Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Friendly, Participatory, Egalitarian Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD


Mitzvah Gedola lihiyot b’simcha tamid – it is a great Mitzvah to be filled with joy continually.”

Mazel Tov on your upcoming simcha!  This is a most exciting time for you, your family, and indeed for the Jewish community.

Rabbi Israel seeks to meet with newly-engaged couples of all backgrounds, regardless of who will perform your ceremony. Please call the office to setup a meeting and, if interested, discuss the rabbi’s availability. (You can also set up an appointment directly using his Calendly page.)

A traditional Jewish wedding is full of meaningful rituals, symbolizing the beauty of the relationship of husband and wife, as well as their obligations to each other and to the Jewish community. Whether or not both partners are Jewish and regardless of gender, the rabbi can help you learn more about the rituals and design a ceremony that is incorporates Jewish tradition and reflects the couple’s values.

The rabbi can also help you determine the available dates for a wedding, as there are certain times during the year when Jewish tradition dictates that weddings should not be held.  Weddings are not held on the Sabbath, major Jewish holidays or Hol Ha-Moed (the intermediate days of a festival) so that we do not mix, and therefor dilute, each joyous occasion.  Weddings are also not held on days commemorating tragic events in Jewish history which include the time periods from the end of Pesach until Lag Ba’Omer, the first 9 days of Av, and minor Fast Days.

On Saturday nights, a wedding is to begin no earlier than one hour after the conclusion of Shabbat, which makes it particularly difficult to schedule Saturday night weddings during Daylight Savings Time.

The Shabbat Before the Wedding: Aufruf

In order for the community to celebrate the forthcoming marriage and offer its blessings, it is traditional for the couple to be called up to the Torah on a Shabbat prior to the wedding and for the rabbi to offer a special blessing. We encourage all couples who plan to marry and have a Jewish household, whether or not both partners are Jewish, to hold an aufruf.

Many couples or their parents sponsor a Kiddush that Shabbat for the congregation, family and friends as part of their celebration of their marriage.