‘Community thrilled’ for first same-sex couple to marry in London synagogue

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‘Community thrilled’ for first same-sex couple to marry in London synagogue

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

Gay Wedding paul (left) eli (right)
Paul on the left, and Eli on the right

Two men who tied the knot at Finchley Reform Synagogue on Sunday have spoken about how they became the first couple to celebrate their same-sex marriage in a London shul, writes Stephen Oryszczuk.

Paul Ginsberg, 35, from England, and Eli Kaufman, 32, originally from Israel, were married by Rabbi Miriam Berger among friends, and paid tribute to the ‘many people who had fought for our rights to do so’.Gay Wedding eli (left) paul (right)

The couple said the wedding was the first time their two families had met each other, with Paul¹s parents hosting Eli’s for English high tea. “Except it was with fishballs, so it was Jewish high tea,” he said.

Asked about the big day, Ginsberg said: “The schedule went out of the window the moment we walked through the door, but it all went well.”

He added: “We decided to get married last January, and being two blokes it was quite quickly organised. There were no wedding magazines or anything. We’d have gone out of our minds otherwise.”

Gay Wedding eli (left) paul (right) and parents
Eli on the left, and Paul on the right, with their parents

Same-sex marriages in synagogues could become increasingly common, after Masorti earlier this month voted to join Liberal and Reform Judaism in allowing same-sex ceremonies in their synagogues.

“Their wedding is no different to any other involved couple getting married in their own shul,” said Finchley Reform’s Rabbi MIriam Berger.

“The whole community is thrilled for them and many are coming to join in their celebrations.”

Asked how it feels to have been the same-sex marriage in a London synagogue, Ginsberg said: “We’re slightly surprised it’s taken so long, but you don’t do these things to break records, you do them because it feels right.”

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