Are you looking for someone to guide you joyfully through an important moment? My work as a ritualist is grounded in a fundamental belief that ritual is a strategy for liberation, and I bring this foundation to weddings, commitment ceremonies, separations, baby-celebrations, recoveries, and more.
What I do
I bring extensive resources from literary, Jewish, Buddhist and cross-traditional sources to root ritual practices in long-standing traditions. I love situating unique individual experience within larger collective context.
I provide structure for each client to design and customize ritual, and am happy to provide more or less guidance as requested. My background in nonprofit program management helps me to bring a clear logistical vision, attention to detail, and a care for seeing things through.
Where desired, I also integrate creative arts into ritual and provide consultation on marriage contracts, invitation design, event curation, and more. My background in the arts and homesteading allows me to bring a somatic, creative and interdisciplinary lens to all celebrations.
I work with a variety of people of different spiritual/secular experiences, gender identities, ethnicities, and backgrounds. I specialize in ceremonies that make you feel comfortable: ceremonies that pull together what is meaningful to you, what makes you feel special, what makes you feel connected, what makes you feel present. I’m legally ordained as a marriage officiant in the state of New York and the state of California, and can also carry out ceremonies in other states as well.
Why I love ritual
In an economic and social context in which our worth is primarily measured by our labor- or economic power, the sacred is an opportunity to recognize value entirely outside of financial measurement.
I love ritual because giving people the opportunity to bask in how special they are, how special their relationships are, and how special the transitions and choices we make are when we make them with intention and care. For me ritual is an integration of the material, the logistical, the ancestral and the creative.
A lifelong eavesdropper, interviewer and observer of small moments, I feel at ease asking clients guiding questions to get at the heart of special moments and transitions. My own spiritual practice includes daily meditation, weekly Shabbat observance, movement and gratitude practices, and keeps me grounded during challenging and speedy moments. My ritual clients often remark on my calm and poise during the flurry of important moments.
Things people say
Leora made our wedding ceremony absolutely special and unique. She brings not only an empathetic artistic creativity in setting the vision, but also an organized approach in the execution (such a hard-to-find combo!). So many guests told us that the ceremony she led was the highlight of not only our wedding, but of any wedding our guests have ever been to. It made our day extremely special and also completely painless. Rituals are hard to get right, but when done well by the right person, rituals lift everyone out of the mundane into a realm that is truly spiritual and unforgettable. If you are lucky enough to have found Leora and are considering creating a tailored, meaningful rite of passage, I cannot recommend her highly enough!
–JL and CC
Working with Leora was wonderful. She was thoughtful, calm, kind, and genuinely invested in helping us create a ceremony that best represented who we are and what we valued. She knew all the right questions to ask, and never with judgment, but always with curiosity. We were (and still are) so grateful to Leora for guiding us through the planning process and being such a calm, grounding and joyful presence in her role as our officiant!
–AB and NP
Leora led a tisch -- a Jewish ritual that proceeds the ceremony-- at our wedding. It was by far one of the top three moments of the entire wedding weekend. Her ability to be flexible about what we wanted, offer guidance, work with other friends involved in the ceremony, and then lead a group of 200 people in song/blessing/prayer was truly remarkable! I would recommend her to anyone!
Leora was such a breath of fresh air to work with…She brings such passion and joy to her work of ritual creation, which are such surprising and beautiful complements to her mindful and relaxed demeanor. Leora was very flexible with working around my needs & timing, incredibly responsive, and generous with her offerings. She guided us through opening and closing rituals, morning movement & meditation sessions, and Jewish rituals for the Sabbath– all in a well-planned, well-timed, and grounding/calming manner. I highly recommend working with her!
Details and pricing
I offer customized ceremonies and rituals, and my rates reflect our co-creation time.
I charge a sliding scale to keep my work accessible and affordable, and because I dream of a day without scarcity and greed. As community healer-teacher-minister Dori Midnight puts it: “if you can afford to buy plane tickets, own a house, or are gainfully employed, you fall on the high end – and if you have to choose between groceries or rent and accessing healing work, pay on the lower end.”
All that said, I charge a sliding scale of $250-2,000 for weddings and commitment ceremonies within 20 miles of Berkeley, CA. It's a big range because it depends greatly on the size and timing of your ceremony, in addition to work you'd like us to do together ahead of time. These rates don’t include work on a ketubah, creation and leading of mikvah, blessing circles, engagement ceremony leading up to the wedding or commitment ceremony, or more than one session of pre-marital / pre-commitment counseling. I love facilitating all of these pieces and am more than happy to discuss pricing with you. I charge $200-650 for last minute elopements and shorter ceremonies.
Want to try out a free initial consult? Want to talk about low income rates, travel or details about your ritual? Get in touch.