Noah Feldman doesn’t like that his high school’s alumni newsletter won’t publish his mug and/or family milestones becuase he married a non-Jew?
Good thing he wasn’t born a Syrian Jew
[The Syrian Jews] of Brooklyn are bound by an invisible fence known as the Edict – a rabbinical threat of excommunication so dire and so powerful that it has fixed the true parameters of the community for generations.
The Edict was issued in Brooklyn by five Syrian rabbis in 1935. They had a simple goal: to preserve the age-old Syrian Jewish community in the New World. It proclaimed, “No male or female member of our community has the right to intermarry with non-Jews; this law covers conversion, which we consider to be fictitious and valueless.”
A 1946 clarification added specifics: “The rabbi will not perform Religious Ceremonies” for such unkosher couples. “The Congregation’s premises will be banned to them for use of any religious or social nature. . . . After death of said person, he or she is not to be buried on the Cemetery of our community . . . regardless of financial considerations.”
With these words, Chief Rabbi Jacob Kassin effectively excommunicated any member of his flock who married a partner with gentile blood.