Avi & Gitty | CJ Studios

Video: CJ Studios
Venue: Congregation Keter Torah, Teaneck, NJ
Music: Eitan Katz



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The Ketubot of Amsterdam

The National Library of Israel hosts a display of over 4,200 ketubot on their site. The ketubot are from various times and places, and the site allows you to browse the ketubot by year, country, or city.

The text of the Ketubah has remained much the same throughout the ages, but the script and the decorative elements have change with the times and the locations.

Browsing the site, the ketubahs of Amsterdam caught our attention. The Jewish community of Amsterdam has a fascinating history. In the 1600s, after the Dutch won their independence from Spain, Amsterdam quickly became an important European economic center. This was in part to their policy of religious toleration. Sephardic and Portuguese Jews had found a community there – a refuge from the expulsion from Spain; Ahkenazi Jews started to arrive to escape the Chmielnitzki massacres and the horrors of the Thirty Years War.

Seventeenth century Amsterdam is famous for the Amsterdam Stock Exchange – the first of its kind, the Dutch East India Company, and the artist Rembrandt van Rijn, who resided in the Jewish quarter of the city for a number of years, as well as Menashe Ben Israel whose efforts helped Jews gain permission to resettle the UK.

The collection shows that Ketubahs in Amsterdam were of two kinds – the fancy, custom-made kind and the cheaper template kind.

Amsterdam at this time is also a place where contradictory artistic tastes are present in the city. The Protestant north tends to favor simpler, more subdued art, while the south prefers baroque – an over-the-top, dramatic style of art.

Here are two colorful ketubahs from the period of the first kind:



Most of the ketubahs in the collection were using one of the following two printed templates:

Blank Ketubah – 5500s or 1740-1839

This one seems like the no frills, budget option. The one below seems to have been the next step up.


This ketubah template appears often at this time not only in Amsterdam but in the nearby countries as well. And apparently is can be upgraded to a color version.

I’ll end off this post with two photographs by Leonard Freed – a Brooklyn photographer, who spent the late 50s and 60s (that’s 1950s and 1960s) photographing Amsterdam and  the Jewish community there.

Succoss, Amsterdam 1958

Jewish Wedding, Amsterdam 1958

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Heart and Soul: Ashira and Yosef’s Breathtaking Wedding

We’re glad to share with you a recent wedding from London via Blake Ezra Photography – London based photographers – whose black and white photos are simply breathtaking.

(C) Blake Ezra Photography 2015.

We enjoy providing some apt words to accompany our images when it comes to sharing the events we are privileged to photograph. However, in this instance it’s practically impossible to describe the feelings, the energy, and the immense spirit of this wedding in words. Indeed, we can only hope our images come close! Kinloss in north […]

01.11.2015 Images from Anna and James © Blake Ezra Photography 2015 www.blakeezraphotography.com

Images from Anna and James
© Blake Ezra Photography 2015

See the rest of the beautiful gallery here:

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Chuppah Comes in Many Shapes and Styles

There are many uniquely Jewish elements to a Jewish wedding, but the chuppah is the quintessential part of a Jewish wedding ceremony. Four poles and a tallis is all you need for a kosher chuppah, and many even prefer that simple old world flavor of this the very plain of chuppahs. However, happy was the moment when flowers met the chuppah canopy. Creativity knows no bounds when it comes to stylizing this symbolic house of the chassan and kallah.







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Yardena & Aaron Wedding Trailer | Montreal

Yardena & Aaron / Montreal Jewish Wedding from Focus Video on Vimeo.

Yardena and Aaron’s wedding was a mixture of modern and traditional. The weeding took place in the Chevra Kadisha in Montreal Canada this September. Catering provided by Traiteur Renaissance. Video by Focus Video Productions.

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