Ketubah of Andrew Goldberg and Leslie Derkash ketubah of Betsy Facher and Evan Rauch Ketubah of April and Barry Ketubah of Lysa & Mike Puma Ketubah, 1995 Ketubah of Allison and David
Click images above for larger image, title, etc.

Ketubah for Doug Levitt and Jennifer Steen
"Ketubah for Doug Levitt and Jennifer Steen", monoprint with calligraphy, 30"x22" 2009; Click to see an enlargement of calligraphy by Jaclyn Savolainen of Pen Paper Ink
Ketubah Monoprints are $1500. My Ketubah prices always include the personalized Hebrew and English calligraphy.

Ketubah for Hilary and Aurum Leder
"Ketubah (without portraits) for Hilary Spirer and Avrum Leeder"
Oil on wood, 2006

Ketubah for Jennifer Goldberg and Boris Rapaport
"Ketubah for Jennifer Goldberg and Boris Rapoport"
Oil on wood, 2005

"A Blessing for the Home", Oil on wood, 2002

Commission a Custom Ketubah

There is a tradition in Judaism that when a ritual object is necessary to fulfill a commandment, that object should be beautiful and fitting to that commandment in order to glorify and intensify its observance.

The ketubah—the Jewish wedding contract—is in the midst of a revival. For most of its long history (beginning sometime between 2 B.C.E. and 1 C.E.), the ketubah was simply a legal contract that spelled out the obligations of a husband to his wife upon their marriage. The traditional ketubot can be thought of as progressive documents, for they conferred financial rights upon wives that women otherwise did not have, safeguarding them in the event that their husbands abandoned them or died.

In recent times, Jewish couples, rabbis, and artists have been experimenting with ways to update the ketubah, feeling that the standard orthodox text didn't quite capture the essence of modern relationships. These new ketubot—written in both English and Hebrew—typically include personal declarations of the bride and groom's commitment to each other, followed by their pledge to create a Jewish home. Today many couples see the ketubah as one of the most meaningful expressions of their marriage covenant.

Artists from all over the world have been decorating ketubot since at least the tenth century. I first began painting fine art ketubot in 1995, when a couple who collected my work asked if they could commission me to paint theirs. While at that point I had no idea how to go about creating a ketubah, I spent the next few months working with the couple, a framer, and a calligrapher to create a beautiful and highly personal work of art.

The system I developed then has stayed pretty much the same. First, I meet with you to explore what types of images you'd like painted on your original ketubah (such as special places, favorite foods, religious symbols, etc.). Then, I cut out of wood an ornate shape inspired by the ketubot created in eighteenth-century Italy. I schedule a sitting to paint your portraits and provide you with examples of vows so that you can begin the process of writing your own, if you choose. Then each couple is introduced to my calligrapher, who currently is the amazing Stephanie Caplan. She will help you decide on a traditional Hebrew text (there are many versions) and work with the couple to write their own meaningful vows that will be included in the ketubah. I highly recommend incorporating both Hebrew and English texts into the ketubah. Meanwhile, I prepare and paint the wood that will eventually surround the framed parchment. (I have developed an easy way to remove the parchment from the frame so that the bride, groom, witnesses, and rabbi can sign the ketubah before the ceremony.) I am certain that these ketubot will become cherished family heirlooms. For my part, I consider it a mitzvah to be able to help couples mark and celebrate the spiritual covenant of marriage with an original piece of art.

Ketubah for Paul Fisher and Melanie Colton

"Ketubah for Paul Fisher and Melanie Colton"
Oil on wood, 2010.

ketubah of Jessica Landis and Colin Thibadeau

"Ketubah for Jessica Landis and Colin Thibadeau"
Oil on wood, 2009.Click for close-up.


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