and John after the ceremony. The seudah shel mitzvah, or wedding reception, is itself a mitzvah to attend, since to celebrate joyfully will gladden the hearts of the newly married couple.

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