Growing Inclusivity

The intermarriage news since the High Holidays has continued to be positive for the most part. I was especially pleased to read Rabbi Micah Streiffer’s Yom Kippur sermon announcing that he was going to start officiating at weddings for interfaith couples. I say “especially” because Rabbi Streiffer is in Toronto, Canada and as far as

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Letters in the Scroll

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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Positive Outlooks Greet the New Year

The discussion about Conservative rabbis officiating for interfaith couples has quieted, other than a terrible piece by one of the Cohen Center’s own researchers, that I blogged about separately. I’d rather focus on the positive responses to intermarriage as the High Holidays approach, and fortunately there is are five of them! Back when Mark Zuckerberg

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Objective Social Science?

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 those couples won’t engage in Jewish life no

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The Conservative Officiation Debate Continues

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 Lau-Lavie for raising important issues,

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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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