Upcoming Events

Aug 20th

Sephardic Weddings: Traditions of Yesterday and Today

Sunday, August 20th at 1pm

Speaker Dr. Adriana Brodsky, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Included with Museum Admission – Buy Tickets Now!

JMM Members – Reserve Your Seats!

A bride in traditional Yemenite Jewish bridal vestment, in Israel 1958. Photo by Ba'Asor Le'Israel. Masada Publishing, Jerusalem, 1958. Via.

A bride in traditional Yemenite Jewish bridal vestment, in Israel 1958.
Photo by Ba’Asor Le’Israel. Masada Publishing, Jerusalem, 1958. Via.

 

Sephardim (Jews of Spanish or Arabic descent) lived in numerous diverse environments and developed practices that were infused with local flare and distinct from those of the Ashkenazim (Jews of European descent). This talk will discuss wedding traditions followed by different groups of Sephardim in the past, as well as those still practiced today by some communities. The presentation will pay attention to music, dress, and minhagim (customs), and introduce some Ladino (the Sephardic language analogue to Yiddish) proverbs and sayings that relate to this festive occasion.


Aug 27th

The Myth of the “Authentic Jewish Wedding”

Sunday, August 27th at 1:00pm

 

Speaker Dr. Vanessa Ochs, University of Virginia

 

Included with Museum Admission – Get Your Tickets Now

 

JMM Members – Reserve Your Seat!

 

1994193056

 

What is an “authentic” Jewish wedding? Whether you are getting ready for your big day or are a cultural anthropologist at heart, learn about the surprising history of iconic Jewish wedding practices such as the chuppa, ketubah, and the breaking of a glass. Jewish wedding practices have long derived from the cultures in which Jews have lived. This reality might shed light on new wedding rituals in our time.


Sep 10th

A Bald Eagle on the Ketubah: Jewish Marriage in Nineteenth Century America

Sunday, September 10th at 3:00 pm

 

Speaker Laura Shaw Frank, doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland

 

Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now!

 

JMM Members – Reserve Your Seats!

 

 

Certificate of Marriage, Herman Carliner to Theresa Levy, February 26, 1927. JMM 1996.80.72

Certificate of Marriage, Herman Carliner to Theresa Levy, February 26, 1927. JMM 1996.80.72

 

 

From its birth in 1776, America has been a nation that embedded political, cultural, and social ideals into its marriage laws and customs. Whether it was trumpeting the ideal of spousal choice over arranged marriage in a nation where people had the ability to choose their government, or cracking down on divorce after the Civil War, when the nation itself went through an unhappy divorce, marriage has always been a locus for the display of American values and beliefs.

 

As Central and Eastern European Jews immigrated to America throughout the nineteenth century, marriage naturally became a forum through which they adapted to American culture and pushed for acceptance in American society. Through an examination of how Jews found spouses, how rabbis became marriage officiants, and how Jewish wedding ceremonies adapted to new American norms, we will discuss how nineteenth-century immigrant Jews used the institution of marriage to prove themselves American, fundamentally reshaping America as they did.

 

Laura Shaw Frank is a doctoral candidate in modern Jewish history at the University of Maryland. Her research deals with the history of Jewish marriage in nineteenth century America. Laura serves as the Director of Recruitment, Placement and Alumnae Support at Yeshivat Maharat. She is also the Director of Israel Guidance and is on the history faculty at SAR High School in Riverdale. Laura is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School. She lives in Riverdale with her family.