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Are you or is someone you know looking for Jewish clergy to officiate at an interfaith wedding? While some rabbis and cantors officiate at interfaith weddings, not all do. For some couples, finding clergy to officiate or co-officiate an interfaith wedding may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. With adequate time and patience, an officiant of quality can be found.
For couples looking for Jewish clergy to officiate at their interfaith wedding, InterfaithFamily can be an invaluable resource. Just go to interfaithfamily.com/findarabbi and fill out the officiation request form, and someone from the closest region where InterfaithFamily has a staff member in proximity to you will email you, free of charge, a curated list of rabbis and cantors in the area where the wedding will take place who are a good fit for the type of wedding you are planning. If there aren’t any rabbis or cantors available in your area to officiate at your wedding, InterfaithFamily can recommend Jewish clergy that may be willing to travel to accommodate your needs. They even refer rabbis to officiate internationally at interfaith weddings.
If you need it, InterfaithFamily will provide you with personalized assistance—by phone or email—and answer any questions you may have about interfaith weddings, clergy, etc. If you live in a community that has an InterfaithFamily/Your Community office (currently IFF has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area—as well as an affiliate in Cleveland), one of the IFF/Your Community Directors (who are all rabbis) would be happy to meet with you in person.
You should be aware that many rabbis and cantors may have conditions for a couple to fulfill or consider prior to agreeing to officiate. For example, some rabbis and cantors may require one, or more than one, of the following to take place: a promise to raise any children the couple may have in the future as Jewish; enrollment in an introductory Judaism class beginning prior to the wedding—either for the partner who is not Jewish, or perhaps for both partners; no co-officiation with a clergy person from another faith tradition; a ceremony that does not occur in a place of worship of another religion; membership in the rabbi or cantor's synagogue if they are affiliated with one.
Many rabbis and cantors who do not officiate at interfaith weddings (either because they choose not to do so or because the movement they belong to does not allow them to do so) will refer you to someone who does or lend a sympathetic ear and offer a welcome for you and your spouse-to-be into their community. No one Jewish officiant or even many officiants stand for their entire movement or affiliating associations and institutions.
Each Jewish movement has a different policy on intermarriage, so it is helpful to know what movement your desired rabbi or cantor hails from. Here is a summary of each movement's policy on officiation at intermarriages:
An ordained rabbi, cantor, priest or minister qualifies to perform weddings under state, federal and many international legal systems. You should consult the courts of the jurisdiction you're getting married in for restrictions and limitations on who may officiate at your wedding.