Should Efforts Be Made to Draw Interfaith Couples into the Jewish Community

This article is reprinted with permission of the Jerusalem Report. Edmund Case, publisher of InterfaithFamily.com and co-editor of The Guide to Jewish Interfaith Family Life, debates Jack Wertheimer, provost and professor of American Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Dear Jack Wertheimer, Given a community that is declining and graying, the decisions that interfaith

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Discouraging Intermarriage is Not the Way to Preserve Jewish Identity

May 2001 A controversy that will define the future of the American Jewish community–how to respond to intermarriage–is again erupting. A new American Jewish Committee survey of interfaith families is being used to support an old, failed strategy–discouraging intermarriage and pressing for conversion of non-Jewish spouses. That is exactly the wrong way to maximize the

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Let’s Make the Language of Jewish Prayer Inclusive

November 2000 Something happened at Rosh Hashanah morning services this year that threw me for quite a loss. My least favorite prayer—more accurately, my least favorite translation of a prayer—was read. It was one of the birchot ha’shachar, morning blessings, whose Hebrew ending, “she’asani yisrael,” is translated in our Reform prayerbook so that the prayer,

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My Irish Vacation

July 2000 I’ve been an intermarried Jew for twenty-five years. When my wife Wendy was a junior in college, younger than our daughter is now, she spent the summer traveling in Europe, including a visit with her mother’s first cousin, Rhona Williams, in County Tipperary, Ireland. One of our favorite pictures is of Wendy (in

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Why Non-Jewish Spouses Sometimes Think That Jews Are Weird

June 2000 My non-Jewish wife of twenty-five years, the co-chair of the synagogue Social Action committee, regular Shabbat, Sabbath, service-goer, after a recent discussion with me announced that “Jews are weird.” She had good reason to say so. Wendy was looking for a speaker for the Social Action Shabbat, and someone had suggested a Christian clergy

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