Our updated booklet, Weddings For The Interfaith Couple, walks you through all of the traditions for the big day, starting with two to think about in advance (choosing a wedding contract known as a ketubah and topics to consider when meeting with your wedding officiant).
Rabbi Mychal will be leading us in a discussion of interfaith relationships throughout Jewish history and the present challenges and opportunities they pose. This discussion will provide a foundation for the second part of the series in which we will explore the many realities of interfaith relationships, including challenges we have faced and our varied approaches to our own interfaith experiences.
A great way for Jewish professionals and volunteers who work with and provide programming for people in interfaith relationships to locate resources and trainings to build more welcome into their Jewish communities; connect with and learn from each other; and publicize and enhance their programs and services.
I appreciate the thought and contemplation that Rabbi London has devoted to this topic. In general, I am puzzled about rabbis who simultaneously decline to marry interfaith couples, and yet still feel they can counsel couples prior to marriage or have any influence in the future homelife. If officiating at an interfaith marriage is unacceptable, I support a rabbi’s choice not to do so. But if that choice is made, said rabbi is effectively rejecting that couple, and has lost all standing to have any influence on whether the household is Jewish or not. As a non-Jewish partner, I simply cannot conceive of interacting with a rabbi in any context, if he or she elects to not marry interfaith couples. If I am not Jewish enough to be married, then I am not Jewish enough to have a Jewish household. With all due respect, you cannot have it both ways. I often read about the Jewish community’s reaction to interfaith couples and the message that community wants to convey about interfaith marriage. I do wonder, however, at the subsequent surprise that these stances have consequences. In my case, if our rabbi had declined to officiate at our wedding (as the sole clergyperson), I would have politely accepted that. I would also have walked away from any possibility of agreeing to my children being raised Jewish and would have never looked back. Food for thought for those rabbis who feel they can ethically take the stance of not officiating, but still feeling they have the right to advocate for Jewish choices.
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