Who’s More Inclusive: Emerging or Legacy Spiritual Communities?

When I ran InterfaithFamily (now 18Doors), a prominent philanthropist told me more than once that engaging interfaith families was an issue that would “take care of itself over time” because “young people are inclusive.” I was skeptical, but had no way to test or even shed light on the hypothesis – until now. The Center

Read the Rest »

We Still Don’t Include Interfaith Families

[This op-ed was submitted to the Forward, which published an edited version, Our Continued Rejection of Interfaith Families Hurts Everyone, December 21, 2020.] Seven years ago, the Pew Report’s finding that 72% of non-Orthodox Jews were intermarrying rocked the Jewish world. The Pew Report did not examine why interfaith couples are relatively less Jewishly engaged

Read the Rest »

My Experience as an Intermarried Rabbi

Guest Post by Rabbi Ed Stafman At 30 years old, I married my wife – the daughter of a Presbyterian minister. I considered myself an atheist and secular Jew. Because religion was unimportant to me, it had little bearing on who I would marry. My family put no pressure on me about my intention to

Read the Rest »

Seminary Admissions: Modern-day Discrimination

GUEST POST BY SUSAN RIZZO When I was a kid, I wanted to be a dentist.  Why?  My dad’s best friend was a pediatric dentist.  He had a cool office with ceiling-mounted television screens above each chair and video arcade consoles in his waiting room.  I figured there couldn’t be a better job!  Here I

Read the Rest »

Will Our Post-Corona Vision Include Engaged Interfaith Families?

[This essay originally appeared in eJewishPhilanthropy and is reprinted with permission.] As any regular consumer of Jewish media in general – and eJewishPhilanthropy essays in particular – knows, there is an ongoing extensive discussion about the massive disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and the opportunity to re-envision the Jewish community. Strikingly missing to date

Read the Rest »

Interfaith Inclusion at the Biennials

[Portions of this essay appeared in eJewishPhilanthropy on February 4, 2020 under the title “Reconceptualizing Conversion.”] Conflicting views about conversion were at the core of what was said – and not said – about interfaith inclusion at the recent biennial conventions of the Conservative and Reform movements. With 84% of new households that include non-Orthodox

Read the Rest »

Judaism Is Not Just For Jews: The Lesson of Interfaith Families

This op-ed appeared originally in the Forward and is reprinted with permission. Now that nearly three out of four marriages among non-Orthodox Jews are interfaith, 84% of new households that include at least one non-Orthodox Jew are interfaith households. That means that the future vitality of every aspect of liberal Judaism depends on engaging increasing

Read the Rest »

What Do We Mean By Inclusion?

Remarks at 2019 URJ Biennial Learning Session, Embracing Interfaith Inclusion in Your Congregation Inclusion is more than welcoming. That’s what advocates for other marginalized Jewish groups, including LGBTQ people, people of color, and people with disabilities, all say. One consultant explains that welcoming leaves a visitor feeling that his or her presence as a guest

Read the Rest »