Get married at Beit Emanuel
Weddings are amongst the most joyous celebrations in any community, and we would be delighted to help anyone, members or non-members, with their marriage plans.
Those interested in marrying under the auspices of Beit Emanuel are welcome to make an appointment to meet with Rabbi SaárShaked who will guide you through the process and answer questions. We have also published a booklet which describes the traditions and practices of Progressive Jewish marriage. You may obtain a copy free from the synagogue office.
Traditional Jewish law requires that both partners to a marriage be Jewish. No distinction is made between those born Jewish and those who have converted to become Jewish. Under the agreement between the Progressive Rabbis and the Progressive synagogues in South Africa, known as Minhag South Africa, our Rabbis may perform marriages only between persons who are both Jewish.
The couple are expected to spend time with the rabbi in counseling to prepare for marriage. The rebbetzin also spends time counseling the bride. After the ceremony, the couple receive a formal written ketuba which provides official Progressive Jewish recognition of their marriage.
Certain restrictions are placed upon marriage by Jewish traditions and secular laws in terms of whom one may marry. Potential marriage partners should consult a Rabbi or Jewish Marriage Officer for clarification of these restrictions, which mainly, but not exclusively, apply to marriages between close blood relatives.
Since 2006 developments in South African law have made possible marriage between two partners of the same sex. The South African Union for Progressive Judaism, in common with progressive movements around the world, has ruled that Rabbis and Marriage Officers may conduct same sex marriages between two Jews. Beit Emanuel welcomes applications from all Jews who wish to be married under Progressive Jewish auspices.
Progressive Judaism no longer recognises the ancient category of mamzer , which discriminates against those born out of wedlock, and also does not restrict the freedom of cohanim (priests) to marry any other Jew.
Beit Emanuel also encourages other rituals related to marriage, for example renewal of oath ceremonies and celebrations to mark significant anniversaries of the wedding.
Discounted rates for weddings
We are able to offer both civil and religious wedding services, at the synagogue itself or at another venue. Members receive a discounted rate of up to 30%.
Rates listed below cover the actual marriage ceremony; other expenses such as the venue and catering are for the couple’s account.
Once a booking has been made, an initial deposit of R1 000 is required to confirm the date (the amount is deductible from the total amount.)
Member rate for a ceremony In Shul – R4,366.20 (incl.) (That’s a 30% discount).
Member rate at an outside venue – R5,996.40 (incl) (That’s a 25% discount).
Non-Member rate In Shul – R6,748.80 (incl)
Non-Member rate at a venue – R7,774.80 (incl)
1) Further charges may be incurred should there be travel out of town and extra time involved.
2) Should the couple require the services of the whole choir, or part of it, a separate rate is negotiated with the choirmaster.