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Conservative Rabbi: Let Clergy Officiate Intermarriages

As Conservative religious leaders continue to debate whether the movement should bless intermarriages, one rabbi is adding his voice to a growing group that wants to officiate such ceremonies.

Rabbi Steven Abraham of Beth El Synagogue in Omaha penned an op-ed in The Times of Israel this week calling on the movement to change its current policy, which prohibits rabbis from performing or attending intermarriages.

“[W]e have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that couples in an interfaith relationship are not going to convert simply because their clergy tell them they will not perform their marriage,” Abraham wrote.

“[We] can never know how many Conservative Jews left the fold because of our unwillingness to listen and understand, never mind performing the ceremony,” he added.

The rise of intermarriage has emerged as a pressing issue for the movement, challenging existing norms and rabbinical practices. Some 27% of Conservative Jews are married to someone who is not Jewish, with the intermarriage trend rising among younger people, according to a 2013 Pew survey.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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Conservative Rabbi: Let Clergy Officiate Intermarriages

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