The story broke today. We have hired our first rabbi. Rabbi Lev Baesh, who led a congregation in Dover, N.H., for 12 years and has taught classes for the Reform movement’s Northeast region, will start July 9 as director of our Rabbinic Circle.
His role will have two goals:
- To help couples find rabbis to officiate at their interfaith weddings and help them connect with synagogues in their local communities. This will entail responding to requests, developing our referral list, establishing standards for the inclusion of rabbis on the list and following up with couples.
- To provide a safe space for rabbis to discuss and consider the question of officiation, without pressuring them to officiate. The enhanced Rabbinic Circle section of our site will include arguments for and against officiation, sermons from rabbis who have decided to officiate and other resources for rabbis interested in the question.
We are well aware that rabbinic officiation is one of the most controversial issues among rabbis today–even the Reform movement’s rabbis are divided on the issue. We’re not looking to tell rabbis to officiate, but we are looking to provide greater reliability, efficiency and integrity to the process of looking for a rabbi to officiate.
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