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The New Jewish Wedding

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  806 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Describes the celebrations and rituals of a traditional Jewish wedding, offers advice on planning a wedding and reception, and discusses married life and divorce.
Paperback, 268 pages
Published August 1st 1986 by Summit Books (first published 1985)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  806 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sam Potasznik
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was incredibly helpful to my (now) wife and I as we got ready for our wedding. We'd read a few pages together each night (or try to), and beyond some specific suggestions in the book for ceremonial stuff, the best thing in the book was the mindset to treat every second from the moment you decide to get married to when your party finishes as your wedding itself. So every fight over napkins or invitations or whatever is a fight you are having literally *during your wedding.* We found tha ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rabbi recommended this book to me as preparation for my upcoming Jewish wedding. This book is a great overview of a modern, liberal, reform Jewish wedding. I have a deeper understanding of our customs as well as ways I can make them my own. Helpful, practical, well written - I recommend this book to the specific audience of anyone planning a Jewish wedding.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good, brief history of many Jewish wedding traditions. Super quick read.
Linda Block
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helped me greatly as a cantotial soloist
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sara Warner
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed, westend
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
Sep 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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'. ...more
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Nov 10, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.)
Melissa S-G
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Robbie Whelan
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Kate Kaput
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jewish, non-fiction
My friend & rabbi Michael sent us this book as a must-read before we started planning a Jewish wedding. It took me awhile to finish it but, man, what a great book. If you're considering a wedding that contains any Jewish elements, this is the perfect how-to guide for figuring out your options & melding tradition with modernity. ...more
Apr 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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...

Eve Lyons
Jun 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 04, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Oct 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alreadyred
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. ...more
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Anita Diamant is the author of thirteen books -- including THE RED TENT. Based on the biblical story of Dinah, THE RED TENT became a word-of-mouth bestseller in the US and around the world, where it has been published in more than 25 countries.

Her new book, a work of nonfiction. PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE. A NEW CHAPTER IN THE FIGHT FOR MENSTRUAL JUSTICE will be published in May 2021., As different

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