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Engagements & Weddings

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Anne and HarveyWe are always thrilled to share the wonderful news of an engagement in our community and start by posting a ‘News Flash’ bulletin on our website. Thus begins the wonderful journey to the Chupah – the marriage ceremony - and to the establishment of a new Jewish household.

The traditional Jewish engagement party is called a Vort (literally meaning ‘word’) signifying the couple’s agreement to get married in the near future. Click here to download an Explanatory Leaflet from the Hale Trust website (pdf)

Engagements & weddings

Marriage Preparations
When a couple decides to marry, it is a good idea for them to arrange a meeting with Rabbi Portnoy to sort out all the status, paperwork & registration issues at an early stage so that a date can be set for the marriage. The Rabbi is happy to help with supplying the text for an illuminated Ketubah (marriage contract), which many couples today choose to have produced to order, and to check that the text is accurately transcribed.

Engagements & WeddingsBride and groom – Chatan and Kallah in Hebrew – are invited to sign on for a pre-marriage preparation course with the Rabbi & Ruthie Portnoy. This will cover in detail the significance of the different elements of the marriage ceremony and contract, and other important aspects of married life. Whether or not your wedding will take place in Hale, this course provides a valuable opportunity for couples to ask their questions and to prepare for ‘the big day’ and the many, many days which will follow.

It is traditional for the Chatan’s family to choose a Shabbat close to the wedding for his Aufruf (calling-up) celebration. The Chatan is called up to the Torah and may choose to read the Haftorah, which provides the whole community with an opportunity to celebrate his forthcoming marriage and shower the Chatan with blessings and sweets.

Marriage Ceremony
Our Hale Shule leaflet explaining the marriage ceremony can be downloaded. Click here to download an Explanatory Leaflet from the Hale Trust website (pdf)

Hale Shule can offer facilities for either a shule or open-air Chupah ceremony, and banqueting facilities in the Pearl Suite. Our Chupah canopy is most unusually shaped like a yarmulke (prayer cap). Inside the Shule, this is suspended between four tall posts, so that it is high enough for the women seated in the Ladies Gallery to see the ceremony taking place underneath the canopy.