Rabbi Susan Shamash is a progressive, independent Rabbi based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She was ordained by ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, which embraces a contemporary egalitarian Judaism as a profound spiritual practice and social transformer, reaching beyond religious boundaries and institutional structures. She is passionate about "open tent" Judaism and, in her service to interfaith families, she occupies a unique niche in metropolitan Vancouver.
She offers inclusive and personalized services to celebrate your relationship and provide innovative life cycle event officiation, including interfaith, same-sex, and gender queer events. She doesn't just "show up" for your wedding. Her fee includes three in-person meetings (1-2 hours each) for informal counseling on:
How she works
She works together with your ideas, dreams, beliefs, values, personalities and the Jewish tradition to create the wedding ceremony you envision. She dedicates a minimum of 10 hours to preparing for your unique ceremony. Her fee also includes the Ketubah signing ritual and a venue assessment. Because of the simplicity of the Jewish wedding, it is not her custom to lead a rehearsal.
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26 Reviews for Rabbi Susan Shamash
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Natalie T. · Married on 01/08/2021
Wonderful Rabbi Susan
Coming from a mixed faith background, I knew that I wanted a Jewish wedding but that the Rabbi from my synagogue would not agree to marry us. I found Rabbi Susan through WeddingWire and she had great reviews so I reached out to her. The reviews were spot on...from our first email interactions to our lessons with her and then all the way through the ceremony, Rabbi Susan was so great to work with. She took the time to get to know us in the months leading up to the wedding and introduced/explained the significance of the various aspects of the Jewish ceremony. She also gave us an opportunity to reflect on what brought us together and gave us space to envision our future together. When it came time for the ceremony, we felt completely comfortable having her marry us because it felt like she knew just how to make the ceremony about us. I would highly recommend hiring Rabbi Susan if you want to have a meaningful Jewish wedding ceremony full of simcha!Sent on 09/08/2021
Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:Natalie and Justin. Thank you for this heartfelt "review"! In many ways your my ideal couple. Natalie, your connection to Judaism, and Justin, your enthusiasm for supporting that. It was such a joy and an honour, not to mention a lot of fun, for me to enable your Jewishish wedding ceremony: the meaningful inclusivity of big tent Judaism. You navigated the sometimes turbulent waters of Covid19 with humour, grace and love. You are a very special couple!
Talia T. · Married on 09/07/2021
Rabbi Susan was great to work with! :) We come from two different backgrounds and wanted to have an “interfaith” Jewish wedding. We found Rabbi Susan on wedding wire and we really recommend having her as a Rabbi at your wedding! Rabbi Susan listened to everything we wanted and created the ceremony of our dreams!! Our family and friends loved the ceremony!! 10/10Sent on 10/09/2021
Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:Talia and D.J., thank you for this heartfelt review. It was such an honour and a privilege, not to mention a lot of fun, to co-create and officiate at your delightful and meaningful wedding ceremony. I am most appreciative of the opportunity it/you gave me. You are a very special couple!
Marlee H. · Married on 30/06/2021
The Jewish Wedding We Dreamed Of :)
From the moment we met Susan, we knew it was a match! As an interfaith couple we were worried about making sure that both of us and our families were comfortable with everything. Right away, Susan did everything to make both of us feel comfortable and to include elements that were meaningful to both of us, Jewish and personal. She is exceptionally knowledgeable in all aspects of the Jewish wedding ceremony and I learned so much about different components that I did not know before which we included in our own ceremony. She booked multiple sessions with us before our wedding to get to know us and we were able to do some personal work with one another that helped us to prepare our speeches to one another. Susan is very organized which made the process of putting together our ceremony quite easy. In addition, she is very kind, compassionate and wanted to make sure that we were happy and not stressed leading up to our day. This made everything so much easier for us. She is a wonderful person with a great heart who we really enjoyed working with.Sent on 08/08/2021
Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:Thank you Marlee and Dave for this beautiful "review". I felt truly blessed to enable the wedding of such a remarkable couple. Your love for and commitment to each other is awesome and your willingness to work deeply with me was inspiring, notwithstanding Covid19 limitations. You knew exactly what you wanted and never for a moment forgot exactly who the ceremony was for (the two of you). I look forward to being your personal rabbi for many years to come.
Naomi M. · Married on 22/06/2019
Authentic and amazing experience!
Rabbi Susan was a pure delight to work with - if you call it "work" to join in creating the most meaningful personal ceremony we could imagine!!! From the outset, she set such a helpful structure to get to know us- we met several times and had introspective conversations + exercises about what makes us "us." It not only felt therapeutic but was helpful fodder for creating out vows and intention at the ceremony! She opened up about her passion about interfaith connection, and we felt that she really "got us."
On the day, she was enthusiastic to partake, and brought authentic, grounded, playful, joyous energy. Thats a tough balance to strike and she hit it marvellously. She added so much to our ceremony and we highly recommend going with Rabbi Susan for your Jewish or interfaith wedding ceremony!!!Sent on 02/07/2019
Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:Thank you Naomi for such a wonderful "review". It was a joy and a privilege to meet and "work" with you and Kristoff and to co-create such a beautiful and meaningful wedding ceremony. You are an amazing couple, so much in love. The personal words of intention and commitment you spoke to each other brought tears to my eyes. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity it/you gave me.
Meaghan · Getting married on 09/10/2021
An incredible experience!
Rabbi Susan was so incredible to work with. She listened to everything we wanted and designed the ceremony of our dreams that was very meaningful to both of our families. She was so flexible and helped us work around Covid-19 so we could still celebrate our special day. I cannot recommend her enough.Sent on 08/10/2020
Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:Thank you Meaghan for this warm and heartfelt review. You and Brandon are an awesome couple. You navigated the shoals and disappointments of Covid-19 with grace, humour and love. I felt privileged to celebrate your big day with ceremony that was entirely unique to you and your circumstances. I look forward to Part 2!!
Rabbi Susan Shamash awards
Team of Rabbi Susan Shamash
Rabbi & Celebrant
Hi, I'm Rabbi Susan and I am thrilled to celebrate your love with you. I am passionate about saying "yes" to enabling all Jews and their loved ones to celebrate Jewishly. I bring the beauty, meaning and spirituality, not to mention the fun and joy, of Judaism to your unique "Jewishish" wedding ceremony. Together we co-create a beautiful and meaningful ceremony that reflects all of who you truly are as a couple. I am blessed to be doing what I love.
Hi, I'm Dulce the Havanese hooligan. I love that my "Mom" invites so many people over to visit me. I provide a little pet therapy. I will greet you joyfully at the door, show off some of my agility skills, make you laugh, and maybe even lick your hands if you will only let me. Then I will fall asleep on "my" chair, and snore softly while you plan your wedding with the Rabbi.