Weddings

Rabbi Susan Shamash

Vancouver, British Columbia View map

About

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.

Services offered

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:

  • Why a Jewish wedding (or why do you want to be married by a rabbi)?
  • Your families of origin
  • Love and marriage from a Jewish perspective
  • Yours, mine and ours
  • Co-creating your personalized Jewish wedding ritual

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.

Highlights

Wedding Types

Single religion, interfaith ceremony, vow renewal

Officiant Services

Licensed, allow couple' own vows, premarital counseling

Religious Affiliations

Jewish

Wedding Services Starting Price

$1,250

More information

On average, how long are wedding ceremonies you officiate?

30-60 mins.

Does starting price include the ceremony rehearsal?

No

What is the starting price for ceremony rehearsals?

$85

If you offer pre-marital counseling, what is the starting price for (per session)?

$15

27 reviews

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44 User photos

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  • Daniel
    Daniel R. Married on 20/11/2021
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    Absolutely wonderful experience!

    We got to know Rabbi Susan well, not just over one year but two, as our wedding was postponed due to Covid. She worked with us collaboratively to craft a beautiful ceremony which we ended up having with only family present. Beyond the ceremony itself, we can't stress enough how valuable her one-on-one sessions were leading up to the wedding. We suspect a lot of couples get married without deliberating on the fundamental values that sustain a marriage - through our sessions she helped us articulate these values which was reflected in our ketubah and ceremony. We are so grateful to have had Rabbi Susan to lead us through this transformative time in our lives. As she says, we will always have her as our Rabbi, which means the world to us.

    Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:

    Dan and Jess, you are, in many ways, my “ideal couple”. Your love for and commitment to each other is awesome and your willingness to work deeply with me was inspiring. You knew exactly what you wanted and never for a moment forgot exactly who the ceremony was for (the two of you). It was a pleasure and a privilege to be your wedding officiant and I look forward to being your rabbi for many years to come.
  • Natalie
    Natalie T. Married on 01/08/2021
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    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!

    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
    Talia T. Married on 09/07/2021
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    Amazing Experience!

    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!! 10/10

    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
    Marlee H. Married on 30/06/2021
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    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.

    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.
  • Meaghan
    Meaghan Married on 09/10/2021
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    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.

    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!!
  • Michelle
    Michelle V. Married on 03/05/2020
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    Excellent!

    If you are looking for a Rabbi, I would highly recommend Rabbi Susan. From the first she was responsive, kind, and patient. She answered all our questions and designed a beautiful interfaith ceremony that was unique to us and incorporated lots of beautiful Jewish elements. She walked us through all aspects of the marriage ceremony including ketubah and kippah suggestions and well as what documents etc we would need on the day. We had lots of compliments day of regarding the ceremony and Rabbi Susan, definitely reccommend!

    Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:

    Michelle and Michael,
    It was such a joyful and deeply meaningful journey - spending the past year getting to know the interior beauty of the two of you and your relationship. I felt so blessed to stand under the Huppah with you with such authenticity. I am proud to be the conduit of such a big tent Judaism.
  • Hailey
    Hailey F. Married on 29/08/2019
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    Great experience

    Rabbi Susan officiated our wedding. She was amazing and adapted her process to fit mine and my husbands busy schedule and specific needs. It was a great experience, I would highly recommend her

    Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:

    Thank you for your lovely review Hailey. You and David knew exactly what you wanted in your ceremony and were incredibly focused and efficient. It was a privilege, an honour and a privilege to co-create your wedding ceremony with the two of you and to be your officiant.
  • Carolina
    Carolina H. Married on 21/07/2019
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    The most amazing officiant

    Rabbi Susan was an absolute pleasure to work with. From the initial introductory meeting she made us feel welcome. We worked with her for over a year, even being invited over for dinners in which she introduced us to other couples like us (interfaith). The service itself was beautiful - very personalized to what we requested, and everyone had the best feedback to say about it. Overall, would highly recommend.

    Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:

    Caro and George you are, in many ways, my “ideal couple”. Your love for and commitment to each other is awesome and your willingness to work deeply with me was inspiring. You knew exactly what you wanted and never for a moment forgot exactly who the ceremony was for (the two of you). It was a pleasure and a privilege to be your wedding officiant and I look forward to being your rabbi for many years to come.
  • K
    Kristin Married on 09/08/2021
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    Interfaith ceremony of our dreams

    Rabbi Susan does not just "show up." She worked with meticulous care and attention to the complex details of our relationship and how we envisioned them being expressed in our interfaith ceremony. We were challenged to find a rabbi who would officiate the ecumenical ceremony we desired uniting our Jewish and Catholic traditions, and Rabbi Susan was the only person we could seem to find in Canada who would help us fulfill this in the way we needed. She has a deeply informed spiritual practice, sage wisdom, a strong outlook on life, an impeccable sense of organization, and most of all, an open mind and heart. In our three sessions together, we experienced a perfect balance growing between 1) knowing we were in the hands of a seasoned "professional", and 2) building trust and guidance in a new "friend". We have been re-watching our ceremony video, and every time we do, it further drives home what a wonderful role she has played in our marriage.

    Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:

    Kristin and Justin, Thank you so very much for this very meaningful review. I appreciate it very much. It was such a joyful and deeply meaningful journey ... Spending the past few months getting to know the interior beauty of your relationship and of the two of you allowed me the blessing of standing under the chuppah with you with authenticity and great delight at the confluence of some of the most intimate expressions of Jewish tradition and the gorgeous inclusivity of a big tent Judaism that celebrates our Jewish-adjacent partners. As I watched your ceremony video and saw the expressions on your faces, I understood again how important my "work" is in the world. That is my Torah!

Awards

  • 27

Meet the Team

Susan Shamash
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.

Dulce Shamash
Dulce Shamash
Mascot

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.

Map

3984 West 21st Avenue V6S 1H6 Vancouver (British Columbia)

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