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We were trying to please two families and not spend much money. We had to have two rabbis because his family wouldn’t accept a Reform rabbi. I just remember all the tension… [Although] I must say his parents were so happy he was going to marry a Jewish girl.

Esta Cook, who married Herman Maril – 17 years her senior – in June 1948. Interviewed by Marcie Cohen-Ferris, “Weaving Women’s Words: Baltimore” Oral History Project of the Jewish Women’s Archives, 2002. JMM OH644


Private Alice Ruben, a dental technician with the Women’s Army Corps, met Staff Sergeant Sidney A. Hoffman of Baltimore while both were stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia during World War II. They were married, in uniform, on November 7, 1945, at Chevro Saris Israel (now Shearith Israel) in Columbus, Georgia. They lived in Baltimore for many years after the war.


Gift of Paul H. and Alice R. Hoffman Davis. JMM 1996.102.9


The course of true love’s wedding ceremony never did run smooth.  Some problems – the dress wasn’t ready! The rabbi was an hour late! – seem major at the time, but in the grand scheme of things are easily overcome.


Other couples, however, face more significant difficulties: parental objections, social stigma, lack of funds, lack of freedom. And yet, people still get married, even under the most painful or dangerous circumstances. Whether the obstacle is tangible or no, almost every couple faces some difficulty on the path to the chuppah. 


Newspaper clippings from the Baltimore Jewish Times (left) and the Baltimore Sun (right) reporting on the wedding of Louise Lesser and Solomon Salabes, who were married by Rabbi Adolph Guttmacher (Baltimore Hebrew Congregation) and Rabbi Schepsel Schaffer (Shearith Israel) at Lehmann’s Hall on April 26, 1914. 


The Jewish Times reporter was careful to note that the ceremony “was a combination of the Orthodox and Reformed Jewish ritualistic services.”


Gift of Gilbert Cummins. JMM 1993.111.23

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