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New Jewish Wedding, Revised

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  668 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
The Definitive, Completely Up-to-Date Guide to Planning a Jewish Wedding
Since its original publication in 1986, The New Jewish Wedding has become required reading, assigned to engaged couples by Conservative, Reform, and Reconstruc-tionist rabbis alike. In this new revision, Anita Diamant, one of the most respected writers of guides to Jewish life, continues to offer ste
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 6th 2001 by Scribner (first published 1985)
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Dec 23, 2014 Aviva rated it it was amazing
This book is such a blessed haven from the profiteering, manipulative, sexist wedding-industrial complex. Weddings are deeply emotional life cycle events, not just for the couple, but for their family and friends as well. Luckily for Jews (and those lucky enough to marry one ;) Judaism does an outstanding job of celebrating life cycle events with rituals and customs that allow everyone to feel and experience and express all that needs to be felt and experienced and expressed on that day. Jewish ...more
Jan 15, 2014 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am in the middle of planning my wedding and my rabbi recommended that my fiance and I read this book. The New Jewish Wedding provided a wealth of information on wedding rituals - traditional and new. The book is very informative and offers great historical context for pre-wedding, wedding day and post-wedding rituals, as well as practical information on implementation. I recommend reading this book so that you feel prepared for your wedding, and also know the meaning behind all of your actions ...more
Nov 14, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
This is an excellent book for people who are looking to learn more about the traditions and customs of Judaism and its various wedding traditions. It was quite accessible and does a great job explaining the history and meaning of the very many parts of this ancient tradition. It also offers modern interpretations and changes that have been made to these customs. Perfect for the uninitiated and members of the tribe equally.
May 08, 2013 Leslie rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, practical
This book was pretty good. It certainly accomplished what the rabbi who assigned it to us wanted it to, which was to educate me about Jewish weddings. It also provided a useful starting point for thinking about what we do and don't want in our ceremony, and what Jewish traditions I'm comfortable with as a non-religious non-Jew and my partner is comfortable with as a non-religious Jew. It also gave me some insight into what expectations his family might have for our ceremony.

My main critique is t
Aug 03, 2015 Alexandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: jewish-history
This book provides an excellent overview of Jewish wedding customs and traditions. As my fiancé and I are trying to navigate through wedding planning, "The New Jewish Wedding" has really helped me think about what Jewish wedding traditions and prayers I want to include. Diamant does a great job explaining the history of all the different customs, how they have evolved, and what Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform ceremonies look like today. She is careful to be sensitive to all traditions, while ...more
Jan 08, 2010 Melanie rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to have a friend lend me her copy of this book when I got engaged a few months back. She told me that it was super helpful for her when she was planning her wedding, and it might help me too. I've flipped through it a few times, and it's already been really useful in answering questions I have about planning my wedding. It is inclusive, not focusing on one way of doing things (for example, it talks about Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform customs and traditions), which I reall ...more
Nov 26, 2010 Robert rated it it was amazing
This was recommended to me by my sister and her wife, and gave me a lot of information that I really needed to understand the format of a Jewish wedding, and what parts could be changed and made to fit me and my intended.

The thing that was most interesting to me was how much is tradition, and how little is absolutely required. I felt much more relaxed about getting non-traditional phrasing on our ketubah, better understood the tradition of the bride circling the groom (and what some modern coupl
Sabrina Robinson
May 06, 2009 Sabrina Robinson rated it liked it
Shelves: marriage
A good introduction to Jewish wedding traditions. My parents had a Jewish wedding, but my mom didn't/couldn't explain to me the traditions and the meanings behind them. And I hadn't been to any, either. I wanted to incorporate some Jewish elements while making them meaningful to both of us. This was my primary source for the Jewish parts of our weddings. We had a chuppah, an unveiling, I fasted before the ceremony, we used some elements of Jewish liturgy and we had some quiet time together after ...more
Nov 29, 2013 B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westend, borrowed
Smaller than it looks.

There are some interesting notes here on certain traditions and some things that are not very interesting.

The book would have been a lot, a lot, a lot better if it went in chronological order. The best chronological order would have been in the order that a couple needs to prepare. The second best would have been to really follow the life of the ceremony. Even though the book purports to do the latter, it really jumps around a lot.

Better still would have been some sort of
Sara Arnold
Jul 23, 2013 Sara Arnold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found solace in Diamant’s comprehensive Jewish wedding book. It contains chapters on every aspect of a Jewish wedding, including everything from how to choose a rabbi and a Ketubah (marriage contract), to descriptions of Jewish songs, dances, and food for the reception.

Most importantly, however, Diamant gives a brief history of different traditions that let me put them in perspective, making it clear how little was necessary to make a marriage legally binding in Jewish law and helping me choos
Miki Habryn
Sep 30, 2014 Miki Habryn rated it liked it
This book opens with Jewish cultural and historical context for weddings that's surprisingly engaging and interesting. Unfortunately, as that opening section asserts, there are few prescriptions for Jewish weddings, and the remainder of the book contains examples and accounts of weddings that vary on diverse axes, presumably to reassure nervous brides/grooms-to-be that their notions of a dream wedding aren't too outré to fit into a Jewish ceremony. This section is dramatically less interesting f ...more
Jul 12, 2015 Jaclyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carmel and I read this as a book club of sorts, to probe what matters to us, what specific things signify the 'magic' of a wedding ceremony, what kinds of things we want to include that will be inclusive for our families, etc. A very accessible text, written in the 80s, which made for a number of entertaining quaint references (e.g., taco chips)—the book invites the reader into a discussion. It is not a manual, though you could walk away with a clearer sense of an outline of what you want. Certa ...more
Aug 12, 2014 Dana rated it really liked it
A lovely introduction to Jewish wedding traditions. I appreciate the new chapter on same-sex, interfaith, and other less traditional partnerships. However, almost none of the following chapters integrate those thoughts; they are largely separate from the main substance of the text. I got some excellent ideas from this book, but I'm going to need other materials to explore concrete possibilities for my upcoming same-sex Jewish-ish wedding.
Sep 22, 2008 Hilary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Lots of good advice and suggestions for holding a Jewish wedding. I like that she suggested lots of alternate customs, and that she reminds us that it is OK not to incorporate every tradition. However, I did have to remind myself that just because all the anecdotes in her book are about extremely creative and heartfelt ceremonies and rituals designed by the bride and groom, doesn't mean that I have to create my own even more heartfelt and creative ritual.
Jan 19, 2008 Samantha rated it really liked it
Both an ethnography and a how-to on creating new peri-nuptial rituals and reclaiming and adapting both ancient and modern ones. Thoughtful commentaries on meaning, meaning-making and social dynamics important to a contemporary couple (feminist issues, individual vis-à-vis the community, familial obligations). I found it to be a fun read, to boot. Recommended for those who are planning nuptial-related rituals, anyone open to incorporating poly-cultural rituals --and those who are just 'curious'.
Mar 23, 2008 KaraAnne rated it it was amazing
I recieved several copies of this book when friends and family heard I'd gotten engaged. Having been to few Jewish weddings, I knew little about what traditions were required, optional, etc...reading this book gave me a good understanding of how to plan our wedding ceremony and gave me lots of questions to take to our Rabbi and to my future in-laws. I recommend this book to anyone who is having a Jewish wedding!
Nov 10, 2007 Izzy rated it really liked it
Supremely useful if you happen to be planning a Jewish wedding. Diamant is full of information and not remotely judgmental, advocating a kind of pluralistic Judaism in which many options are available (though not everything goes -- she made it pretty clear that having shrimp is disrespectful to the rabbi.)
Robbie Whelan
Feb 04, 2015 Robbie Whelan rated it really liked it
Well, I'm getting married, so I read this. I'd recommend it to anyone who is reform or conservative Jewish and having a wedding or embarking on a marriage that has anything at all Jewish to it. Sort of a guidebook. Written in a clean, unpretentious way with lots of great backup from Jewish writings, the Torah, etc. Got me kind of emotional about what's to come, at certain points, to be honest.
Melissa S-G
Nov 28, 2010 Melissa S-G rated it it was ok
Shelves: jewish
I think this book had great potential, but as an observant and knowledgeable Jew marrying an observant and even more knowledgeable Jew -- I was not really the intended market. For people who have less knowledge or more questions about Jewish wedding traditions and rituals, this book could prove to be a very valuable resource.
Real Supergirl
Jun 01, 2007 Real Supergirl rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: couples
An excellent book for anyone interested in having a contemporary Jewish wedding. It provides a lot of the history and meaning behind the traditions, as well as suggestions for contemporary interpretations.
Oct 15, 2009 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: judaica
Mazal tov! I loved it. I thought it was informative and fair for various levels of observancy (mine and my chatan's being more traditional). I wish Diamant would rewrite the end, however, so the book ended brighter and not on the subject of obtaining a get!
Jun 04, 2007 Shanamadele rated it liked it
Shelves: how-to, judaica
I read this book sometime in advance of our 10th anniversary, thinking that we might use it to create some kind of re-commitment ceremony, but we decided not to have a party or ceremony. As with her baby book, it's chock full of good ideas.
Feb 01, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
A must-read for anyone planning a Jewish wedding who wants understand the origins and meanings of the various traditions, reexamine them with a feminist lens, and figure out how (which) to incorporate in a way that fits you and your relationship.
Apr 13, 2007 Darleen rated it it was amazing
This book is FANTASTIC for any Jewish brides-to-be (and makes a great gift). It was written by the author of the Red Tent. I highly recommend it - explains history, tradition, gives ceremony ideas, etc...

Mar 11, 2011 Sheffy rated it liked it
Kind of a must read for any Jewish wedding,but for an interfaith wedding, we preferred "Celebrating Interfaith marriages"
Mar 13, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
Very helpful in familarizing with Jewish wedding traditions. It was great in planning my ceremony. I wish it had more readings suggestions for ceremony.
Aug 10, 2011 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
A great overview of the traditions of the Jewish wedding along with information on how these traditions are used in modern ceremonies.
Jesse Balaban-feld
Feb 25, 2016 Jesse Balaban-feld rated it it was ok
not my cup of tea
Mar 23, 2008 Nancy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to learn about Jewish wedding rituals
Helpful explanation of Jewish wedding rituals.
Dec 30, 2007 Cristina added it
Recommends it for: all my friends
I recommend this book to all my frined Jewish and non-Jewish. I did learn from that book that a Jewish wedding it is not impossible to organize and I may be happy at my wedding without tensions.
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Anita Diamant is the author of twelve books -- the newest being THE BOSTON GIRL.

Addie Baum is THE BOSTON GIRL, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to the wider world of the 1910s and ‘20s: short skirts, celebrity
More about Anita Diamant...

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“The tongue-in-cheek Yiddish-English “translation” for R.S.V.P. is “Remember to Send Vedding Presents.” 1 likes
“During the Middle Ages some weddings were even held in cemeteries, since it was believed the life-affirming act of marriage could halt a plague.” 0 likes
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