The Irish Rabbi for your Wedding

WeddingWire The Irish Rabbi - Mark Newton Reviews, Best Wedding Officiants in Boston - 2015 Couples' Choice Award Winner
Weddings, Wedding Venues The Irish Rabbi - Mark Newton Reviews, Best Wedding Officiants in Boston - 2014 Couples' Choice Award Winner

The Irish Rabbi - Mark Newton Reviews
Welcome to, the website of Rabbi Mark R. Newton. Why the name The Irish Rabbi? (And, alas, when I started this website many years ago, someone already had taken, so I had to go without the the. At any rate, 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 one or two more of us out there. (But I can declare affirmatively that we've never been in the same room at the same time.)

Now as it happens, I was born, raised, and currently live in the United States. So I can't promise you a lilting accent - at least not in English. (But try me in Gaelic!) Nevertheless, I am very proud of my Irish citizenship and heritage. I am also privileged to live in Boston -- a terrific city in which to enjoy both the Jewish and Irish experiences.

Since 1991 I have been performing weddings, baby namings, Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations, house blessings, other Jewish life cycle events, as well as Shabbat and High Holiday service. 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.

My rabbinical ordination is from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College where I graduated in 1991, with a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters. The Reconstructionist movement dates back to the 1930's, when it was still part of the Conservative movement. Since establishing its own seminary in 1968, the movement became fully independent. Reconstructionist rabbis are known for being culturally traditional, yet socially and spiritually liberal.

Prior to my seminary studies at RRC, I graduated with a B.S. in Languages (Yes, a B.S. - not a B.A.!) from Georgetown University, at the former School of Lanaguages and Linguistics. In preparation for university study, I attended the Carl-Friedrich von Siemens Oberschule-Gymnasium , in the former West Berlin. (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 recently taken semi-retirement from that field, now devoting my energies to outreach to the "spiritually unaffiliated." I am also a professional genealogist and translator.

For 25 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 religous tradition or spiritual affiliation. Regardless of your own unique status, I can create a ceremony which incorporates rituals from any number of cultural, spiritual and even linguistic 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 celebration that reflects both Jewish and universal values.

I regularly co-officiated 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 ("Equal Access") MARRIAGES ARE NOW LEGAL THROUGHOUT THE 50 U.S. STATES AND WASHINGTON, D.C. I am proud to to have begun officiating at celebrations formerly called "same-sex commitment ceremonies" as far back 1991, then "civil unions" when they first became legal in Vermont. Now that LGBT weddings are fully recognized throughout the United States (as well as Canada and much of Europe and parts of South America and South Africa), I am happy to to continue these celebrations in a brand new era.

NOTE: For some reason known only the Techiest of Techies, when finding this website via any net search, the site description still shows up with the text that I hasn't existed in my MEGA DATA for over 14 years. The description of this website should now read "Rabbi in Boston performs Jewish, interfaith, non-denominational, co-officiated and LGBT weddings" Yet for some reason, all browsers are picking up some very old text. I'm working on this!


Please see The official Québec government website for further information.

Veuillez visiter le site officiel du Gouvernement du Québec pour plus 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.

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. Here is a short list of some of my favourite venues:

MIT Chapel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 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

Ocean Cliff, 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 Pavillion, Toronto, ON, Canada

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

Castle Durrow, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, Ireland

The Moshulu, Philadelphia, PA

Saint Senán Parish, Kilrush, Co. Claire, Ireland/

Is your wedding venue located anywhere between southern Connecticut and northern Virginia (CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA)? If so, you may wish to contact a rabbi who is more closely located to you geographically. In this case I highly recommend my mentor, colleague and friend, Rabbi Claire Green, at Best Rabbi for Couples in Love. She is is a superlative officiant, highly experienced, and very much in demand.

I am currently building my professional profile on and you can read a few more reviews on me at Wedding Channel ("The Knot"). For more information, please e-mail me at 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.)

Finally, I am in the process of updating this site so that it is more in line with the 21st century cyberworld. 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!