Article Discussion: Conservative Conundrum

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April 23, 2013 at 9:07 am #11904


Click here to read the article: Conservative Conundrum

April 23, 2013 at 11:02 pm #11931


Dear Meri Phillips:

As the Coordinator of the Half-Jewish Network, I can assure you that you have lots of company.

I would mention to other participants on this thread that negative attitudes towards half-Jewish people within Judaism aren’t confined to just the Conservative movement.

If you visit the Half-Jewish Network message board, you’ll see feedback from adult children and grandchildren of intermarriage from all over the world about the poor treatment they receive in different types of Jewish settings.

We work together to support each other through our ethnic and spiritual journeys as we struggle to determine who we are and where we belong.


April 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm #11957


I think (hope?) the Conservative movement has changed a lot since you were growing up! I cringed reading about your experiences – they sound awful, and it’s kind of impressive that you still identify as a Conservative Jew.

I think a lot of it depends on the particular community you find, too, though. Both of my parents are Jewish but I am intermarried and have found a really wonderful Conservative community where I now live. In fact, it’s a lot more orthodox in its practice than I was used to (it’s in Canada, where Conservative tends to be more conservative than in the US) – which actually I really, really like – but my interactions have all been positive. The Rabbi has met my husband (who is not planning on converting), and whenever I go on Shabbat he always makes a point of asking about my husband and how he’s doing. We’ve met some great friends there, some of whom are also intermarried, and others where one or both are converts. I don’t know what will happen when we have kids and how people will deal with children with a VERY definitely goy name running around, but so far, so good.

I’d suggest shopping around and not necessarily limiting yourself to Reform/Reconstructionist congregations unless that’s genuinely where you feel more comfortable in terms of practice and outlook. No movement has a monopoly on positive engagement, it’s all a matter of the particular congregation.

April 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm #11963


Dear Meri Phillips:

I would agree with newcanadianjew that you might want to shop around at other Conservative Judaism shuls before dropping the Conservative movement for Reform, Reconstruction, Renewal or Humanistic Judaism.

Some Conservative shuls have changed course and are treating members of interfaith families in a kindly manner.

If you liked parts of Conservative Judaism, it is worth giving it one more try. Then if you can’t find any Conservative shuls in your area that you like, you can join another movement.

Just a thought.

Many blessings on your ethnic and spiritual journey,


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