London Reform Shul Hosts First Same-sex Jewish Wedding Ceremony

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The Finchley Reform Synagogue in London.Credit: Google Maps

The Finchley Reform Synagogue in London hosted the first marriage of a same-sex couple in a London shul on Sunday, Britain's Jewish News reported on Tuesday.

“The whole community is thrilled for them and many are coming to join in their celebrations,” said Rabbi Miriam Berger, who married Paul Ginsberg, 35, and Eli Kaufman, 32.

The wedding was the first time the grooms' respective families had met each other, according to the couple. Ginsberg, who was born in England, said his parents hosted Eli's parents, originally from Israel, for English high tea, Jewish News reported. “Except it was with fishballs, so it was Jewish high tea,” he said.

“We decided to get married last January, and being two blokes it was quite quickly organized," said Ginsberg of the couple's wedding plans. "There were no wedding magazines or anything. We’d have gone out of our minds otherwise.”

Ginsberg said he was "slightly surprised" that it took so long for a London synagogue to hold a same-sex wedding ceremony. However, he added, "you don’t do these things to break records; you do them because it feels right.”

The British Masorti movement last month followed the footsteps of Liberal and Reform Judaism by allowing its rabbis to conduct same-sex ceremonies in its synagogues.