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 where she will sign it as well. The origins of Ketubot (the plural of ketubah) were to lay out the basic support a husband will give to his wife during the marriage to protect the womans 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.
What does "Personalization" mean?
Personalization means that the artist will fill in your Ketubah with information provided on your Ketubah form. This is done at a cost of $75 unless otherwise indicated. An “unpersonalized” Ketubah means you will receive a Ketubah with blank spots where your information would be found.
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 to shop 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. Please read our helpful Explanation of Ketubah Texts. 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 (gender neutral and same sex)
What is the Lieberman Clause? Can I have a text containing the Lieberman Clause?
The Conservative Text uses the same text as the Orthodox, but adds at the end a paragraph known as the "Lieberman Clause". This additional clause was introduced by the Conservative movement in the 1950's as an added protection for women entering marriage. The Lieberman Clause states the following: "And both together agreed that if this marriage shall ever be dissolved under civil law, then either husband or wife may invoke the authority of the Bet Din of the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America or its duly authorized representatives, to decide what action by either spouse is then appropriate under Jewish matrimonial law - and if either spouse shall fail to honor the demand of the other or to carry out the decision of the Bet Din or its representative, then the other spouse may invoke any and all remedies available in civil law and equity to enforce compliance with the Bet Din's decision and this solemn obligation." All Conservative texts on our site contain the Lieberman Clause. We recommend that you consult your officiating Rabbi on your chosen text.
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 regulated, the English portion varies with each artist. 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. Custom text options are not available on rush orders, however.
What if I don't know a Hebrew spelling? What if someone doesn't have a Hebrew name?
If someone doesnt 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.
Can I write my own text?
Yes, some couples choose to write their own text. Please be advised that there is an additional fee for this. The custom text fee varies with each artist, and not all designs may have this option available. Please contact us at the Museum Store, email@example.com or 215-923-0262 to discuss further. 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.
Can I have more than two signature lines? Can I have multiple officiant signature lines?
Every Ketubah has two witness lines. Most have a line for the bride, groom, and one officiant. We are usually able to accomodate requests for multiple signature lines, provided there is space available on the Ketubah. Please make sure to request any additional lines needed when you send your form back to us. In some cases, artists may charge a fee for a custom layout. If you have chosen an Egalitarian text, or a text that does not include an officiant signature line, please be sure to tell us if you would like one included. In most cases, extra signature lines can be added beneath the existing lines.
How long does it take to get a Ketubah?
It typically takes between 4 and 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.
Will I be able to see a proof before it ships? What if I find an error on the Ketubah after I receive it?
Yes, we are happy to provide one upon your request. When you send your form to us, please let us know if you require a proof. Please take into consideration that since information provided on your form is assumed to be correct and approved by your officiating Rabbi, a proof is not always necessary and may delay delivery of your Ketubah, especially for rush orders. We will contact you if we have questions about any of your information. Our Ketubah specialist will then forward you a proof for your approval. If you discover an error after the ketubah is approved and printed, a re-print of your corrected ketubah will incur an additional fee (plus shipping).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org we will be glad 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. If you would like to pick up your Ketubah at our Museum, please let us know in advance so we can have the Ketubah shipped to us instead.
How can I display my Ketubah at my wedding?
There are several things you can do to display and protect your Ketubah. Many people choose to take the Ketubah directly to a frame shop for mounting before the wedding. The framer can mount and/or mat 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. Remember to hang your Ketubah in a dry place out of direct sunlight.
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, we recommend a fine point Sharpie. If your Ketubah has a dark background, We recommend that you use a uni-ball GEL pen. These pens are available in a wide variety of colors, and the metallic and white colors work wonderfully. Make to have an extra piece of paper with you for the signing ceremony, so that each person can practice their signature before signing on the real thing!
What form of payment do you take?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. If you would like to use 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.
Additionally, whether you place your order online, over the phone, or in person all orders directly support the Museum. Our Ketubah specialist (a real person!) will contact you to confirm your order.
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. Your membership will need to be verified before placing a Ketubah order so please call the store at 215-923-0262 to apply your member discount to your Ketubah order. We may request that the membership holder pay for the Ketubah. Please consider a NMAJH Membership! Sign up here.
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. Learn more about having your wedding at NMAJH.
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.
I have a question not on this list. How do I email the Museum Store?
Email us at: email@example.com