The Wedding of Emily Sonenshine
And Mark Greenberg
Emily Ann Sonenshine and Mark Eliezer Greenberg were married in the soaring, skylight-bright rotunda of the Carneige Institute of Science on 16th Street in Washington, D.C. on December 11, 2016.
Emily is the daughter of Nancy and Gerald Sonenshine of Columbia, S.C. and Mark is the son of Toby Block and Jerry Greenberg of Atlanta, Ga.
The traditional ceremony in the building dedicated in 1908 was conducted by Rabbi Elyse Winick, the Jewish chaplain at Brandeis University.
Emily wore a re-styled version of the dress her mother, Nancy, wore on her marriage to Gerald in 1973 in Savannah, Ga. She also wore the pearls of her Great, Great Aunt Sadie Utitz, just as her mother did. Mark wore a kittel (a while robe) over his suit to symbolize his spiritual purity. Traditionally, a kittel is worn on the high holidays, on a man's wedding, and on his deathbed.
To the traditional chuppah, Emily and Mark added keepsakes from their families' history. On top of the chuppah, was the tallis (prayer shawl) of Emily's paternal grandfather, Irving Sonenshine. On a table in the chuppah was the World War II dog tag of Mark's maternal grandfather, Abraham Block, and the siddur (prayer book) of his paternal grandmother, Ida Greenberg. One of the kiddish cups used in the ceremony belonged to Martin Leffler. Emily's maternal grandfather. The cup has been in the Leffler family for six generations, having arrived in America in 1850 with Martin's grandfather.
For the circling part of the ceremony, the couple chose a
version in which Emily went around Mark three times, he went around her three
times, and then they made the final circle together. To them, the seven rotations
represented the seven days of creation. In some ceremonies, the bride circles
A different touch to the proceedidngs was the signing of the Ketubah, the marriage contract, during the ceremony rather than before. The words of the agreement were inscribed on a drawing of the Tree of Life.
The ceremony concluded traditioinallhy with Mark stepping on and crushing a glass cup. It was revealed at a Shabbat dinner the Friday before the wedding that Mark had tested six different cups to make sure the crushing would take place without incident. It did.
Leading the procession as Mark and Emily left the chuppah, were Jodie Reznik and Ke Wendler holding a flag emblazoned with a family seal envisioned by Mark while a student at Rochester Institute of Technology and designed by Erica Swenson, a friend of Mark's. The seal represents Mark's family's connection to Israel (a lion), to Eastern Europe (a bear) and to America (an eagle). The shield and Torah represent the family's connection to Judaism, the red background represents valor, the blue iloyalty to people and the white signifies standing peace.
The wedding party: Matrons of honor to Emily were Joanne Sonenshine,
her sister-in-law; and long time friend, Jennifer Banayan. Mark's best men
were Matthew Bernstein and Eric Diters. Grandmothers in attendance were Mildred
Sonenshine and Matiel Leffler. Jacob and Daniel Sonenshine, Emily's nephews,
were ring bearers. Nathaniel Berman, Lisa Kaneff, Noah Phillips, and Sara
Polikov were witnesses to the Ketubah signing.
A dinner and dancing followed the ceremony. Guests were also treated to a Shabbat dinner Friday night at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Washington.
Mark and Emily spent their honeymoon in Australia and New Zealand.
On the right, the tag for the wedding dress: 1973 AND 2016
Emily and Mark hold the frame containing the Ketubah. the marriage contract as Rabbi Elyse Winick offers an explantation of the significance of the Tree of Life
On their way to the first dance after the ceremony
Emily with mom, Nancy, and dad, Gerald
Many thanks to those who contributed photos
for this edition:
Emily, Jen Banayan, Sara Polikov, Joanne Sonenshine, Rachel Halitsky, Sharon Sonenshine and Nonie Devens.