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The Story of an Urban Chabad Wedding in Pictures

The Story of an Urban Chabad Wedding in Pictures

How does an urban couple in America’s “Second City” marry Jewish tradition with modern life?

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(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

When Stacy and Joseph were planning their wedding, the usual questions of flowers and music were raised and discussed. One detail, however, was unquestionable: The location for their special ceremony would be their local Chabad center, Chabad of Wicker Park and Bucktown, directed by Rabbi Yosef and Sara Moscowitz. Site of the “Living Room”—the cultural and religious nerve center of the young and growing Jewish community north of downtown Chicago—Chabad felt like a second home for the young couple.

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

But with a rambling building that is still unfinished and little outdoor space, the community joined in creating a truly urban—and unordinary—wedding experience, combining the best of chassidic and “hipster” traditions.

1. Urban cooking . . . and beards.

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

The catering was done outside in the alley under the “L” train tracks, where bearded young men grilled some mean steaks for the reception (taking care not to dirty their wedding duds, of course).

2. Eat Local

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

Even the giant challah was baked by the rebbetzin, who used a full 5-pound bag of flour for a single braided loaf.

3. Embrace the urban sprawl

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

Outdoor chuppah? No problem. We’ve got some room at the bus stop.

4.Don’t forget to look up!

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

No need for crushed velvet or floral arrangements; all that’s required is a tallis, four dowels, and four friends with strong arms (plus a few orange cones to divert traffic). Voilà: instant chuppah under the sky.

5. Respect the neighborhood

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

The groom broke the glass, but made sure to do so before the bus pulled up.

6. Indie Music

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

The whole shtetl came out to celebrate. Even the fiddler (Chicago music legend Ruby Harris) climbed down from his roof for the occasion.

7. Take plenty of selfies

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

8. Craft it

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

Get crafty, and decorate with twine and other DIY touches.

9. Flowers in his hair

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

Hardly an ironic sendback; everyone expressed true joy and love for the bride and groom.

10. Feel the love

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

. . . and what better way to celebrate the union of two souls than to catch up on a mitzvah such as tefillin and a chance to connect to the Creator?

11. Like a boss

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

The Talmud teaches that a groom is compared to a king, but this takes it to a whole new level!

12. Truly Inclusive

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

Guests were welcome to take part in rejoicing, and even a traditional dance, be they child . . .

. . . Toddler

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart

. . . or Infant

(c) Coby Engelhart
(c) Coby Engelhart
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Yael Brooklyn May 31, 2015

Mazal Tov !! The truth that is evident in your wedding is priceless!
May you merit to have many holy,health and happy kindarlach'! Reply

Chani UK May 6, 2015

My husband and me were married under his tallis. It was very special. Mazel tov to them! Reply

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