Loving Ketubot for Interfaith Couples
My guiding principle in making a ketubah, regardless of the couple's identities and backgrounds, is that I want it to be an easy experience with a meaningful, beautiful outcome. If I can do something to make your ketubah (and wedding) better for you, I will.
As labels go, "Interfaith" is broad, encompassing everyone from mostly secular, even atheist couples who come from different backgrounds, to deeply religious couples who are committed to different faiths. The "interfaith" label may be the only thing these couples have in common.
As a ketubah artist, I make art that can represent the spectrum of Jews (from the Orthodox to the "only a little Jew-ish," as Lenny Bruce famously said) and both extremes of interfaith couples, and everyone in between. It requires treading a fine line between embracing Jewish tradition and making art with a universal appeal. I choose symbols very carefully, making sure that no one has to choose something that doesn't fit or that makes claims on their identity that they are not ready to embrace.
FAQs from Interfaith Couples:
if you don't see your question here, feel free to be in touch.
Can we change the text?
Yes and it is included in the price. As one couple said, "Words matter." I understand how important finding the right words can be. All of my texts can be altered. You can change things up as much as you need for the ketubah to feel like yours. The one catch is that I don't offer translation services. If you are changing a few words here and there, removing or replacing a line or two, that is well within my capability, but translating a radically different text may be beyond my Hebrew. I am willing to do it, but for best results, you may want to hire a translator.
My Fiance doesn't have a Hebrew Name. What do we do?
Usually we write the non-Jewish partner's name and parent's names phonetically in Hebrew. If you leave the Hebrew name area blank, I will assume that this is what you want.
Can we use languages other than Hebrew and English?
Absolutely. I may not be able to proofread them, so it will take extra attention on your part to make sure that your text is correct. If you are choosing a non-roman lettering language, I will want some guidance with fonts.
We want the text in English with a little Hebrew. What can we do?
If you are opting for an English only ketubah text, there is always room to add a quote in Hebrew & English. The most common choice is "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." Other nice choices: "Betroth me forever; Betroth me in righteousness," or "I have found my soul's delight." These are not the limit - just suggestions from the greatest hits. You are free to choose any poem or quote that means something to you (as long as it doesn't infringe on copyright). When you are selecting your text, choose the appropriate English text, choose 'none' for Hebrew text, and in special instructions, tell me what you want added. Or ask me for a nice thematically appropriate quote, I'll come up with some suggestions.
Do we need to fill out the Hebrew Names if we are getting an English only text?
You don't need them for an English only text, but it is nice to add them. Usually I put the English names in English and the Hebrew names only in Hebrew. If you want a Hebrew name to appear in the English text, please let me know.
One of us doesn't have a Hebrew name. How do we do this?
The most common solution to this dilemma is writing the non-Jewish partner's name phonetically in Hebrew letters. So, the Jewish partner uses their Hebrew name in Hebrew and the non-Jewish partner's name is written in the same format, but not Hebrew versions of their name. This has the advantage of not altering the identity of those who are not ready to embrace a Jewish identity.
An example of this:
(Bride is Jewish, Groom is not Jewish).
Name 1: Sarah Evelyn
Name 1 Parents in English: Michael and Gisele Silverman
Hebrew Name 1: Sara Hava bat Meir and Golda
Name 2: Bradley Robert
Name 2 Parents in English: Robert and Kristen Smith
Hebrew Name 2: Bradley Robert ben Robert and Kristen
Can we change the 'rabbi' signature line to 'officiant'?
Sure. The witness lines are customizable. Change the labels, change how many lines, change who signs.
My Fiance is a committed Christian/Hindu/Muslim/Buddhist... Can we include something from his religion in the ketubah?
If you want to include something in the text, adding a quote, etc, then, Yes!
If you want me to change the art to include a symbol of the other religion, then that falls into the custom commission area of my business. Custom digital design starts at $600. See About Custom Ketubah.