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 Wedding Guide (in Israel) 

Mazel tov! This is such an exciting time as you work towards defining your family together. Remember that while the wedding is important, it is just an opening ceremony for the marriage and the lives you will build. It’s easy to get distracted and disagree between different families and opinions, but try to put things in perspective as much as possible and work together to have a good process for everything you do. We are here to help! Your wedding day is a perfect opportunity to consider what type of spouse or parent, person or Jew, you want to become and plan, prepare and invest accordingly. Use the opportunity to learn and read, consult and discuss, speak with one another and grow. Of course we will discuss this in more depth but I couldn’t share a list without a brief intro.

 

The following is a short list of some of the key things that you will need with options for Israel (there are slight differences in other locations but we can help with that). This is not exhaustive or exclusive but a good guide that I put together with the team and we hope it’s helpful but please feel free to share any feedback as always.

 

Mazel tov,

Rabbi Benji

To Do List:

1.Pick a date and choose your venue (these will need to go hand in hand based on availability)

  • Make sure to check Hebrew date (be sensitive to days like Yom HaShoa, the omer, etc - see https://www.hebcal.com)

2.Lock it in Rabbi Benji’s schedule

  • Email hello@rabbibenji.com with your details, proposed date and location, to set a meeting time (this can be in person or on zoom)

3.Open a file with Tzohar 

  • If you speak fluent hebrew fill out the forms on this website: https://www.tzohar.org.il/?page_id=118#

  • If you don’t speak fluent hebrew, email nissuin@tzohar.org.il with your names and phone numbers, and a file manager from tzohar will be in touch within a few days (they will send you a form, update you on required documentation and schedule a meeting)
    N.B. The questions in the form appear in Hebrew but you can answer in English if it will be easier for you and Rabbi Benji’s team is happy to assist with this process. 

  • The costs are: 730 NIS - a payment that goes to the rabbinate in order to open a marriage file (if one of you is an new immigrant within up to two years or a student under the age of 31 you will get a 40% discount) and 180 NIS to Tzohar

  • You can get ready for next steps of registration by gathering:

    • Passports if not Israeli. If Israeli, Teudat Zeut + Sefach (including copies of both sides)

    • Birth certificates

    • Ketuba of both sides of parents, their civil marriage certificates (if outside of Israel) and the name of the Rabbi who married them 

  • Continue to liaise with and complete all necessary steps to receive your Ketuba

  • If you would like a decorated Ketuba this should be done in coordination with Tzohar to ensure it is done correctly and checked at least two weeks before

4.Find a bride teacher

  • If you would like to learn with Renana, please advise in an email to hello@rabbibenji.com. If you would like another teacher, make sure she is registered. Please notify Rabbi Benji and if you would like someone new and different, Tzohar can also connect you with one

5.Couples classes and preparation

  • If you would like to do couples classes with Renana, please advise as well. If you would like someone else we can recommend

6.Decide if you want to use a planner - select and book (also an option to have an on the day planner). Select and book vendors (depending on involvement of planner) - examples include: 

  • Band

  • Photographer

  • Videographer

  • Florist 

  • Catering (in Israel this usually comes with the hall but if you would like separate from the venue)

  • Hair and Makeup 

  • Transportation (optional to offer guests “hasaot” to and from the venue - especially if overseas visitors) 

  • Other stuff like magnets

7.Guest list 

  • Make a preliminary guest list for save the dates (optional)

  • Finalise for invitations

8. Make and send invitations

  • There are multiple online platforms available (E.G. Paperless Post, Green Envelope) or you can approach a professional

  • Can also make a gift registry and include details in the invitation 

9.Make a schedule for the day (should be done with planner)

  • Advise all the honors you would like to give out to Rabbi Benji (see list below) and he will share a schedule for the chupa and related components

  • Need to coordinate with hair and makeup artists, photographer, musicians, venue 

10.Seating arrangements

11. Ensure you have a wedding ring that is halachically acceptable (a pure material such as gold/ silver/ platinum, no inscriptions or gems, purchased by the groom, etc.)

12. Discuss with the bride teacher and book a time for the Mikvah for the bride

13. Confirm all vendors and times (or that the planner has)

14. After the wedding, make a copy of all final documents for your file, email to Rabbi Benji and return them to Tzohar so it is legally filed 

List of Honours:

There are guidelines for who should do what - some of the components are customs that you may not want to do and some roles have to be done by specific people, so check with Rabbi Benji before filling this out (only the witnesses are a must):

  • Minimum of 2 kosher witnesses (who can do all of the following) and maximum of 8 (if you want to split these, can also do any number in between):

    • 2 for signing the Ketuba (marriage certificate) before the Chupa

    • 2 for the Badekin

    • 2 for witnessing the giving of the ring under the Chupa 

    • 2 for witnessing the Yichud room after the Chupa

  • People that can bring items forward:

    • Ring

    • Tallit 

    • Glass to be smashed

  • Someone to read the Ketuba (in aramaic)

  • Kohanim for priestly blessings

  • 7 sheva brachot (the first 2 brachot are generally said together by one person)

There are a few other opportunities to honor people which can be discussed and it is advised but not at all required. These include other sentimentalities such as a Tallit of a grandparent that passed away in the chupa where possible or choosing cups for the blessings that have meaning (e.g. families kiddush cups or grandparents or a new one for your home)

When you meet with Rabbi Benji, you will discuss the Chuppah and the different key elements. This includes selecting songs and the honours listed above. Please fill out the form with these details, and then be in touch with Rabbi Benji to discuss further

If you are getting married in Australia,

please click the following icon for more details

Looking forward to sharing in your simcha!
Please feel free to reach out to hello@rabbibenji.com with any questions

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