There is a fascinating new issue of Sh’ma just out on the topic “leaders by choice.” InterfaithFamily’s Board Chair Mamie Kanfer Stewart, in No Conversion Required, writes:
[W]e have an opportunity to reframe the question, “Who is a Jew?” into “Who is part of the Jewish community?” Rather than focusing on Jewish status, we can honor everyone, Jewish or not, who is bringing the riches of Jewish traditions and sensibilities to our lives.
Our Board member, Lydia Kukoff, in Radical Choices: Conversion and Leadership, concludes:
One doesn’t have to be born a Jew to become a Jew and to be a Jewish leader. Are we ready to create a thoughtful campaign that welcomes non-Jews who profess no religion and encourage them to explore Judaism? The midrash teaches that Abraham and Sarah opened all four corners of their tent to welcome the stranger. Sarah converted the women and Abraham converted the men. How open are we?
The issue includes many other points of view and is well worth reading!