Temple Shalom has been throwing Teddy Bear weddings for years, but the wedding ceremony on February 24, 2019 took things to a new spiritual level! The second graders, under the leadership of teacher, Tamara Farris, have been learning about Jewish weddings and have been passionately planning the dream wedding for Bear Baruch and Bear Nireet(Hebrew for flower). Each student had a role to play: bride, groom, rabbi, bridesmaid, glass holder and of course, chuppah holders. The kids and their bears dressed in their finest clothes, decorated the reception hall and wrote and decorated their own ketubah including important rules of marriage such as: “Be nice to each other, always have a pet, never fight”.
The whole bear wedding party and Rabbi Boxman were joined in the Sanctuary by religious school students, friends and family. The bridesmaid and bride walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Bride” played by the Temple Shalom Kazoo Band, The Relative Minors. The wedding party chose seven original blessings for the wedding bears, and after a symbolic exchange of rings, apple juice, vows and the breaking of the glass, the bears were officially married.
Now it was time to party. The bride and groom entered into a room filled with bubbles. After the traditional chair dance, hora, and bottle dance, the Kazoo Band performed their favorite melodies including, of course, the top of the song chart, “Baby Shark” (with original verses of Rabbi Shark, Bride Shark and Groom Shark). The highlight of the reception was when students and parents got to decorate their own cupcakes! Tamara Farris is already thinking about next year’s Teddy Bear wedding, and the Temple Shalom Kazoo Band is now booking for Summer 2019.