unnamedThe Liberal Jewish community in Leicester, as indeed all Liberal Jewish communities, delights in celebrating the love of two persons, regardless of gender. Marriage has always been highly valued in Jewish tradition. Traditionally between two persons of the opposite gender and associated in Judaism with procreation, it is now more often entered into as part of a public, legal and – in our case – spiritual cementing of a lifelong loving partnership.

Solemnising a marriage under a chuppah is a central rabbinical task. The chuppah wedding is a joy and it is an honour to witness – and bless – a partnership that is often in its infancy. For many, the chuppah represents one of the first steps they take as a couple on their Jewish life cycle journey, and we look forward to accompanying them during whatever else life brings their way.

The law of England and Wales permits marriage between two persons of either gender but stipulates that, when a couple wishes to be married under Jewish auspices, both partners must be Jewish. In addition Liberal Judaism requires both to be members of the Liberal synagogue under the auspices of which the ceremony will be carried out.

Mixed faith blessings

Liberal Judaism recognises that love often knows no religious boundary, and Jews do not always fall in love with other Jews. Rather than see this as a negative, we see it as an opportunity. We hope that instead of the Jewish partner ‘marrying out’, the non-Jewish partner will be encouraged to ‘marry in,’ whether figuratively or literally.

As with other Liberal communities we do this by welcoming non-Jewish partners and spouses into our congregation as valued friends and sometimes as converts under our auspices. The law of England and Wales does not authorise rabbis to solemnise mixed faith marriages (whether mixed-sex or same-sex).

However Rabbi Mark Solomon, like many other Liberal rabbis, is happy to perform blessings on mixed faith marriages, provided that the non-Jewish partner is committed to building a Jewish home and to raising any shared children as Jews.

Mixed faith blessings do not take place under a chuppah, and are different in structure and content to the Jewish marriage ceremony.

To find out more about marriages or mixed faith blessings please make your initial contact with our chairperson at: chair@www.lpjc.org.uk.