Rabbis Warn Mixed Marriage Partners on ‘false Assumption’ About Jewish Rite

The Board of Rabbis of Essex County, N.J., has warned couples in mixed marriages not to be “deluded into the false assumption that they have been married according to the Jewish rite” even if their wedding was a religious ceremony performed by a rabbi.

The warning was contained in a statement signed by 24 rabbis which appeared as an advertisement in the Jewish News of Newark. It noted that “mixed marriage is a growing fact in American-Jewish life” and that some families desire a “face-saving solution” by seeking out a rabbi who will officiate at such a ceremony.

“No rabbinic body, Orthodox, Conservative or Reform, either in the past or present, has ever approved of a rabbi officiating at a mixed marriage,” the statement said. “The very blessing essential to a Jewish marriage ceremony, including the formula, ‘Thou art consecrated to me according to the law of Moses and Israel,’ make the ceremony of mixed marriage an act of hypocrisy…Let not our people, and particularly our young people, be misled by the performance of such ‘Jewish religious ceremonies.’”

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