On behalf of the United Synagogue we wish you a Mazel Tov on your forthcoming marriage, such an exciting time for you all!
We are getting married in Israel. What documents do we need to take with us?
The Rabbinical authorities in Israel will expect your local orthodox Beth Din to authorise you as a person who is eligible to get married. The London Beth Din issues certificates that you can present to the rabbinate in Israel, stating that you are Jewish, single and eligible to get married.
To obtain a Marriage Abroad Certificate please send the following documents listed below to the London Beth Din (305 Ballards Lane, North Finchley, London, N12 8GB)
- A covering letter stating where and when you are getting married with your Hebrew name (if known) and contact details and whether you wish the certificate to be posted or be available for collection.
- A photocopy of your Parents’ Ketubah (Jewish Marriage Certificate).
- A photocopy of your full birth certificate showing both parents names.
- Either a letter from an Orthodox communal Rabbi confirming that he knows you personally and that you are Jewish and single or two Jewish witnesses, non relations, who have known you for at least five years that would be willing to attend an appointment at the London Beth Din to testify that you are single.
- Three passport photographs.
- Cheque for the sum of £60 per person for US Members or £100 per person for non-US Members, made payable to: USKB. Alternatively, credit or debit card payments can be taken over the phone.
Please note the Israeli Rabbinate expect all couples to attend a Marriage Enhancement Programme.
As part of our wish to welcome you into one of our communities within the United Synagogue, we would like to share your contact information with our marriage and membership departments.
Our professional staff will be able to help you with any queries you may have relating to US membership after marriage.
We are delighted to inform all couples marrying abroad and returning to the UK or within the UK regions who have gone via the London Beth Din, The Office of the Chief Rabbi or under other recognised orthodox authorities (documentation to be produced) that the United Synagogue offers you the opportunity to join a US Community within our newly married couples discount scheme.*
Should you not wish to be contacted by the US membership team please email firstname.lastname@example.org or advise the Beth Din when opening your marriage abroad file.
Contact numbers which may be useful for you:
London Beth Din 020 8343 6270
US Membership 020 8343 5687
*Scheme is available provided it is either party’s first marriage and the marriage is recognised by the Office of the Chief Rabbi. The US newly marrieds Discount scheme begins from date of your wedding.
Some additional documentation will be required to establish your Jewish bona fides; the Beth Din will advise about this.
It may be possible to find other people who have known you for a long time and can testify that you are single in front of the Beth Din. The Beth Din will be able to advise who is qualified to do this for you. Please check that they are willing to do this for you before submitting their names.
You need to get in touch with the Rabbanut (Office of the Chief Rabbinate) in the area/town where you are getting married in order to open a file. They will expect to receive the letter from your local Beth Din before agreeing to marry you. They will provide you with the ketuba (marriage contract) and a qualified Rabbi to solemnise your wedding.
A file can be opened with the Israeli Rabbinate between 4 to 6 months in advance of your wedding date. However, the certificate from the London Beth Din attesting to your single status is only valid for 3 months. If you anticipate any complications, it may be advisable to allow more time to sort out the paperwork.
Marriages under the official Rabbinate in Israel are registered with the Ministry of Religious affairs and, as a result, you will be issued with a Te’udat Nissu’in (marriage certificate) which is the State registration of your marriage. As such, this certificate is recognised by the British authorities as equivalent to a civil marriage. Marriages not under the auspices of the official Rabbinate in Israel will need to have civil ceremony in the UK.
This can usually be arranged but in order to do so you will need permission to do this from the Israeli Rabbinic Authorities. Contact the Marriage Authorisation Office (020 8343 6313) for guidance on how to facilitate this.
The Israeli Rabbinate will require proof that a couple have had marriage lessons and that the bride has been to the mikvah. It is strongly advised that anyone planning a marriage contacts the Marriage Enhancement Programme well before their wedding date.
The United Synagogue is able to offer membership to couples that were married in Israel once documentation from a recognised orthodox authority has been verified. Please ask your local United Synagogue administrator for further details of our membership scheme.