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soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Reform Judaism (10/12)
Section - Question 18.3.11: Reform's Position On...Mixed (Interfaith) Marriages

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                                  Answer:
   
   [Adapted from [5]American Reform Responsa, #146]
   
   Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis has
   opposed mixed marriages. Reform Judaism recognizes the problem as
   significant in every period of Jewish history. It has become more
   severe in 20th-century American, and therefore, Reform Judaism has
   made provisions for families of mixed marriages and their children.
   Such families are welcomed in Reform congregations, and Reform Judaism
   continues to urge them to convert to Judaism. The conference
   resolution of 1973 succinctly summarizes the position of Reform
   Judaism:
   
     The Central Conference of American Rabbis, recalling its stand
     adopted in 1909 that "mixed marriage is contrary to the Jewish
     tradition and should be discouraged," now declares its opposition
     to participation by its members in any ceremony which solemnizes a
     mixed marriage.
     
     The Central Conference of American Rabbis recognizes that
     historically its members have held and continue to hold divergent
     interpretations of Jewish tradition. In order to keep open every
     channel to Judaism and K'lal Yisrael for those who ahve already
     entered into mixed marriage, the CCAR calls upon its members:
     
    1. To assist fully in educating children of such mixed marriages as
       Jews
    2. To provide the opportunity for conversion of the non-Jewish
       spouse; and
    3. To encourage a creative and consistent cultivation of involvement
       in the Jewish community and the synagogue.
       
   Most Reform Rabbis will not preform mixed marriages. There are some
   that do, based on the notion that to reject the non-Jewish partner can
   only serve to take the Jewish partner away from Judaism. However, if
   they perform the marriage, the both partners receive a positive
   impression of Judaism, and the option remains of educating the
   non-Jewish partner as to the meaning of Judaism (so that they choose
   to convert on their own). Further, couples with positive feelings
   towards Judaism often raise the children as Jews.

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Top Document: soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Reform Judaism (10/12)
Previous Document: Question 18.3.10: Reform's Position On...Abortion
Next Document: Question 18.3.12: Reform's Position On...The role of women

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