Rabbi Sara Shendelman officiates at spiritual, interfaith, non-denominational, gay Jewish and diversely unique weddings. Providing marriage, spiritual, cultural & religious counseling, inspired lifecycle events, cantorial services, rabbinic leadership at Shabbat & Festival services, all occasion ritual creation, Bar & Bat Mitzvah tutoring, grief counseling, funerals, conversion assistance, mentoring, advocating & teaching in a compassionate, joyous, literally harmonious and personal atmosphere.

for your lesbian, gay, Jewish and/or interfaith wedding, celebrations, rituals and spiritual guidance by
PHONE: (510) 644-2956
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Monday, December 18, 2006

My Dear Rabbi Sara

Hello My Dear Rabbi Sara,

Can that be an official title for a rabbi? I find it hard to express my feelings regarding the wedding and find myself reflecting on it often. The ceremony was magical, and I don't expect the glow to fade anytime soon. We send you fond best wishes for the Holidays, and will keep in touch.


Deepest Gratitude

Dear Sara,

I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you how glad I am to have found you....your caring nature and enthusiasm for your calling have warmed my heart and given me faith in an otherwise difficult time....please accept my deepest gratitude and I'm really looking forward to having you officiate our ceremony...it will be one of the most important events of my life so far and I'm glad that you will have a big role in it.

Best wishes for the holiday season,

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Continuing appreciation 10 years later

I just wanted to tell you as we approach our 10 year ceremony anniversary [12 years together anniversary], that you created a very special aura and environment for me that day. I really enjoyed your presence and the things you did during the ceremony.

You co-performed the wedding ceremony for [my wife] and me in November of 1996. You did it at UCC Church on La Honda in San Francisco. There was a chupa and a Jewish star on a silk banner hanging at the juncture of where the cross intersected itself. And, we celebrated afterwards in the basement recreation area of the church.

Thanks, again, for making our wedding ceremony such a special one.

Lovely, moving and profound ceremony

Dear Sara,

I want to send you thanks for your involvement in our ceremony and wedding experience in general. It is hard to know where to begin in expressing our appreciation for you and your work.

Before the wedding, our meetings, phone conversations and emails were all comfortable and exciting. After every one of these interactions, I left feeling so excited about our wedding ceremony and so sure that it would transpire as I imagined. Thank you for all your interest, involvement, input, and inspiration during the preparation times.

On our wedding day, your energy and presence were so calming and warming for me. I loved how you checked in with us before the ceremony and talked to us about starting our relationship anew with a clean slate based on love, about making wishes while walking down the aisle, about being sure to absorb the ceremony experience for at least one moment, and about our soon to be empowered priviledge of sharing blessings for one year. That experience was so grounding and calming that I was able to maintain a sense of presence that I carried into the ceremony.

I can barely put into words my thoughts of our ceremony. [My spouse] and I agree that we each felt completely focused, present and mindful during our wedding ceremony. The enchantedness of the chuppa and the loving energy surrounding us were so empowering and invigorating. Moreover, your beautiful voice, calming nature, huministic acceptance, sense of humor, and loving blessings provided for us the opportunity to acutely experience each moment and detail. Our ceremony was simultaneously traditional, representing the union of Jewish couples throughout history, as well as completely autonomous and individualized, representing our love, the love of all our guests, and whatever arose in the moment.

I loved every element of the ceremony from the bells to the blessings, to the opportunity to say aloud our personal vows, to reciting traditional Hebrew vows, to having our loved ones shout out their blessings, to drinking of the blessings from our kiddish cup, to acknowledging cell phones, to experiencing your smile. Everything was so amazing and remains surprisingly clear in my mind. I feel fortunate to be able to remember and relive this experience.

From the moment the ceremony ended, family and friends began to approach us to comment on how lovely, moving, and profound the ceremony was for them. Everyone loved your presence, guidance, and energy. My grandmother says that this was the most wonderful ceremony she has ever been to. One of my best friends/bridesmaids says that she felt somewhat weak and faint while standing beside the chuppa and that your voice chanting the blessings provided for her breath, stability and strength.

I had friends of other religions and ethnicities talk about their sense of inspiration and their desire to incorporate Jewish traditions into their own upcoming weddings. Furthermore, our Jewish friends and relatives are amazed at how such traditional Jewish customs were so beautifully cultivated and incorporated into a modern framework; few of them have experienced such an abundance of tradition in such a care-free setting.

All in all, each individual at our wedding was thoroughly moved, impressed, inspired, and captivated. For everyone there, it was a profound, loving, and amazing experience. For me, our ceremony was every thing I had hoped and more.

Throughout the whole time we were planning our wedding, I reserved special energy, thought, and imagination for our ceremony. I believe greatly in the power of ceremony, tradition, blessing and intentional expression of sentiment and I maintained a special place in my heart for my wedding ceremony. That place is now so completely filled with the most spectacular memories, not only of the ceremony itself, but also of how incredible it felt to experience it. Dwelling under that chuppa, even for only 45 minutes, I felt like I was absorbing energy to last me, and my relationship, a lifetime. [My spouse] and I both continue to bask in that golden light and will carry the glow with us throughout our marriage.

Again, thank you. Thank you for creating for us such a phenomenal ceremony and experience, thank you for all your love and groundedness, thank you for sharing with us traditions and spirituality, thank you for your humor and sense of the present, and thank you for sharing yourself with us.

We are honored to know you and send you and your family many blessings of happiness, health, laughter, love, strength and beyond. We look forward to seeing you on future occasions. Please keep my email on your list so we are aware of future Jewish celebrations and services.
for your Jewish or interfaith wedding, celebrations, rituals and spiritual guidance by
PHONE: (510) 644-2956
~~~~~~~~~ or ~~~~~~~~~