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A COMPARISON OF TWO JEWISH WEDDINGS AS HKENAZI AND SEPHARDIC

Dowling College- Doctoral Program EDE 9806 - Ethnography and Case Study Design with Dr. Tatum- Fall 2013 Daniel Stein – Doctoral Student


THE SEPHARDIC WEDDING The setting - Astoria World Manor

The Video


OBSERVER BACKGROUND  Observer: Daniel Stein • Jewish (non-practicing) • Bar Mitzvah

 Invitations to two settings • • • • •

Ashkenazi (setting 1) compared to Sephardic (setting 2) From similar acquaintances Similar expenditures Both settings had guests which were work associates Both were similar in terms of level of religious commitment • Kosher catering


DEFINITION OF TERMS  Ashkenazi Jews • come from European (Christian) countries

 Sephardic Jews • lived in the Iberian Peninsula


DENOMINATIONS  1. Orthodox Judaism • Strictly Observant – Believe the Torah contains 613 mitzvot (commandments )but will integrate into society • Ultra-Orthodox - strictly observe Jewish laws and do not integrate into modern society by dressing distinctively and living separately

 2. Conservative Judaism: • Generally accepts the binding nature of Jewish Law), but believes that the Law should adapt, absorbing aspects of the predominant culture

 3. Reform Reconstructionist Judaism • Judaism is an "evolving religious civilization. Observant not because it is a binding Law from God, but because it is a valuable cultural remnant.


ASHKENAZI

( V I C T O R P O L I VO DA )

 Ceremony • Strictly religious yet men and women were together • • • • • • •

Bridal Veil Groom met the bride to check he was NOT being tricked Rabbi “Ring must be gold and purchased by the groom” Kiddushin – Sanctification (statements which need no rabbi) Men and women intermingled Ketuvah – Marriage Scroll Breaking of the glass


ASHKENAZI

( V I C T O R P O L I VO DA )

Ashkenazi


KIDDUSHIN (MARRIAGE CONTRACT- COMMON TO BOTH)


T H E C E L E B R ATI ON

(WOMEN/MEN)

Ashkenazi


F O O D, D R I N K A N D AT T I T U D E S  The food was traditional • Courses

 The drink was typically vodka • Comment- If it is not straight vodka it doesn’t count

 Attitudes at work and at the event – “Open”

Ashkenazi


SEPHARDIC – R O B E R T K A R I Y E V- S O U T H E R N R U S S I A

Sephardic


T H E C E L E B R ATI ON

(WOMEN/MEN)

Sephardic


THE CEREMONY Sephardic  Men and women separated –  Hand Gesture - distinct


FOOD AND DRINK  The food was unusual (strange) in content and in presentation  Liquor more prevalent (not vodka)

Sephardic


ATTITUDES  Executives at work – Reserved - Distant  At the event – Wildly uninhibited – ( felt a true part of the family)

 “ Make sure you wear a yarmulke”  Attitudes at work and at the event – “Open”

Sephardic


GENERAL COMMENTS Research put me in touch with my religion More appreciative Better understanding (observe and question) Subsequent conversations (mostly tradition) Ashkenazi- (more European) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Questions from the audience


OPEN DISCUSSION

Questions and Answers


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