cover image The Jewish Wedding Now

The Jewish Wedding Now

Anita Diamant. Scribner, $18 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-5011-5394-5

Novelist Diamant (The Red Tent) believes that “Jews of the twenty-first century cannot marry the same way their parents did, much less their grandparents.” She makes a convincing case for her position in an opening section that lists some of the major changes in the American Jewish world in the 16 years since Diamant’s last edition of her acclaimed how-to book about Jewish weddings: increased acceptance of intermarriage and of LGBTQ Jews, “a shift away from the hyphenated Judaism of past generations; boundaries between denominations are less distinct and affiliation rates are lower.” Diamant grounds the implications of those trends in history, noting that it’s a “nostalgic fallacy that there was once a standard, universal, and correct way to do a Jewish wedding.” She urges couples to strive for authenticity by creating a ceremony that blends innovation with the traditional Jewish legal requirements. And she makes it easy for them to do so, with a soup-to-nuts description of all the steps on the path to the chuppah that will be accessible to even those with minimal familiarity with the rituals. [em](June) [/em]