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Reform Colleagues Join Charge Rabbinical Group Denounces Officiating at Mixed Marriages

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The Reform members of the Raritan Valley Rabbinical Association have joined their Orthodox and Conservative colleagues on the association in denouncing the practice among some Reform rabbis of officiating at mixed marriages, the Association disclosed today. The joint statement of the 13 rabbis followed a report last week at the 83rd Annual Convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis that as many as 41 percent of the Reform rabbis perform marriages of Jewish and non-Jewish partners. The figure, much larger than generally believed, was greeted with shock by leaders of the Jewish community.

In what he called the first such joint statement, Rabbi David Leiter, Chairman of the Raritan Valley Rabbinical Association, announced the group’s unanimous condemnation of mixed marriages. The resolution declared that “when a rabbi officiates at a mixed marriage, he is using the Jewish wedding ceremony dishonestly and without respect for the integrity of the Jewish people and its faith.” “Mixed marriages,” the resolution asserted, “are contrary to the tradition of the Jewish religion. Out of the integrity of our position, we will not officiate at the marriage of a Jew and a non-Jew, nor a purely civil ceremony, nor allow our respective synagogues or temples to be used for such marriages.”

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