The Irish Rabbi for your Wedding
(or Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Baby Naming/Blessing, Home Blessing ... )


Welcome to Irishrabbi.com, the website of Rabbi Mark R. Newton. Why this particular website name? Until recently, I thought that surely I must be the only rabbi in the world with an Irish passport. Since then, I've discovered there are actually a few more out there. (But I can declare affirmatively that we've never all been in the same room together.) Although I'm born and bred in the USA, my links to Ireland are strong, and I've actually performed a few weddings there.

(*sigh...!*) Yes, I know that this website is VERY Last Century (actually when I created it), but I assure you that I am in the midst of updating it to the 21st Century. Stay tuned.

Yes, I also realize that there is a bit of a discrepancy between my "brand" ( I rather dislike that term) and my URL/Domain Name. There's a bit of a story in that. When I reserved the URL/Domain name www.irishrabbi.com, I didn't realize that I might want to add the "the". But that seems to be too late. Seems someone else owns www.THEIrishrabbi.com, and it only forwards to another site. That URL is on automatic renewal. That particular colleague is not Irish, but does have his seat across from Emerald Park in New York. Ah well, I wish him all the best.

Since 1991 I have been performing weddings, baby namings, Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations, Hebrew tutorial, and other Jewish life cycle events, as well as Shabbat and High Holiday services. Let me tell you a little bit about myself and what I do, in order to help you decide how I can be of service to you. (And don't forget to ask me about a possible Ger/Gyoret Toshav ceremony for your non-Jewish spouse! This is NOT a requirement for a non-Jewish spouse, but simply a warm and welcoming invitation.)

My rabbinical ordination is from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College where I was graduated in 1991, with a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters. Prior to my seminary studies there, I was graduated with a B.S. in Languages from Georgetown University, at the former School of Languages and Linguistics. In preparation for university study, I attended the Carl-Friedrich von Siemens Oberschule-Gymnasium , in the former West Berlin, Germany. (A European Gymnasium is similar to a French Lycée, or pre-university school of higher learning.) After enjoying some 22 years serving as a pulpit rabbi in synagogues in the Boston area, I have taken retirement from that field, now devoting my energies to outreach to the "spiritually unaffiliated." I am also a professional genealogist and translator.



For many years now I have enjoyed providing rabbinical services and support for couples in the process of celebrating their union. I work with couples where both partners are Jewish, as well as interfaith couples and those with no particular religious tradition or spiritual affiliation. For such couples I have created non-denominational ceremonies which may incorporate rituals from many traditions.

In essence I serve as your spiritual guide as you begin to create your own special and unique family unit. I assist you through the process of creating a warm, beautiful and meaningful ceremony that reflects both Jewish and universal values and often includes rituals and customs from other spiritual, linguistic and ethnic communities.

I regularly co-officiate with clergy from other religious denominations.

As I am also a cantorial soloist, you may be assured of a pleasant musical experience as well. (And yes, I'm an Irish tenor.)

As of June 26, 2015, same-sex marriages are now legally recognized in all 50 U.S. states and in Washington, D.C. Alas, certain state legislatures and courts are trying to restrict legal benefits on a state and local level. These anti-gay measures are being challenged in higher courts, but the legal situation in such locations it is often still unclear as to state and local legal benefits for LGBT married couples. Fortunately, in most of the jurisdictions where I work (New England, New York, Canada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and all of Europe), the civil authorities and wedding vendors will do back-flips to make sure that your special day is a happy one.

As of June 2005, fully legal same-sex marriage has been available in all provinces and territories of Canada.


UPDATE FOR RESIDENTS OF QUÉBEC
MISE À JOUR POUR LES RÉSIDENTS DU QUÉBEC

If you are thinking of having your marriage performed civilly in the Province of Québec, you are encouraged to follow the links below. The official Québec government website for further information.

Veuillez visite le site officiel du Gouvernement du Québec pour plus de renseignements.


Je parle français et je peux bien diriger une cérémonie bilingue pour vous!



I am based in Boston, so my usual geographic area includes metropolitan Boston, all of New England (New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island), most of New York state, and certain northeastern seaboard cities, such as New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, etc. I am flexible in considering other locations, including Canada, Europe, and other parts of the United States.


Here are some photos of weddings I have officiated over the past 25+ years

Co. Claire, Ireland

Weddings throughout the United States

Civil Union in Vermont, 2000
Fourteen years before same-sex marriage
was legalized across the United States

Another question I am often asked is whether I will conduct a ceremony outside of a synagogue. The reality is that, with very few exceptions, the vast majority of weddings I have officiated were held in a "religiously neutral" location. In no particular order, here is a short list of some of my favorite venues:

MIT Chapel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA          


Alden Castle (Longwood Venues), Brookline, MA


The Red Barn, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA


The Saphire Estate (Manor), Sharon, MA


Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ipswich, MA


Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Wellesley, MA


Kirkbrae Country Club, Lincoln, RI


Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina, Newport, RI


Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, RI


Château Beauvallon, Mont-Tremblant, Québec, Canada


Ocean Cliff, Newport, RI


Castle Hill Inn, Newport, RI


The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa, Essex Junction, VT


The Hampshire House (Site of the Sitcom “Cheers”)


Auberge des Gallant, Ste-Marthe, QC, Canada


Le Windsor, Montréal, QC, Canada


Sofitel, Montréal, QC, Canada


Sunnyside Pavilion, Toronto, ON, Canada


The Old Mill Inn & Spa, Toronto, ON, Canada


Castle Durrow, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, Ireland


The Moshulu, Philadelphia, PA


Saint Senán Church, Kilrush, Co. Clare, Ireland


Le Château Frontenac, Québec City, QC, Canada


Alas, the video link to the "Irish Jewish Pirate Wedding" I conducted aboard the Moshulu is no longer to be found online, but my friend and colleague Mark Kingsdorf refers to this on his website. Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants, Philadelphia, PA

Are you looking for a ketubah (Jewish marriage document)? Here are some of my favorite companies.


Ketubah.com


Ketubah Studio, by MP Artworks


Caspi Cards and Art


Judaica Connection



You can find me on my Facebook profile at The Irish Rabbi. It is always best to reach my at my email address below. You may read my reviews posted to both Wedding Wire and The Knot. Although I am no longer a member of either of them, apparently my reviews are still there. Please note that my mailing address as referred to on these sites is no longer current. The phone number is correct, but I prefer initial contact via email.

For more information, please e-mail me at rabbimarknewton@irishrabbi.com and I will be pleased to send you an FAQ which will answer most of your questions about my background, experience, philosophy and availability. (So as not to delete your e-mail by mistake, please put the word WEDDING in the subject field.)

Stay tuned as I give this site a complete facelift and be sure and refresh your internet browser history so as to find the latest updates. Please come back and visit!

Shalom! Síocháin!