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March 15, 1996 - Image 112

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-03-15

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Weddings, The Sephardic Way

Whether jour4
aWedding, a Bar/Bat
Mitzvah, or a special
party of any kind, you
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from a different angle. We
capture all of the action

Same message, different ceremony.



without being intro -
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erience the difference
others have been a part of for the

Past 44 ran.

G o R bAc k

STUdi0 Of p[10TOCIRAphy

j •


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Our spacious facility has the flexibility to accommodate
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or Janice Erdstein, it
was like stepping into
the pages of National
Geographic. The Hunt-
ington Woods resident
describes her son's
wedding as a colorful
blur. During festivities
before the actual ceremony, 26-
year-old Brian wore a turban and
shimmering robe. His bride,
Karene, 20, donned three differ-
ent outfits with jewels and elab-
orate headdresses.
Ms. Erdstein admits to high-
voltage culture shock.
"He looks like he's from
Shushan long ago," she says, point-
ing at snapshots of her son and
daughter-in-law. "She looks like
she dressed at the Israel Museum
and walked out of the display."
Brian and Karene married July
4, 1995, on a hilltop outside of
Jerusalem. Brian is Ashkenazic,
which means his Jewish ancestors
can be traced back to Eastern Eu-
rope and Russia. Karene's family
is part-Sephardic.
Sephardic Jews come from
places like North Africa, Turkey,
Spain, Portugal, Iraq, Yemen and
Karene, along with
many youth in Israel to-
day, have made a point of
promoting their heritage.
Proud of her family tree,
the bride-to-be planned
her wedding according to
Sephardic tradition.
What ensued was a far
cry from the showers,
bachelorette parties and big-band
receptions so common in the so-
cial halls of metro Detroit.
First, there was the henna, a

ceremony traditionally held the
night before a young woman
leaves her home and enters the
household of her spouse.
True to ways of old, Karene's fe-
male relatives pulverized leaves
and roots of the henna plant,
which they mixed with water to
create a red-orange paste.
As in India, some communities

Ms. Erdstein and her mother,
Lillian Maltzer, sang and danced
alongside Karene's relatives,
many of whom balanced baskets
of fruits and herbs on their heads.
High-pitched wails — ululation
— rose from the crowd. The be-
lief is that such noise wards off
aiyn hara, the evil eye.
Men celebrated in another part

of the house,
owned by
Karene's family
Brian Erdstein
during a pre-
Dressed in pin-
striped outfits
and hats, they
jumped about
energetically to
Middle Eastern
For Ms. Erd-
Karene wearing traditional
stein, her hus-
Sephardic garb.
band George, as
well as two
of Sephar- daughters, Elana, 17, and Rachel,
dic Jews 23, the scene was all the more fas-
still apply cinating because Brian and Karene
henna to the skin of the bride. The are observant Jews who moved
color, which stains the skin for sev- separately from the United States
eral days, is alleged to protect her to Israel: Brian from Michigan,
Karene from California.
from illness and evil.

The couple takes
their vows.

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