Ketubah Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Ketubah?
A Ketubah is a Jewish wedding contract. It is signed by the groom as well as two witnesses and given to the bride during the wedding ceremony. The origins of Ketubot (the plural of ketubah) were to lay out the basic duties support a husband will give to his wife during the marriage to protect the woman’s rights. In addition to being a work of art, the Ketubah text is a religious document as well as a binding legal contract – in other words, it is the part of your ceremony that makes the two of you a legally married couple.
Do you have Ketubot that I can see in person?
Yes! We have a beautiful Ketubah Gallery in our Museum. Just tell them at the front desk you are here toshop in the store. One of our store associates would be glad to show you the room, which is located on the first floor near our "Only in America Gallery." While you are here you can check out our store and Museum Cafe. We are on the corner of 5th and Market Streets in Philadelphia.
How do I choose a Ketubah?
The first step in the Ketubah shopping process is to check with your wedding officiant or Rabbi and confirm whether or not you need a specific Ketubah text. Some wedding officiants require very particular texts, therefore, we strongly recommend reviewing any text with your wedding officiant to ensure it is appropriate for use at your ceremony.
The three most commonly chosen text choices are: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform/Egalitarian. These options are included on all of our Ketubah selections. You may want to start by choosing a few designs you like first and narrow down your text choices that way. Or, you may want to start with the text you need and see what designs are available to you. Many of our artists offer variations on the aforementioned texts in addition to Commitment Vows and Anniversary options.
How do I know what text I need?
We recommend that you consult your Rabbi or Wedding Officiant. Some designs may have more or less options. Here are the essential options that you have to consider:
-Orthodox (this is traditional Aramaic)
-Conservative (all Conservative texts contain the Lieberman Clause)
-Reform or Egalitarian (in some cases this may serve as an interfaith option)
-Commitment Vows, Same Gender
What if I like the text from one Ketubah, but the design from another?
Text options for every Ketubah are limited by what the artist offers. While the Hebrew portion for the Conservative and Orthodox texts are standardized, the English portion varies with each artists poetic interpretation. In some cases, artists have copyrighted their language for use only on their works. With that in mind, if you want to change the text on your favorite design, it enters into custom text territory and custom fees may apply. This option is not available on rush orders.
What if I don't know a Hebrew spelling? What if someone doesn't have a Hebrew name?
If someone doesn’t have a Hebrew name, we can transliterate the provided English name into Hebrew letters for you. It is also not necessary to provide the name in Hebrew lettering, as the artists/calligraphers are able to transliterate. If you have a common name spelled in an uncommon way, or a unique Hebrew name, we may suggest that you provide the Hebrew spellings. In addition, only the first names of the parents are required for the Hebrew portion.
What if I am a convert to Judaism?
In that case, your parents names would be named Abraham and Sarah. This appears in the Hebrew portion of the text.
Can I order a custom text?
Yes, some couples choose to write their own text. The custom text fee varies with each artist, and not all designs may have this option available. Please contact us at the Museum Store, firstname.lastname@example.org
or 215-923-0262. Please note that in most circumstances, a custom text may take more than 6 weeks to create, so please allow plenty of time before your wedding to order.
How long does it take to get a Ketubah?
It typically takes 4 to 8 weeks to create your Ketubah from the time you hand in your personalization form. More or less time may be needed depending on the design you choose. If you need one faster than 4 weeks, rush orders are available.
My wedding is this weekend. Are there any Ketubahs I can buy right away?
With such a time constraint, your selection will be greatly limited. However, if you contact the museum store by calling (215) 923-0262 or emailing email@example.com
we will see what we can do to help you.
How will my Ketubah be shipped?
Your Ketubah will be carefully rolled, packed and shipped to you in a reinforced tube from the artist or calligrapher. Please be sure to provide us with a shipping address where you will be available during the day as some shippers require that you sign for the package. Packages cannot be delivered to post office boxes.
How can I display my Ketubah at my wedding?
There are several things you can do to display and protect your Ketubah. You can purchase a piece of foam-core and a sheet of acetate a little larger than the size of your artwork from an art supply store. Tape the sheet of acetate to the back of the foam core, tape the back of the Ketubah to the foam-core with masking tape, and fold the acetate over the ketubah with enough slack so that you can easily lift it up and fold it over for signing.Another option that many people choose is taking the Ketubah directly to a frame shop for mounting. The framer can mount your Ketubah safely in preparation for framing after your wedding. You may also frame the Ketubah without glass for signing and display on an easel at your wedding.
What kind of pen can I use to sign my Ketubah?
We suggest using a waterproof, acid-free pen to sign your Ketubah on your wedding day. These kinds of pens are available at art supply or fine stationery stores. A good option is the Pigma Micron Pen by Sakura. If you have chosen your Ketubah to be printed on canvas, (there are a few artists that offer this option) we recommend a fine point Sharpie by Sanford.
What form of payment do you take?
Online we accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express, If you would like touse another form of payment, please call the store at 215-923-0262 between the hours of 10 and 5:30 Tuesday through Sunday and we will be glad to help you with your purchase.
I am a member of the museum, do I get a discount on my Ketubah?
Yes! Members of the National Museum of American Jewish History receive 10% off the price of the ketubah. This discount only applies to the price of the Ketubah and does not apply to shipping or personalization fees. Please enter code nmajh1654
in your shopping cart to apply your discount.
I am having my wedding at the museum, do I get a discount on my Ketubah?
Yes! If you are having your wedding here, you can also receive 10% off the price of the Ketubah. This discount only applies to the price of the Ketubah and does not apply to shipping or personalization fees. In addition, if you are having your wedding here, buy your Ketubah from us, and set up an online gift registry there are additional benefits. Please let us know in advance if your wedding is here and/or if you are interested in a gift registry with us so we can make sure you get your discount.
How do I email the Museum Store?
What are your hours?
We are open Tuesday through Sunday. 10 am to 5:30pm
Where is your store located? Where can I park?
We are located at 101 South Independence Mall East, The entrance is at 5th and Market. There is a parking garage located at The Bourse and the Museum will validate parking. The entrance to The Bourse Garage is on 4th street Between Market and Chestnut.