Bay Area woman makes free ketubahs for Tubbs Fire survivors

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- A San Rafael woman realized she could use her unique talents to help families who survived the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa. She's helping build a better Bay Area, one couple at a time.

Melanie and Michael Carlston are still unpacking their most valuable possessions, art Melanie's mother Edith Kallman created.

They lost most in the Tubbs Fire.

"We lost 500 of her original pieces and that was and will always be devastating," said Melanie Carlston.

One of those pieces the Carlston's ketubah, a Jewish marriage certificate Kallman had made the couple filled with text and art.

"It was beautiful," said Carlston.

Beauty perhaps no one understands better than San Rafael artist Anna Abramzon.

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"My whole life is about ketubahs," joked Abramzon.

The first one Abramzon ever made was for her own wedding, then friends started asking and soon she had a thriving business.

"It's something beautiful and meaningful for the wedding day that's displayed under the chuppah and displayed throughout the ceremony but then it's also an heirloom in their homes," explained Abramzon. "It freezes that moment in time and reminds them day to day of the promises they made to each other."

Shortly after the Tubbs Fire, Abramzon and her husband were driving to Calistoga when inspiration flourished.

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"I thought, 'Oh this is something only I can do,'" said Abramzon.

She continued on, saying, "This must be incredibly painful to lose all your family heirlooms and this is one I can replace for people."

Creating the ketubahs can take anywhere from hours to days and she does it all for free.

"One of the most meaningful Jewish values to me is Tikkun Olam repairing the world and I just think this is such a meaningful thing that I can do to contribute," said Abramzon.

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Abramzon presented the Carlston's ketubah to them in person.

"It reminds me of the good and the love in the world because I mean that was such a thoughtful kind thing and we've have a lot of that since the fire from various people and my mom would have loved this cause this is in her style," said Carlston.

"The only things which are really lasting are relationships and especially something like that to mark a relationship is I think really important," said Michael Carlston.

"May our home be a sanctuary of peace built by the deepest love, understanding and compassion. May our marriage be blessed by wisdom, kindness and consideration for one another," said Melanie Carlston reading from their new ketubah.

Anna Abramzon makes ketubahs for free for Santa Rosa fire survivors as well as hurricane and fire survivors nationwide who have lost theirs.

Her website is AAketubah.com.
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