Wedding of SerachBracha and Paul at Congregation Beth Israel

It takes a village — or at least a community to put together something as special at SerachBracha and Paul’s wedding! I did have an idea of what to expect as I had photographed a few other weddings at Berkeley’s progressive Orthodox Synagogue Congregation Beth Israel. I had spoken with SerachBracha and knew that we had friends in common but hadn’t met she or Paul in person before the wedding. I didn’t know what a big part of this sweet community they were and how much they have both contributed to it and I had no idea how much love and gratitude for them would be present! This wedding involved much community participation and they in fact invited the entire community to their wedding. This was fitting in that the two met while both were volunteering to the synagogue. They managed to squeeze in everyone and leave room for a dance floor by utilizing the outdoor space, social hall and the library and packed them with tables and chairs. Rabbi Yonatan Cohen lead a wonderful ceremony and the delicious food was catered by Alan Finkelstein a member of the community. Music was provided by “Ferris Wheels,” featuring Rabbi Ferris another member of the CBI community.



SerachBracha receives one of her friends during the Kabbalat Panim.Giving the toast to the groom, Paul Albert during his TishRabbi Yonaton Cohen announces the arrival of Paul for the BedekenThe chatan (groom) lowers the vail on his Kallah (bride)Friends of the bride applaud as the bedeken is about to begin. The bride is walked down the aisle at the start of the wedding ceremonyBrides put her hands together as if to pray during the wedding ceremonyThe bride is hugged by a guest at the end of the ceremonyDancing begins after the bride and groom return from yichud. The kallah (bride) and chattan (groom) are lifted up on chairs during the hora.Guests perform to entertain the bride (kallah) and groom (chattan).

A special thanks to all of the professionals who made beautiful wedding possible: 

Venue: Congregation Beth Israel
Officiant: Rabbi Yonatan Cohen
Music: The Ferris Wheels, Live Chasidic Rock, contact: Avraham Burrell 510-845-7744
Caterer: Alan Finkelstein
ay of Coordinator: Lois Marcus

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