More Shifting Ground

It’s been busy the past two weeks. As Shmuel Rosner just pointed out, since his original article a month ago, “The volume of writing on Jewish interfaith marriage in America is high.” Rosner had said that in the absence of definitive studies or any consensus, the debate about whether intermarriage will weaken or strengthen us

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Inside Intermarriage

August 1, 2017 is the publication date for the new version of Jim Keen’s Inside Intermarriage: A Christian Partner’s Journey Raising a Jewish Family. I was honored to write the Foreword to this one-of-a-kind book: the warm, personal, light-hearted but very serious story of a Protestant man raising Jewish children together with his Jewish wife.

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More Negative Conservative Officiation News

The intermarriage debate in the Conservative world over officiation continued since June 21 with a mostly negative focus. In a positive step, the Conservative-trained rabbis at B’nai Jeshurun explained their decision to create a new ceremony to officiate for interfaith couples. I applaud their decision and think their reasoning is very important: (1) “We subscribe

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The Flip-Side: Positive News About Intermarriage

Alongside the negative comment about officiation in the Conservative world, there has been some positive commentary and news about officiation and intermarriage. 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. By telling someone we will not marry

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Remembering Jonathan Woocher

The Jewish world has lost a truly remarkable leader with the death of Jonathan Woocher on July 7. Many tributes and memories can be found on Jon’s Facebook page, a statement from the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah which he led and more recently served as Senior Fellow, a JTA story in the Forward,

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The Jewish Wedding Now

I don’t have any weddings in sight – my children are married and I’ve been married for 43 years myself. Nevertheless, I loved reading Anita Diamant’s The Jewish Wedding Now. A revised version of The New Jewish Wedding, first published in 1985 and revised in 2001, the book conveys what seems to be a huge

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The Intermarriage Debate Escalates

There’s been an explosion of news and comment about intermarriage in the past ten 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 in the past was not Jewish but lived among

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More Conservative News and Debate, and June Round-up

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. Then I got expelled. Then in May

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How Audacious Will Our Hospitality to Interfaith Families Be?

published in eJewishPhilanthropy I applauded in 2013 when Rabbi Rick Jacobs announced the Reform movement’s audacious hospitality initiative, and again in 2015 when my colleague April Baskin was appointed to lead it. But the recent release of the Audacious Hospitality Toolkit surfaces a deep question: just how audacious will our hospitality to interfaith families be?

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My Trip To Spain

My Trip to Spain My wife and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Spain. On past travels it seemed that I couldn’t avoid interfaith family issues; this time was no exception. Jewish Affinity on a Tapas Tour In Madrid we went on a tapas tour with Luis Ortega Bofill. Luis was very friendly

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