Twenty Reconstructionist rabbis at the center of a debate over whether spiritual leaders should be allowed to marry outside the Jewish faith have formed a new association to “affirm a serious commitment to traditional Jewish thought and practice.”
“It’s not that I wouldn’t be welcoming if he married a Jewish girl, it’s just that the Catholic girl he’s seeing really gets him, you know? And that’s certainly more important to me than thousands of years of cultural continuity.”
A Florida synagogue has voted to leave the Reconstructionism over the movement’s decision to allow rabbis to marry outside the Jewish faith.
Reconstructionists made history by accepting rabbis with non-Jewish partners. But not everyone is happy about the policy change — and members of one Florida synagogue want to quit the movement if it isn’t rolled back.
Despite decades of worry that American ‘children of intermarriage’ would be lost to the community, a large-scale study found that the story is more complicated, and more hopeful.
In the long communal discussion over how to relate to Jews who marry non-Jews, those in the “be welcoming” camp won a major battle this year, thanks in large part to Rabbi Deborah Waxman.
A survey of 249 Conservative rabbis finds that almost half have defied the movement’s ban on attending interfaith weddings and that 40 percent would officiate at such weddings if the movement permitted them to do so.
Some argue that intermarried rabbis are unacceptable because they’re not modeling ideal Jewish behavior. But Ben Bernstein says that many rabbinical students today aren’t out to be role models at all.
Rather than hurting Judaism, seeing rabbis who intermarry create Jewish homes and raise Jewish children should convincingly illustrate how intermarriage does not inhibit Jewish involvement.
Reconstructionists have decided to permit intermarried rabbis. Jane Eisner says this dramatic change risks diminishing our religious leadership at a time when we need it the most.