Many couples seek an alternative to the traditional ketuba. This is especially true when one of the primaries is not Jewish, or when the couple is LGBTQ+. The traditional ketubah does not accommodate the realities of these couples’ lives. After all, the Talmud’s basic version goes back to the 7th century of the Common Era. The only frame of reference for Jewish weddings for the Sages was a Jewish man marrying a Jewish woman. In our era the acceptance of marriage having evolved beyond those limits means that the ketuba has evolved as well. Increasingly, Jewish couples are opting for alternatives to the strictly traditional ketuba to make it relevant to their lives.  

There is a world-wide marketplace for ketuba documents, and many of those providers cater to interfaith and LGBTQ+ couples. They offer an array of preset choices of texts designed to meet your specific values, and a selection of artistic backgrounds and designs to please your aesthetic.

One of the surprising facts about the ketuba is that it can contain anything the couple mutually agrees upon. A couple can commission a ketuba and personalize every aspect including the text, the language at every level, including the specific text for the Hebrew/Aramaic and/or English, any artwork, and the design. DIY couples can turn to a competent Hebrew translation program for a trial run of their preferred, personalized text. It is strongly recommended that your AI-generated Hebrew translation be checked against your intended English text by a native-level Hebrew speaker!

Did you know the ketuba document can be in any language?  In fact, a traditional document makes it a point to vary any English text so that it is not a direct translation of the Hebrew or Aramaic original. On a visit the Dubrovnik Jewish Museum in Croatia, I saw an undecorated ketuba from the late 18th or early 19th century on display. It is written entirely in a beautifully elegant longhand Italian script. There is not one Hebrew letter on the page!

Jewtique is deeply grateful for the personalized document support provided by Joanne Fink at Joanne Fink Judaica. We encourage couples to consider her incredible work.