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Kiddushin by Document

Ben Dreyfus, Elizabeth Richman

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

The Mishnah specifies three different methods for effecting kiddushin (betrothal), the first part of the marriage process. The most common method in the present time is kesef, a ring or other object of value. At our wedding in 2009, we revived another of the classic methods of kiddushin: sh'tar (document). In this session, we'll explain how and why we used this rabbinic procedure to create kiddushin that is egalitarian and mutual.

Ben Dreyfus


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Ben Dreyfus is a Ph.D. student in physics education research at the University of Maryland. He was a founder of Kol Zimrah, an independent minyan in Manhattan, and is now an organizer of Segulah, an independent minyan on the DC/Maryland border. He blogs at Mah Rabu (mahrabu.blogspot.com) and Jewschool (www.jewschool.com).

Elizabeth Richman

Jews United for Justice

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Elizabeth Richman is Program Director & Rabbi in Residence at Jews United for Justice, DC’s Jewish community organizing group. She has taught about Judaism and justice from California to Qatar and served on taskforces at Jewish Funds for Justice and the Rabbinical Assembly. In her spare time she helps run Segulah, a songful, lay-led, trad-egal Shabbat morning minyan on the DC/MD border.

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