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New Jewish Wedding, Revised
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New Jewish Wedding, Revised

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  455 ratings  ·  51 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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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
Miki Habryn
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Aug 18, 2014 Jenny added it
Recommends it for: clergy and wedding planners
A very useful resource for Jews and non-Jews alike.
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'.
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.
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!
Melissa S-G
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.
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.)
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!
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.
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.
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...

Real Supergirl
Jun 01, 2007 Real Supergirl rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
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.
Though not Jewish, I loved the tender and disciplined approach to the commitment of marriage Anita Diamant writes about. I believe this is a valuable tool for people of all faiths.
If you are planning an all-Jewish, partly-Jewish, or a-slightly-Jewish wedding, get this book. Too bad she hasn't written a book on all major Jewish events--this is a great book.
I enjoyed this a lot -- good practical explanations about the traditions of a Jewish wedding, and we used a few passages to help write the text for our program.
I was asked to read this book in preparation for my wedding. I suppose I learned a lot about traditional jewish weddings. This isn't a book to read for pleasure.
Very helpful in familarizing with Jewish wedding traditions. It was great in planning my ceremony. I wish it had more readings suggestions for ceremony.
Currently in the process of planning our wedding, so this book is helpful... and stressful at the same time. Trying to just read it in a laid-back kind of way.
Most useful for looking at ceremony content. You'll probably want something else if you want tips on logistics and reception planning.
A great overview of the traditions of the Jewish wedding along with information on how these traditions are used in modern ceremonies.

Really good insight to he Jewish wedding ceremony and creating a Jewish home. Must read for anyone entering this realm.
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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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“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
“The tongue-in-cheek Yiddish-English “translation” for R.S.V.P. is “Remember to Send Vedding Presents.” 0 likes
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