- 100 Jewish Brides
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100 Jewish Brides
Stories from Around the World
Published by: Indiana University Press
100 Jewish Brides: Stories from Around the World features stories of Jewish brides from six continents, highlighting diverse customs and rituals related to weddings now and in the past. The stories, written by brides, their relatives, clergy, and other intimates, cover similarities and differences across the Jewish diaspora, from courtship and betrothal to pre-wedding customs, the wedding ceremony, and beyond.
With stories from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, this collection of intimate personal testimonies will surprise and inspire. A Jewish wedding after conversion in Madagascar, a reunion of Holocaust survivors in Sweden, a shipboard romance initiated by a celebrity, these stories from 83 countries describe Jewish wedding traditions, some familiar and others eye-opening, in a multitude of cultures and settings, past and present.
100 Jewish Brides offers intimate glimpses into the worlds of brides and their families based on their own written accounts. It represents opportunities to learn how Jewish lives were and are currently lived around the world from memories of the distant past to recent times.
4. Conversion Before Marriage
5. The Invitation
6. Before the Wedding: Mikveh and Henna
7. The Wedding Venue
8. The Ketubah
9. The Wedding Ceremony
10. After the Ceremony and Beyond
11. Arranged and Forced Marriages
12. Intermarriage and Interethnic Jewish Marriage
13. Wartime and Post-War Weddings
14. Marriage Issues in Israel
Barbara Vinick is affiliated with the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University, where she has studied gendered rituals in Jewish communities worldwide.
Shulamit Reinharz is the Jacob S. Potofsky Professor of Sociology at Brandeis University, where she is Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. Her publications include American Jewish Women and the Zionist Enterprise, Jewish Intermarriage around the World, and The JGirls' Guide.
They are the coeditors of Today I Am a Woman: Stories of Bat Mitzvah around the World.
"Stories are the meeting place between history and literature and in 100 Jewish Brides we get so many intriguing individual narratives that add up to an overarching point. In these personal memories of a universal phenomenon women's individual voices resound with one hundred varieties. "~Hasia Diner, Professor Emerita, New York University
"100 Jewish Brides: Stories from Around the World captures an astounding array of matrimonial customs, rituals, and rites through emotionally powerful first-person accounts of Jewish marriage by women from every corner of the globe! Vinick and Reinharz have brilliantly provided needed gendered insight into these all too often neglected dimensions of the Jewish wedding. 100 Jewish Brides offers an unequaled understanding of the lives and feelings of Jewish women and constitutes a stunning anthropological and feminist achievement that speaks to the dazzling holistic panorama of the Jewish world!"~David Ellenson - Chancellor Emeritus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
"It's a rapid flight through hundreds of cultures in countries where Jews have celebrated their comings together. You will be a guest at weddings through time and space. It's scrumptious and without calories. You don't need to get dressed or do your hair. This book is a delight"~Viva Hammer
"In this uplifting book, diverse Jewish traditions around the world are described by brides who celebrate their heritage in their courtships, betrothals, and joyous weddings."~Susannah Heschel, Eli M. Black Distinguished Professor, Dartmouth College
"Mazal tov! A kaleidoscopic survey of joy and gladness; a testament to the historic diversity of Jewish life worldwide and through the ages."~Anita Diamant, author of The Jewish Wedding Now and The Red Tent
"These are utterly fascinating, charming, never-before told stories of Jewish love, family, and marriage rituals. Readable, informative, enjoyable. "~Phyllis Chesler, women's rights leader and prize winning author of An American Bride in Kabul: A Memoir
"In this beautiful mosaic of women's stories, we learn how each bride finds her unique path toward love and liberation and ultimately her place in Jewish history and hope for the future. 100 Jewish Brides is a stunning book and I recommend it to all readers seeking an understanding of the many routes that lead to saying "I do"."~Ruth Behar, author of The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart
"What a brilliant idea – to chronicle contemporary Jewish life, recent historical events, customs ancient and new, ethnic influences, binding traditions, social mores, family relationships, halakhic practices, ritual creativity, diaspora diversity all this and much more tracked through the preparation/celebration of courtship and marriage.
There are so many subtle takeaways. Despite foreboding contemporary statistics on intermarriage, one gets a sense of the powerful desire to preserve Jewishness through marriage. Huge variations in diaspora communities notwithstanding, the unbroken connection to our heritage exists in every isolated place on earth. Traditions count. Regarding marital choice, the laws of propinquity (the boy next door) and the popular Saturday night shul dances have been replaced by online dating services and meeting in the workplace. The lavish wedding is as poignant as the frugal one or the one in the refugee camp with the bride's gown hand-sewn from white US Air Force parachute material. The reader is treated to an inside view of ultra-orthodox marriage, of intermarriage, of family weddings of three generations, of destination weddings whose cache is their novelty. We read of falling out of love, tales of grandparents' weddings told a hundred years later as family lore, as well as the satisfaction of contemporary shidduch (matchmaker) weddings and the instant wedding with meeting, engagement, ceremony and party completed in three weeks.
Oh, and one more thing. Read this book for pure enjoyment. You will tear up with emotion on this page and laugh out loud on that one. Bravo to Shula Reinharz and Barbara Vinick."~Blu Greenberg, known as the mother of Orthodox feminism, is author of On Women and Judaism: A view from Tradition.