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New York-Upstate

Rabbi needed for interfaith wedding service

My son is getting married and I easily found a local priest to do the ceremony.  The hard and frustrating part now is finding a rabbi who will work with a priest.  If you know someone in the area who would do an ingerfaith ceremony with a priest PLEASE respond.  He is getting married in Saratoga.

Re: Rabbi needed for interfaith wedding service

  • edited December 2011
    Have you checked with rabbi aryeh alpern? he lives in porters corners (right next to saratoga) and he runs an interfaith congregation there. 

    he is doing our interfaith wedding in october in lake placid. we really enjoy his personality, and i know he has worked with priests before. 

    you can contact him at:

    i am happy to give you his phone number if you email me -- lynniearudner at gmail dot com

    if you contact him, please let him know that Lynnie referred you. 

    thanks!
    http://www.mywedding.com/lynnieandandy
    october '10 siggy: Early Pic of me and FI (not the first.....)
    imageVisit The Knot! Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Judy35Judy35 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks SOOO much Lynnie!!!! 
    I'm going to pass your e-mail on to my son.  It sounds as if you have me him already.  Neither my son or I know this rabbi.  I do know he charges a lot!
  • edited December 2011
    he DOES charge a lot. yes. its hard for me to understand why rabbis charge so much more than other religious clergy. it makes me somewhat embarassed, actually. 

    but we like him, and we know that finding someone who will do an interfaith ceremony in lake placid is not that easy. so we decided it was worth it to us. 

    good luck. 
    http://www.mywedding.com/lynnieandandy
    october '10 siggy: Early Pic of me and FI (not the first.....)
    imageVisit The Knot! Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Judy35Judy35 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My son felt the same way about Rabbi's Ahern's fee.  
    I easily found a priest who was personable and interested in my son and future daughter-in-law (and isn't charging -.though my son will definitely give him something).  I feel very bad about the rabbi situation and reformed rabbis in general who are turning away young engaged couples.
  • edited December 2011
    we found our clergy through the interfaithfamily.com website, they have an officiant referral form that you fill out online, just basic things about what you are looking for. Then they will email you a list of names, emails and phones numbers of jewish clergy in your area who do interfaith ceremonies.
  • edited December 2011
    I'm meeting with an interfaith rabbi from Ballston Spa-Rabbi Sugarman.

    www.rabbisugarman.com

    I'm not sure about his fee, I'm meeting him next thursday, but our email exchanges have been very positive.

    He specializes in interfaith ceremonies and his website features a sample ceremony which is very nice.
    TTC the journey begins October 2011 image
  • MissmomitoMissmomito member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    We had such a miserable experience with  Rabbi Aryeh Alpern that, in our opinion, we would recommend anyone who needs a Rabbi for an interfaith wedding (or any wedding) look elsewhere. What we received was NOTHING like what was promised. He promised a fully custom wedding and made us pay $750 upfront for the consultation alone. He made us pay on the spot and said it would be another $750 for him to do the ceremony too. What we got was the most depressing cheezy wedding template outline, that he handed us with mix and match prayers and sayings like we were at Denny's choosing soup or salads --it was absolutely NOT custom--  then he all but told us to write any changes we wanted ourselves! We told him we were very unhappy about this, that this was not a custom ceremony AT ALL, and even reminded him that on the homepage of his website he actually says his weddings are NEVER templated. We were stunned. It's like you go to buy a made to measure suit and they hand you one off the rack.

    Just to clarify that our expectations were in line, we have since found several people who do REAL non-templated, custom wedding ceremonies and they were exactly what we expected -- personalized and custom, with no canned templates and corny mix and match prayers.  

    Also, in our meeting with this Rabbi, he asked us at most maybe 5 or 6 very superficial questions about ourselves,  yet he told us more than 3 times where his kids went to college and on and on. Can one really plan a custom ceremony without knowing about the couple? How selfish and narcissistic, in our opinion, to treat a couple who comes to you for their wedding like this, and to sit there and talk about yourself and your kids for what seemed like half the time.

    After the consultation which, to reiterate, was nothing like we thought we had been promised, we asked for our money back. We even called to ask for our money back and his wife was very impolite to my fiancee said there were no refunds then hung up on her!  Shockingly unprofessional. Aftter days of unanswered emails, and lost sleep over losing $750 we cannot afford to lose for our wedding, we threatened to write reviews of our experience and possibly seek legal action, he sends us an email acting like nothing has happened and offering to now write a custom ceremony. Clearly he knew what custom means -- so why did he wait until we were threatening him to offer this?

    One needs to ask oneself, how out of touch someone is if they think they can treat a couple so poorly, to the point that they are about to use legal action, then act like nothing happened and think we would go along with that?  

    We feel that perhaps the most upsetting part of planning our wedding so far has been what happened with Rabbi Aryeh Alpern. Avoid at all costs!!

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