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The Reconstructionist movement has once again led the way to a more inclusive Judaism by taking the bold step to accept and graduate rabbinic students who are intermarried or in committed relationships with partners who are not Jewish.
The main argument advanced against ordaining intermarried rabbis is that rabbis should serve as role models for Jewish life and commitment. The Reconstructionist movement reaffirmed that âall rabbinical candidates must model commitment to Judaism in their communal, personal, and family livesâ â but explained their decision in large part because âJews with non-Jewish partners demonstrat[e] these commitments every day in many Jewish communities.â
We send our very hearty congratulations to the Reconstructionist movement for their courageous leadership. For years we have heard from people eager to become rabbis who were barred by the major seminaries from applying. A prediction: the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College will be attracting and graduating some very outstanding rabbis â with partners from different faith traditions â in the future, and those rabbis in turn will lead the way to a more inclusive Judaism.
Kudos to Paul Golin, associate executive director of the Jewish Outreach Institute, for a powerful contribution to the debate over ordaining intermarried rabbis: What Intermarried Rabbis Can Teach Us. Building on Rabbi Ellen Lippmanâs inter-partnered rabbiâs perspective, that weâve blogged about before, Paul adds his own very important perspective:
Definitely worth reading — and considering by those deciding the issue.