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“Is it so outrageous for us to say that someone who is married to a Jew also has a place within the Jewish community?” asked Rabbi Neil Cooper of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El.This is huge.
An article in the Forward looks at the Conservative movement and its “hostile environment” for intermarried couples and families.
The question of what to do about intermarriage has long bedeviled the Conservative movement. As Jewish rates of intermarriage have climbed over the past few decades, the Reform movement has gained a reputation for openness, recognizing patrilineal descent and allowing rabbis to officiate at mixed marriages. On the other end of the spectrum, the Orthodox movement has disavowed intermarriage as a violation of Jewish law and a threat to Jewish continuity.
So why an article now?
Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, a Conservative synagogue just outside Philadelphia, made a tiny amendment to its constitution: It redefined household membership to apply to families with one Jewish parent as well as those with two.
Congratulations, Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El. I hope other Conservative synagogues take similar first steps. And, let’s hope that this is, in fact, but a first step…
(You know, an easy second step would be to add your synagogue to our Network…)
Read the full article from the Forward here.
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