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** I do not always receive a text to me about a pending inquiry. For the fastest response, please write to me here and let me know about yourselves (Jewish, interfaith, secular) -- but also send a text. TY! 267-902-7752. **
The most important thing to know about me and "How is this officiant different from all other officiants?" is from a quote by Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. Perhaps his most-famous quote, he said: "I believe the past has a vote, but not a veto." While the traditions of any religion or culture are a great place to BEGIN the process of planning any religious event (such as a wedding ceremony) they should not dictate it -- especially if they don't reflect YOUR beliefs.
I NEVER officiate the same ceremony twice. I don't hand you two or three pre-scripted ceremonies and ask you to pick one. Worse, I don't do a ceremony written in the Middle Ages and which has been done for every couple, the same way, for 1,500 years, as written in the Clergy Manual every denomination, Jewish, Christian or otherwise, has produced. As if every couple is alike! As if our social values have not changed! As if the scientific method was never discovered!
I take great care to learn about you, YOUR values and create a ceremony that celebrates YOUR unique love story.
Probably 90% of the couples I marry are Catholic-Jewish partners, but I've married Quakers, Hindus, Baptists -- you name it! Non-Jewish couples who find me usually self-define as "spiritual but not religious." I like to believe I can create a ceremony with SO much more heart and soul than a Justice of the Peace would. Others are openly atheist.
I'm ordained as a rabbi and legally able to perform marriages in every state; I've studied or worked in all non-Orthodox Jewish groups for 30 years: Reconstructionist, Secular Humanist, Reform, Conservative, Renewal.
I worked my first career as a journalist and I provide you with many resources to help you weigh your ceremony options, as the final way working with me is so unique is that we essentially co-create your ceremony together. I educate you on a plethora of traditions, their history and meaning, and possible variations, and YOU pick which we use!
By far the most popular (and unique) element of my ceremonies is what I call "The Love Story.” Here, I ask you each to answer questions about how you met, your first date, what qualities you fell in love with, etc. You would email me the answers privately – the surprise is half the fun!
I'm a certified facilitator for the Prepare & Enrich premarital prep program, a free "add-on" service I offer whereby you take a survey and they generate a report that evaluates the ways you are most alike and most different in the 9 key areas scientifically shown to determine long-term marital success. It is based on the science of researchers like John Gottlieb and his Love Lab at the University of Oregon.
The P&E program is especially beneficial for couples who haven't been together for more than a few years; where one or both partners have never been in a serious relationship before; or if you are interfaith and plan/hope to have children!
As far as logistics, here is how the process works: FIRST, we have a phone call to "meet" (no obligation!) SECOND, I invite you to my home to brainstorm the MANY options you have for your ceremony; it takes about 2 hours. THIRD, I write a ceremony based on your decisions: which readings, rituals, etc. you would like to include. You have total control over the content of your ceremony (though I naturally share opinions based on my experience.)
At whatever point you are ready to reserve your date, you make a 50% deposit. The balance is due by the wedding day.
I encourage you to take 5 minutes and watch the video clip of me co-officiating with an Episcopalian priest -- just to get a sense of my style and wording in ceremonies.
Lastly, I am always HONORED to work with LGBTQ couples.
Congratulations on this joyous, exciting BIG step in your life!
-- Rabbi Joysa
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Non-religious, Interfaith, Ceremony Rehearsal, Vow Renewal, Civil Union, Single Religion
Allow Couples' Own Vows, Licensed, Premarital Counseling
Agnostic, Baha'i Faith, Buddhist, Catholic, Earth-Based, Episcopalian, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist, No Denomination, Pagan, Presbyterian, Quaker, Unitarian
Less than 30 mins.
AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
English, German, Hebrew, Spanish