Jewish Event Planning 101 – The Other Wedding Parties – Sheva Brocha, Aufruf, and Shabbat Kallah

Jewish Event Planning 101 – The Other Wedding Parties – Sheva Brocha, Aufruf, and Shabbat Kallah

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The Other Parties: Sheva Brachot, Aufruf, and Shabbat Kallah

There’s much more to a Jewish Orthodox wedding than just the day-of. Like American weddings with rehearsal dinners and bachelor parties, the Jewish Orthodox wedding has their own brand of before- and after-parties. Let’s talk about the other parties associated with a Jewish wedding:

Sheva Brachot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheva_Brachot

Crazy Seven Days of Post-Wedding Parties – The after-parties for the Jewish wedding go for 7 crazy days. Well, including the wedding day. As indicated by the Wikipedia post, there are seven blessings associated with a wedding and as a result, the tradition became to hold a small scale party for each day of the seven blessings.By small, I mean expect maybe 30-50 people per event, which is technically considered an intimate event.

What does this mean to you? Well, if you’re a venue or vendor who just managed to book a Jewish wedding client, why not offer the couple a discounted option for servicing their Sheva Brachot? Book up your venue or upsell your services through smaller events that are guaranteed to happen the next day! And for the next seven days. Booking up space at venues during the weekdays isn’t always easy so this is an easy guaranteed way to increase bookings of major and intimate Jewish events.

Aufruf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aufruf

The Jewish Orthodox Bachelor Party – Yes, this sounds like a strange term to be associated with a wedding, but the Aufruf goes back for generations. Also referred to as Shabbat Hatan, the groom is called up to read or make a blessing by the Torah in the weekend before his big day. Candies are thrown, festive kiddushim (Jewish cocktail parties on Shabbat, substituting schnapps for the cocktail) are held, and the groom’s friends are hanging for one last time together!

What does this mean to you? Well, you’re kind of roadblocked in a lot of services for this event. Aufruf’s take place on Shabbat so no photography or electronics are generally used. but independent caterers can really benefit from the Aufruf. Serving a small crowd of Aufruf attendee’s is a great way to showcase your food and get word of mouth generating for your small catering business. Decor and save the dates are also great services to provide for the Aufruf. Remember, the Aufruf takes place the weekend before the big day so if you’ve been booked to handle the catering, or invitations, or decor for the wedding in advance, do a follow up reminder about your services for the Aufruf.

Shabbat Kallah

http://www.netplaces.com/jewish-weddings/the-wedding-weekend-and-sabbath/shabbat-kallah-the-brides-sabbath.htm

Essentially, this is the same as an Aufruf, just this is for the bride. Why the seperation of the two parties? Excellent question. Let’s get romantic – aside from the idea of friends and family spending time with their bride and groom individually, the seperation is a traditional tool for promoting a sense of heightened love and desire between the bride and groom, who will eventually be “re-united” on their wedding day for the first time. And this doesn’t just take place at the Shabbat Kallah or Aufruf – some traditions say that the couple should seperate for a week in order to make the couple miss each other and anticipate their wedding day even more. Beautiful.

What does this mean to you? See Aufruf above!

I hope this gives you insight into the traditions and parties of the Jewish Orthodox Wedding. That’s the 411 on the Other Wedding Parties!

Henry Isaacs

www.HighStyleEvents.com

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The Outsourcing Institute – Top Ten Reasons for Outsourcing

The Outsourcing Institute – Top Ten Reasons for Outsourcing

Some companies don’t need a reason to outsource to the experts in their field. Others feel that they can get by in their mission by keeping matters in house. All that being said, if you would like your business or organization to achieve more in any of the tasks listed below, you should consider outsourcing to the experts!

The Top Ten Reasons Companies Utilize Outsourcing


1. To improve company focus. Outsourcing sets up a framework that an outside expert assumes responsibility for. That leaves management free to focus on more important business issues related to customer service and marketplace demand.

2. To obtain world-class capabilities. Because of their specialization, outsource providers bring an extensive skill set into the corporate environment. Such leading edge technology and expertise helps companies better satisfy customers and increase productivity.

3. To accelerate re-engineering benefits. Organizations realize the benefits of re-engineering more quickly if they contract with an outside organization that is itself already re-engineered to state-of-the-art standards.

4. To share risks. Outsourcing enables management to turn over to its suppliers certain risks, such as demand variability and capital investments. Unlike the buyer, the outsourcing provider can spread those risks over multiple clients.

5. To free up corporate resources. Outsourcing permits an organization to redirect its resources from non-core activities to ones that have the greatest impact on business performance.

6. To make capital available. Contracting out certain functions as operational expenses can reduce the competition for capital, since the outsourcing entity provides the capital investment as part of its overhead.

7. To obtain a cash infusion. Outsourcing can involve the sale of assets to the provider, typically as a combination of cash and a loan.

8. To control operating costs. Access to an outside provider’s lower cost structure is one of the most compelling reasons for outsourcing.

9. To obtain resources not available internally. Outsourcing is a often viable option for companies experiencing rapid growth, expansion into new geography or spin-offs from the parent company.

10. To deal with management or control problems. Control problems are often cited as the reason for outsourcing. However, the underlying cause, such as unclear expectations or difficulty in measuring performance, is often not solved by outsourcing.

Source: The Outsourcing Institute, 2004

Jewish Event Planning 101 – Wedding FLOPS is a Good Thing

Jewish Event Planning 101 – Wedding FLOPS is a Good Thing

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UNDERSTANDING FLOPS

Congratulations and Mazal Tov – you’re engaged! We both know that wedding planning isn’t entirely smooth sailing; the question is, though – who splits the responsibilites so things run somewhat smoothly?

For Jewish weddings, there are traditionally two options when it comes to planning and divvying up the responsibilities for a Jewish wedding.  The first option in when the groom’s and bride’s family split the wedding tasks 50/50, down the middle regarding budget, planning, negotiation, and respnsibility from the hall to the caterer, music to the flowers and more. On one hand, this option is the most sensible way of planning a union of two families; on the flip side, difficulties seeing eye to eye and misguided comunication may arise since the two families barely know each other.

An alternative and increasingly popular option is what people call the “FLOPS” option.  FLOPS essentially assigns the groom’s family the tasks of handling the Flowers, Liquor, Orchestra, Photography and Sheitel (the term for wig, the traditional Orthodox head covering – see our post on Shaitels).  The bride’s family in turn handles all other aspects of the wedding, including the hall, the caterer, the invitations, and other services.  Although it seems that this option may attribute higher costs to one side, surprisingly, the costs for the bride and groom’s family are very similar.

Let’s dive into the details and ideas behind FLOPS:

PRIORITY ONE – Arrange your FLOPS.

FLOPS is totally determined by a persons tastes and budget and establishing a hierarchy for your FLOPS – be it LOPSF, PFSLO, SFLOP or any other combination – is the key for managing costs and placing the important items first. For example, ethnic Modern Orthodox couples may place a priority on Liquor over other stuff, so they could technically rearrange the FLOPS priority into LFOPS. Others may desire to have an ethnic feel to their wedding and opt for an orchestra that can accomodate ethnic music and sounds, so they would have Orchesta as a top priority. Know how you want to arrange your FLOPS hierarchy, and you’ll have a more cost-effective and personalized wedding.

Now, for the actual terms in FLOPS:

Flowers: Flowers are great, but combining flowers and decor are even better. You have to make a judgement call to determine if flowers at the hall/venue are enough. Synagogue, Temple, and Jewish Center sites are great affordable venue options but placing a few bouqets and floral arrangements on the table or at the chuppah are nice but not necessarily “florally decorated”; and unlike halls or country clubs, most Synagogues need some sprucing up by a decorator.

Liquor:  When planning a wedding, many people think that an open bar is the more expensive route, yet that’s not always the case. For instance, if the wedding hall has a liquor license, and you don’t have an open bar, then you have to buy the bottles from the hall and it can be very expensive.  A ten dollar bottle can be doubled if you buy it from the hall.  But an open bar can be as little as five or six dollars a person. Know what your hall can accomodate and see if they have vendors that can save you money buying directly if you choose to bring in your own alcohol.

Orchestra:  Because music sets the tone of a wedding, this aspect of FLOPS is usually the most expensive. Get a wide variety of quotes and make sure you hold everyone accountable to their agreements. For Jewish weddings, a DJ is great but usually only supplemental to an orchestra. Be sure to negotiate – many orchestras realize that Orthodox weddings are in a time-crunch so they won’t waver on price… until you bring a competiting offer to the negotiating table.

Photography: Determine if you’d like a classic photographer or perhaps a photojournalistic feel (kind of like picture storytelling). When looking into a photographer you need to look at two things. Most photographers don’t share the pictures so they will offer to make the albums for you but be sure you event WANT albums. In this social media age, having a CD of pictures to upload to Facebook or OnlySimchas could be a cheaper, more gratifiying method of remembering your special day, so be sure you’re not paying for albums if you don’t want them (especially since albums can be upwards of $800 for one album). Explore your quote to see if video or the albums are being included and if you can negotiate down by omitting them if you’d like.

Sheitel: We have a whole other post on Sheitels written by our female head Event Planner. Check it out here!

So that’s the FLOPS option. If you go that route, knowing your hierarchy will be the key to saving money, increasing the style, and making sure both families have their needs and desires accounted for!

Henry Isaacs

www.Henry-Isaacs.com

Jewish Event Planning 101 – A Behind The Bar Mitzvah Parody Video

Jewish Event Planning 101 – A Behind The Bar Mitzvah Parody Video

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Very very cute and innovative. And cheaper than Kanye West.

Henry Isaacs

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Jewish Event Planning 101 – The Persian/Iranian Six Figure Wedding Dilemma

Jewish Event Planning 101 – The Persian/Iranian Six Figure Wedding Dilemma

The<br />
Jewish Journal
October 13, 2007

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Iranian Jewish couples trapped by six-figure party dilemma

By Karmel Melamed

http://www.jewishjournal.com/iranianamericanjews/item/iranian_jewish_couples_trapped_by_six_figure_party_dilemma/

Sam Cohan recently completed his residency. As he looked for a job locally, his student loans weighed on him. The 30-something Iranian Jew had grown up middle class in the Valley and had to take out the loans to pay for his education at a prestigious medical school.

With no immediate prospect for income, he found himself caught between feelings of frustration and guilt as his fiancee, her parents and his parents pressured him into a wedding he couldn’t afford.

Cohan didn’t want to break with Iranian tradition or disappoint either family, so he borrowed nearly $100,000 to cover the wedding expenses.

“I felt trapped with the whole situation and wanted to call everything off, but I decided to take the loan in the end because my wife agreed that we’d both work and pay it off little by little,” said Cohan, who asked that The Journal not reveal his real name.

Cohan is one of a growing number of young Iranian Jewish professionals who, due to family pressure, are incurring large debts to pay for lavish weddings.

Somewhere between keeping Iranian hospitality traditions and one-upping displays of wealth, a growing number of Iranian Jewish families today are inviting upward of 500 guests to weddings, with budgets in the six-figure range—typically from $150,000 to $300,000.

The strain of such expectations has led to infighting between families over who should cover the cost. Young professionals are also postponing marriage plans or opting instead for a destination wedding to avoid the financial pressures of holding the event in Los Angeles.

Most local Iranian Jews acknowledge the situation, but few in the community are willing to advocate for change. Rabbi Hillel Benchimol, associate rabbi of the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills, wants a greater dialogue on the issue.

“The problem is we are taking out the spiritual and emotional aspect of the marriage and instead it’s become a business with all the unnecessary spending,” Benchimol said. “People forget the spirit of the wedding—all you need is love, and everything else falls into place.”

Some young Iranian Jewish newlyweds say that while they did not necessarily want a large wedding, they feel pressure from their parents and extended family to put on a more lavish affair. Their parents, they say, feel an obligation to invite people whose parties they have attended.

“Persians have much more of a tight-knit community, and it’s very respect oriented—that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it leads to 300- to 400-person weddings,” said Ario Fakheri, who was married last year. “People get upset if you don’t invite their kids or grandmothers, they look at it as disrespecting them—there are so many ways to disrespect them.”

Fakheri said that while he and his fiancee invited almost 600 people to their wedding due to family pressure, many of his friends in the community are opting to have destination weddings.

“You can tell how bad they don’t want people to come to their wedding by how far away they go,” Fakheri said. “It’s basically code for how bad you want to have a normal wedding.”

Iranian Jewish religious leaders said the cost has resulted in several weddings being called off and some couples divorcing within a few months of getting married. There’s also concern that local Iranian Jews will marry outside of the community or outside of the faith in order to escape the mounting six-figure wedding pressure.

Community activists trace the growing trend back two or three years ago when local Iranian Jews began inviting 100 to 200 guests for their children’s bale boroon parties.

The bale boroon is a traditional Iranian courtship gathering prior to the engagement, during which a dozen members from the male suitor’s family visits with a small contingent from the woman’s family. During the gathering both families acknowledge the upcoming union and offer a small gift to one another.

“Today, when they have these large parties for the bale boroon, they must then top that with something bigger for the engagement party, and as a result the wedding must be an even bigger extravaganza than the other parties,” said Asher Aramnia, events director for the Eretz-SIAMAK Cultural Center in Tarzana.


(Asher Aramnia, photo by Karmel Melamed)

Aramnia, who also volunteers as a Jewish matchmaker, said the recent trend of expensive weddings were not the norm in Iran.

“In Iran we didn’t even have catering. The family members cooked the food or those who were well-off hired one private cook,” he said. “Here I’ve been to a wedding where the groom bought the bride a cherry-red BMW and put it on display at the entrance of the hotel for all the guests to see.”

Aramnia said at another wedding he witnessed a diamond-encrusted tiara being lowered from the ceiling onto the bride’s head.

Venus Safaie, a local Iranian wedding planner with 85 percent of her clients hailing from an Iranian Jewish background, said the highest costs for most weddings she helps organize come from securing a venue at a hotel and finding Persian-language singers, who charge $8,000 to $15,000 for two or three hours of entertainment.

“Well, you have to realize that these Persian singers charge more because the cost of living has gone up, and there are not that many of them around, so they can ask whatever price they want,” Safaie said. “Also people agree to pay them these high prices, so you can’t blame the singers.”

Dara Abaei, head of the L.A. nonprofit Jewish Unity Network, said his organization has been urging families to have smaller weddings. The group has also negotiated with certain vendors to give reduced fees to couples struggling to pay for their weddings.

“We’re trying to break the cycle in the community, to get them to not have engagement parties or get smaller engagement parties and try to share the cost of wedding,” he said.

Abaei said couples can save between $7,000 to $15,000 if they hold their weddings at the banquet halls of Iranian American Jewish Federation’s synagogue in West Hollywood, the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills and the Eretz-SIAMAK Cultural Center in Tarzana.

Another group, Woodland Hills-based Mayan Kheset, provides silk flower centerpieces in lieu of real flowers. The organization’s volunteers drop off and pick up the arrangements, and only ask that couples donate the money they would have spent on flowers.

“We encourage people to try to support a wedding of an orphan in Israel,” said Hirbod Cohentoe, Mayan Kheset’s founder. “We encourage couples not make their weddings so fancy, but donate some of the money to Israel or their favorite Jewish charity.”

While many local activist and religious leaders are trying to encourage Iranian Jewish families to have smaller weddings, others are calling for more radical steps to be taken.

“I have always wanted to see a revolution occur in the community when two or three affluent families that everyone knows very well, invite only 200 or 300 close relatives and friends for their weddings,” Aramnia said. “This will cause others who are trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ to copy them, and it may help solve our problem.”

Despite the community’s struggles to keep with old traditions and grapple with the high cost of weddings, experts said the pressure on young couples to have larger weddings is common in almost every culture worldwide.

“Well, there’s an old saying, ‘Every woman gets to plan a wedding—her daughter’s,’” said Dr. Sharona Nazarian, an Iranian Jewish psychologist. “It’s not just because we’re Persian or Jewish that we’re concerned. It’s universal, something that many brides and grooms have to deal with.”

While members of the local Iranian Jewish community said they were not opposed to those who had the financial means to have expensive weddings, they hoped others without such means would reconsider spending when they have to incur large debts.

“If someone can comfortably afford to spend lavishly on the wedding, that is their choice,” Nazarian said. “But it’s also important for families to work within their own means and be more concerned with their own needs as opposed to what others think about them.”

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Jewish Event Planning 101 – Tradition Meets Style: Beautiful Bukharian Wedding At The Pierre NYC

Jewish Event Planning 101 – Tradition Meets Style: Beautiful Bukharian Wedding At The Pierre NYC

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Henry Isaacs

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Jewish Events 101 – Pearls, henna and challah: Sephardic nuptial customs

Jewish Events 101 – Pearls, henna and challah: Sephardic nuptial customs

Persian HennaPearls, henna and challah: Sephardic nuptial customs

Reprinted from JWeekly

Friday, November 8, 1996 | byBRIGITTE DAYAN

If you think the aufruf feting a groom-to-be always takes place the Shabbat before the wedding and that all Jewish brides and grooms fast on their wedding day, think again.

There are some notable differences between Ashkenazic and Sephardic weddings.

And even among Sephardic Jews, says Rabbi Michael Azose of the Sephardic Congregation in Evanston, Ill., there are as many rituals as there are communities.

“It’s impossible to pigeonhole Sephardim,” Azose said. “I’ve learned through my congregants that Persians are very different from Syrians, who are very different than Judeo-Spanish Jews.”

Many Sephardic Jews, particularly North Africans, begin weddings several days before the actual ceremony with an elaborate party to which the bride wears an embroidered velvet dress adorned with pearls and other jewels. Often, this dress is a family heirloom.

After guests share a meal, henna dye is painted on each woman’s palm, symbolizing both fertility and protection against the evil eye.

In Ashkenazic circles, a bride-to-be visits the mikveh (ritual bath) with a close female relative, usually in private. But in Sephardic tradition, all the women of the community accompany the bride-to-be and her mother and sisters to the mikveh. Afterward they enjoy a lavish feast of sweets, then dance in the mikveh’s foyer.

In Spanish-speaking communities, this custom is called noche de novia, literally, “night of the sweetheart.”

Although prenuptial immersion in the mikveh is a universal Jewish practice, Azose says it is followed more strictly by Sephardic women—a “must,” passed from mother to daughter regardless of observance level.

A wedding day is considered a yom tov, a festive event, and the Sephardic bride and groom do not fast. They are expected to savor a meal honoring the occasion. Also, Sephardic Jews have no tradition of bedeken, or veiling of the bride.

And Sephardic Jews consider the custom of yichud—in which the couple slips away for a private moment right after the ceremony—a davar mechuar, a “repugnant thing,” in that it compromises modesty.

Among Sephardic Jews the ketubah (marriage contract) is a binding contract: The two families negotiate a sum to be paid in the event of a divorce.

During the ceremony, the Sephardic bride does not circle her groom seven times, as is the Ashkenazic custom. The Sephardic couple generally faces the audience with a tallit draped over their heads, and the officiating rabbi has his back to the guests.

The Sephardic groom’s aufruf is held on the Shabbat following the wedding rather than the one preceding it. Called an Avram Siz, this rite demands the reading of a passage in Genesis in which Abraham sends his servant, Eliezer, to find a suitable mate for his son, Isaac. The name Avram Siz is Aramaic for “Avram was old,” the words that introduce this passage, which is read in Aramaic.

At the Sephardic weeklong celebratory feasts called Shevah Brachot, guests arrive at the couple’s new home bearing food and drink. The bride and groom are treated as a king and queen; seven wedding blessings are recited over them, and their home is likened to a royal court.

Although these customs have been practiced in one manner or another for centuries, in many parts of the world they face the threat of extinction. Of the United States’ estimated 6 million Jews, only about 10 percent claim Sephardic origin.

“There’s no question that the loss of Sephardic traditions is a tragedy,” said Azose. “The symbolism behind Sephardic rituals has much significance. We who see the beauty behind it also see the loss, and our only hope is to revive it.”


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Jewish Event Planning 101 – Destination Weddings in Israel

Jewish Event Planning 101 – Destination Weddings in Israel

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More Diaspora Jews choose to hold ‘destination weddings’ in Israel

Tali Cohen is very busy planning her July wedding, an outdoor affair on the beach at Caesarea overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Although she and her fiance, Mark Silberstein, live and work in San Diego, the two have long dreamed of getting married in Israel.

By Daphna Berman

Tali Cohen is very busy planning her July wedding, an outdoor affair on the beach at Caesarea overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Although she and her fiance, Mark Silberstein, live and work in San Diego, the two have long dreamed of getting married in Israel.

“We feel that Israel is a big part of our lives even though we live in the States, so it was important for us to begin building our family here,” Cohen explained this week, during a visit that involved endless appointments with the caterer, the events venue, the wedding planner, and everyone else she needs to meet face-to-face before returning to the United States.

They have friends who have held destination weddings in Italy, Florida and Costa Rica – thus, asking over 100 family and friends to join them on their special day several thousand miles away didn’t seem so far-fetched.

“Our friends weren’t surprised when we told them where the wedding would be,” she added. “Our Judaism is centered around our Zionism. It’s central to who we are, so it was only natural that we get married here.”

Cohen and Silberstein are not alone. Although official statistics are not available, anecdotal evidence suggests that they are part of a growing trend among Jews from abroad who come to Israel specifically for their wedding.

“There’s definitely a surge in the number of people from abroad who have been calling to plan their wedding here,” said Danny Kaizler, president of IsraEvents, a Tel Aviv-based event-planning agency. “A few years ago, it was just the pioneers.”

Conversations this week with a number of wedding planners, as well as others in the industry, point to several factors that have led to the rise: ideology, finances, and sometimes, simply wanting to be original.

“Making a wedding here is now very much in fashion,” said Judy Krasna, partner and co-owner of CelebrateIsrael.com, an English-language Web site that provides information on venues, caterers, photographers and other suppliers for people planning an event in Israel. “It’s very trendy and hip to send an invitation for a wedding overlooking the Old City. It’s considered more interesting.”

The large majority of couples come from the U.S., France and Britain, according to Rabbi David Banino, head of the marriage department at the Jerusalem rabbinate.

Wedding planners who work with couples from abroad say that the ideological and spiritual pull of getting married in Israel is one critical factor that has led to the trend. Cohen and Silberstein, for example, met at a conference for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobby group. She now works for the Anti-Defamation League and in the past, he led teen trips to Israel for groups like Young Judaea.

“Zionism plays a big part,” says Yael Adar, a wedding planner in the Gilboa area. “People say, ‘If I’m going to spend so much money, I may as well spend it in the Israeli economy.'”

But the pull of Israel is sometimes also practical. Many couples chose Israel because weddings here generally are more low-key than the opulent extravaganzas many of their friends throw back home.

Prices for gourmet kosher food in New York or London, for example, are twice or three times more expensive per person. According to wedding planners, some venues abroad start at $150 per guest and that does not even include all the extras. Here, they say, good food is more affordable and other “must-haves” like a photographer, a band, a florist and everything else are significantly less expensive as well.

“People are fed up with the rat race,” said Joan Summerfield of Anglo Israel Events, an event-organizing company based in Ra’anana that works with couples from abroad. “They don’t want to feel that they have to compete to make their wedding bigger and better. The cost overseas is almost obscene. In England, there are people spending 100,000 pounds on one day.”

According to Summerfield, who is planning the Cohen-Silberstein wedding this summer, the Israeli wedding industry has now reached a stage of development that meets the standards of customers from abroad.

“The food is no longer hummus and falafel,” she said. “There’s tremendous choice, and suppliers are very professional. The food is gourmet and the service has also improved, so that people know they will get what they are expecting.”

Some of the more popular venues for brides and grooms from abroad boast a view of either Jerusalem’s Old City or the Mediterranean Sea.

“Couples won’t go to just a regular wedding hall,” Summerfield added. “They want something that’s different from what they could get in their own country. They want something with a ‘wow’ factor.”

Still, the trend does have some hitches. Most Israelis don’t plan their weddings so far in advance and sometimes, people from abroad will try to reserve a place a year and a half ahead of the event. “When they call, the people at the hall will tell them that their calendars don’t go that far ahead,” said Krasna, of CelebrateIsrael.com.

She also pointed out that the more “laid-back” Israeli mentality doesn’t always jibe with the more formal expectation of customers from abroad.

The couples, meanwhile, also need to navigate the bureaucracy of the rabbinate in order to get married here – a process that can be particularly daunting for tourists. Both the bride and the groom need to prove their Jewishness, but sometimes, couples will fly in just days before their wedding without always leaving adequate time to deal with the hassle.

A new service has emerged to facilitate the growing trend. ITIM: The Jewish Life Information Center will now open the necessary file with the rabbinate for a couple from abroad, so that they don’t have to wait until the last minute or ask a distant cousin to try and do it for them.

“We open the file and then they show up a day before the wedding to sign it,” said Rabbi Seth Farber, director of the Jerusalem-based nonprofit organization.

That’s what Cherie and Jonathan Morgan did for their Israeli wedding last summer. “We needed the right forms and the right papers since the process with the rabbinate is quite complicated, but Rabbi Farber helped us with everything,” Cherie said. The couple, who live in London, got married outdoors in a garden venue in Shefayim.

“I couldn’t imagine a stiff, formal wedding in England,” Cherie said of the experience. “I knew that I wanted to get married in Israel with some balagan [mess] and lots of people.”

      This story is by: Daphna Berman
    Henry Isaacs
Keeping Your Maiden Name Earns You More?

Keeping Your Maiden Name Earns You More?

http://ping.fm/QVWzw

Jewish Event Planning Tip – What’s In Your Jewish Half Mile Radius?

Jewish Event Planning Tip – What’s In Your Jewish Half Mile Radius?

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Your Jewish Event Planning Radius

What’s around you that is Jewish? Is there a Synagogue down the block? How about a Jewish Center where they can bring their kids? What about Kosher food or Kosher restaurants in a half mile radius? If you want to host a Jewish celebration or weekend event, know your “Jewish vicinity” and where your customers can visit or frequent when they’re out and about. Knowing what’s around your venue that’s Jewish can help you tailor a special rate or program to the Jewish market. NYC is a destination for millions of visitors every year and offering special rates for out of town guests at a nearby Synagogue is a great way for to get new customers in the door. For instance, pairing with your local Synagogue and offering a special rate for out of town guests who attend weekend events or for Sabbath is a great option – the guests will see that your venue is accommodating to their needs. And eventually, they may decide to build on their hotel stays and start hosting events at your place!

Henry Isaacs

www.HighStyleEvents.com