If my husband and I had not felt welcome and accepted by the community, I could have walked away from organized Judaism and never looked back.
While the Conservative Movement is just now grappling publicly with intermarriage, Humanistic rabbis have been living this debate for 40 years.
We can make Judaism more inviting and accessible without altering the seriousness and rigorousness of the conversion process.
Instead of a simple “yes” or “no” to the intermarriage question, maybe it’s time to redefine in-marriage.
It is time for the Conservative Movement and the Rabbinical Assembly to be creative, courageous and encouraging.
A difference will only be made when every individual sees extending a hand to those floating by as part of their core identity and personal mission.
Falling in love with my non-Jewish fiancé and his wonderful children was effortless; planning our wedding, however, proved to be much more difficult.
If we meet, you might ask directly why I won’t officiate your wedding. My hope would be to get to know you well enough to have a deeper conversation.
The Jewish Theological Seminary affirms that the study of Torah, the sacred wisdom of our people, and the performance of mitzvot, Judaism’s sanctified pattern of religious practice, stand at the very core of Jewish identity. Torah and mitzvot have always been the foundation of the Jewish people’s covenant with God, guiding and sustaining us for three millennia in nearly every corner of the globe. They remain so today. Individuals from other backgrounds are warmly invited to join the covenant through conversion. There is also much that Jews can and must do to signal our respect and welcome for non-Jews in our community, whether or not they choose to become Jewish. What we must not do is to abandon the core beliefs and practices which are the very foundation of Jewish life.
After a year of extensive study and contemplation, the prominent Manhattan synagogue B’nai Jeshurun will now allow interfaith marriages.