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New Jersey Federation Organ to Drop Notices of Mixed Marriages

After a full discussion of the subject by various bodies of the Jewish community, including the Rabbinical Advisory Committee of the Jewish Federation of Raritan Valley, a decision has been reached that the Jewish Journal, the Federation’s official organ should not publish notices of a marriage where one partner is not Jewish.

The issue arose recently when the daughter of a prominent Jewish family here married a non-Jew who did not convert to Judaism. The Journal submitted to the Rabbinical Advisory Committee a question as to whether it would be proper to print the notice of such a that such a notice does not belong in a Jewish communal newspaper.

On the other hand, the committee felt there was no objection to announcing the marriage of a Jewish couple, even if it takes place before a secular authority, provided that mention is made of the secular official who performed the marriage. “The participation of a rabbi,” ruled the committee, “is not a necessity to make a marriage valid according to Jewish law.”

The Federation’s publication committee in charge of the Journal approved the ruling of the Rabbinical Advisory Committee, but submitted the entire matter to a meeting of the Federation Assembly. The Assembly backed the ruling, holding that the Jewish Journal would give the impression, if it published a mixed marriage notice, that the Jewish community approves of mixed marriage. The resolution pointed out that “The Jewish Journal is designed to advance the religious, cultural and civic interests of the Jewish community of the area.”

At the same time, the Federation Assembly ruled that refusal to print a mixed marriage notice in the Jewish Journal “does not imply condemnation or criticism of any individual.” The Jewish Federation of Raritan Valley serves New Brunswick, Highland Park and six surrounding townships in this section of New Jersey. Samuel I. Hoddeson is president, and Fred A. Liff is executive director.

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