Inclusive Judaism campaign launched

Those committed to a more inclusive Judaism can join a new coalition.

Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, executive director of the Jewish Outreach Institute, announced the new outreach advocacy campaign Sunday evening in Washington at the group’s third annual conference.

Individuals and institutions interested in joining the coalition can sign up online, he said, and will receive free outreach consultation, training and other resources. Member organizations will be posted in an online directory of “welcoming Jewish organizations, to help newcomers find you,” he said.

More than 250 rabbis, lay leaders and Jewish professionals are attending the three-day conference to share ideas and practices for making their institutions more welcoming to interfaith families and unaffiliated Jews.

Urging attendees to be more inviting to the intermarried in particular, philanthropist and conference co-chair Adam Bronfman noted that his children, who were raised Jewish by himself and his non-Jewish wife, are sometimes told they are not Jewish. Bronfman’s wife has converted.

“Rejection has unintended consequences,” Bronfman warned. “I think anyone who identifies as a Jew is a Jew.”

Speaking of the American Jewish community as a whole, he said, “Our best days are ahead of us if we open our doors and don’t create a litmus test.”

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