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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

30 reviews

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50 User photos

  • Astrid
    Astrid S. Married on 27/02/2022
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    Never in our wildest dreams did we think we could find someone like Rabbi Susan

    Wow. I can't even begin to describe how the decision to work with Rabbi Susan changed the trajectory of our special day for the better. Not only is the service she provides unique in the local area, and that alone is reason enough to work with her, but in marrying us and becoming our Rabbi, she has left a permanent, beautiful mark on the lives of me and my husband, and both our families.

    Her care and attention to detail is unparalleled, and I can't even begin to imagine the work she put in behind the scenes to create such a personalised, meaningful service which was tailored to our interfaith traditions, and values as a couple. It was perfectly-pitched, explaining any Jewish traditions, and translating all Hebrew elements in a way that was accessible yet unobtrusive.

    She truly went above and beyond, recommending us chuppah vendors and even tutorials on making our own when we couldn't find one available, and accompanying me to the mikvah - which was an incredibly meaningful experience.

    Having her at the helm of our wedding meant the day was more meaningful than any of us could have hoped for. We couldn't have imagined the day without her; she was integral part of our experience of getting married - from well-before the wedding itself, and I'm certain, ongoing into the future.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out to her - you will not be disappointed if you do.

    Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:

    Dear Astrid and Cameron,

    Thank you for this glorious review. "Working" with you, getting know you and the beautiful interior of your relationship was truly a pleasure and a privilege. I loved the venue that you chose and the beautiful and meaningful wedding ceremony we co-created was exactly perfect for you, for the time and the place.

    You are an amazing couple, so much in love and so very adventurous. You inspire me. The personal words of intention and commitment you spoke to each other brought tears to my eyes. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity you gave me.
  • 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!
  • Aaron
    Aaron R. Married on 30/06/2021
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    A purposeful and meaningful Jew-ish wedding

    Rabbi Susan was a fantastic spiritual advisor, educator, and officiant for our wedding. From our first meeting, Rabbi Susan made significant efforts to get to know my husband and I, learn about our values and help us find was to integrate those values into our wedding ceremony. As an interfaith couple, we wanted to incorporate some non-traditional, but purposeful elements into our wedding and Rabbi Susan worked with us to make it happen. Throughout our ceremony, she spoke to our guests about our values and purpose behind our decision to have a wedding and taught them about the Jewish principles that we are bringing into our relationship. I highly recommend Rabbi Susan as a wedding officiant and spiritual advisor. She brought so much joy to our celebration and we are so grateful for her guidance!

    Rabbi Susan Shamash's reply:

    Aaron and Kyle, you two rock! It was such a joyful and deeply meaningful journey ... Spending the past few months getting to know the interior beauty of your relationship and you two glorious individuals allowed me the blessing of standing under the huppah 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, extended family, and friends.
  • 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.

Awards

  • 30

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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