NEW YORK (Jul. 27)
The Central Conference of American Rabbis announced today a research program to determine the Jewish commitment of mixed marriages and the Jewish education provided by the parents for the children of such unions. Officials of the Reform rabbinic association in the United States and Canada stressed that the recent debate at the group’s 82nd annual convention in St. Louis, June 21-24, in no way altered the CCAR’s stand regarding such marriages which is that they are “contrary to Jewish tradition and should therefore be discouraged.”
Those favoring a stronger CCAR position, argue that the children of mixed marriages at best receive a minimal Jewish education and that the commitment to Judaism in such homes remains peripheral. They further argue that by officiating at such ceremonies the rabbi merely salves the religious conscience of the couple to satisfy parents and grandparents. It is estimated that 100 Reform rabbis officiate at mixed marriages. Those favoring more leniency are concerned that disappointed couples will be “turned away” completely from Judaism and Jewish identity.