What Moved Me in the New Year

I hope your Jewish holidays this year were good. Despite all of the bad news in the world, my holidays were excellent. They ended with the first grade consecration of my oldest grandchild on erev Simchat Torah at Temple Sinai in Brookline, Massachusetts. The rabbi had all of the children present at the service sit […]

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Objective Social Science?

This post originally appeared on www.edumundcase.com and is reprinted with permission. Michelle Shain, a researcher at the Cohen Center at Brandeis, has written a very damaging article about the Cohen Center’s game-changing study, Under the Chuppah: Rabbinic Officiation and Intermarriage, about which I’ve said, “The many rabbis who don’t officiate at weddings of interfaith couples because they think […]

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The Conservative Officiation Debate Continues

This post originally appeared on www.edumundcase.com and is reprinted with permission. The media buzz about Conservative rabbis and officiation at weddings of interfaith couples has slowed, but there has been important commentary in the past three weeks. The rabbis of the Jewish Emergent Network – certainly among the most progressive younger rabbis in the country – expressed solidarity with Rabbi Amichai […]

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The Flip-Side: Positive News About Interfaith Marriage

This post originally appeared on www.edumundcase.com and is reprinted with permission. Alongside the negative comment about officiation in the Conservative world, there has been some positive commentary and news about officiation and interfaith marriage. Leave it to Rabbi Keara Stein, director of InterfaithFamily/Los Angeles, to provide a much-needed perspective on how rabbis asked to officiate are actually helping interfaith couples. […]

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The Interfaith Marriage Debate Escalates

This post originally appeared on www.edumundcase.com and is reprinted with permission. There’s been an explosion of news and comment about intermarriage in the past 10 days. On June 11 I blogged about Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie’s big reveal that he would officiate for interfaith couples who were the modern-day equivalents of the ger toshav, the “resident alien” who […]

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Couples are marrying with or without us. Let’s help.

The debate in Jewish communities about interfaith marriage is heating up. Rabbis and Jewish professionals are arguing both sides and predicting the future of Judaism based on whether or not they will officiate at interfaith marriages. I’ve seen articles that talk about “caving on intermarriage” and “coming to terms with it” and “addressing the problem.” […]

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More Conservative News and Debate, and June Round-up

This post originally appeared on www.edumundcase.com and is reprinted with permission There’s been a steady stream of intermarriage news related to the Conservative movement. In April Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom, an emeritus rabbi who we’ve applauded before, who was expelled from the Rabbinical Assembly because he officiated for interfaith couples, was published in the Washington Post: I performed an intermarriage. […]

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Meeting People Where They Are

This post originally appeared on www.edumundcase.com and is reprinted with permission Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, a leading Conservative rabbi whose essay in March explained why he thought Conservative rabbis should continue to not officiate at weddings of interfaith couples, has a new essay arguing that “the Conservative movement should be the movement of conversion.” He wants to “meet […]

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Hybrid Identity, Every Person Counts, Shifting Boundaries and Intermarriage on TV

This post originally appeared on www.edumundcase.com and is reprinted with permission Rabbi Darren Kleinberg has written a very important essay published in eJewishPhilanthropy this week, Hybrid Judaism: The Transformation of American Jewish Identity. Kleinberg was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi in 2005 but describes himself as no longer Orthodox. He writes that identity is not a psychological […]

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Another Step Toward Inclusion: Conservative Synagogues Decide Who Can Join

We are glad to report that the Conservative movement is making an important step toward inclusion. In an official move on March 1, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism voted 94-8 to allow individual congregations to permit people who are not Jewish to be members. Some Conservative synagogues, like many in the Bay Area, have already welcomed those […]

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