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Celebrating Interfaith Marriages: Creating Your Jewish/Christian Ceremony Paperback – April 19, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rabbi Devon A. Lerner (Arlington, MA) has served congregations in Atlanta, Richmond, and Boston. She received an M.S.W. from Boston University in 1986 and since that time has had a private practice specializing in interfaith wedding ceremonies.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st edition (April 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805060839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805060836
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I must admit, as a near atheist raised as a Catholic I was a bit skeptical when first presented with Rabbi Lerner's book. It was soon after that my skepticism ended. It's everything I didn't expect in a "how to" book that tackles the difficult issues of combining a Jewish and Christian marriage ceremony. Celebrating Interfaith Marriages was a rich, warm book that turned into (no pun intended and with tongue firmly implanted in cheek) our bible.
As an advertising copywriter I can say definitively that the style and way this book is written is not only excellent, but it follows a very conversational tone that made it very easy for me to enjoy. It is well constructed, often witty, and not once did I ever feel I was being preached to, or told it our wedding had to be done in a certain manner.
What's more, Rabbi Lerner fills her book with many different perspectives, solutions and resources. She culls from her experiences, draws from that of others, and puts forth a great deal of outstanding ideas and scenerios to help you through what can often be a very trying and difficult endeavor.
We certianly couldn't have had the wedding we wanted, nor would our wedding have been the resounding success it was, without this book. I highly recomend it to anyone attempting an interfaith marriage. It will serve as an invaluable resource, and most importantly, provide you with considerable inspiration.
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Format: Paperback
This book had an extraordinarily positive impact on the creation of our wedding ceremony. It made what could have been a very difficult task, a thought-provoking, meaningful and bonding experience. My wife, Nancy, is a Jesuit- educated Italian American Catholic and I am Jewish. Her family is large and mine very small. This book provided us with options we could use in creating a wedding ceremony that was respectful of both our traditions and our families. It helped us to understand the meaning behind each other's rituals. We were then able to make choices that were appropriate for both of us. One of the nicest things about this book was its ease of use. A wedding celebration is already a complex event without having to integrate two different traditions. The book was laid out in such a way that we were able to ascertain relatively quickly the options available to us in creating "our" ceremony.
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By A Customer on May 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Since no one book is going to cover everything, I got a bunch, including Diamant's "The New Jewish Wedding" and Hawxhurst's "Interfaith Wedding Ceremonies." Lerner's was the most helpful by far. I'm a Reformed Jew and my wife is Baptist, and with Lerner's book we were able to create a ceremony that was both beautiful and respectful/traditional to both religions. The book is clear in thought, and offers many different passages/readings to choose from for each part of the service. I guess Diamant's book would've been okay if my wife was going to convert to Judaism, which was never a consideration for either of us, otherwise, it was too orthodox in thought. Stick with Lerner's book -- clearly the best of the lot.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who creates custom, personalized ketubot (Jewish wedding contracts), I have long sympathized with a tentative question over the phone asking if I am open to creating an interfaith ketuba. In addition to the reality that a relatively small number of rabbis perform interfaith ceremonies, I have become aware that many ketuba artists will not work with interfaith couples to create a personalized ketuba for them. The fact that someone is asking the question tells me that they have already experienced the slamming of doors in their quest to celebrate their marriage to the partner of their choice.
My heartfelt response to such a question is that I would rather be part of a process that is open to their choices, to their commitment to maintain some of the rituals from their heritage, and to their future. The more open, welcoming, and responsive we are ... the more positive and loving we make the experience ... the sweeter the taste that is left in their memories ... the more likely that both the Jewish and non-Jewish partner will feel comfortable and eager to turn toward fostering Jewish practices in their home, both for themselves and for their children.
So when recent ketuba clients told me how wonderful their experience was in meeting with Rabbi Devon Lerner and how helpful it was to read her book, "Celebrating Interfaith Marriages," I knew I had to find out more. When I discovered that we are practically neighbors, I read her book in preparation for a personal meeting. I was drawn in to Lerner's presentation from the beginning. The pervading sense throughout is one of acceptance and non-judgment. How refreshing!
There is no assumption that the couple will adopt only Jewish practices in their home.
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Format: Paperback
It is challenge enough to plan a same-faith wedding in today's world. The celebration of an interfaith marriage can be positively daunting. Not only are different faith perspectives involved, but there is often ignorance, if not suspicion of each other's faith. Rabbi Lerner has obviously led many couples through their interfaith wedding planning. She combines a warm pastoral sensitivity for people embarking on a new marriage and she brings a wealth of practical information and knowledge of different faith traditions. Combine this with many useful resources for a couple preparing for their wedding and you have a WINNER. This book will not only help couples starting an interfaith marriage, it could prove a useful resource to all couples planning any kind of wedding.
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