Conservatives soften on intermarriage


The battle among the Conservative Jewish establishment to convert the spouses of intermarried Jews is over, reports Stewart Ain in the New York Jewish Week:

A pamphlet… will be distributed in the coming days in which all arms of the Conservative movement speak with one voice — decidedly softer in tone on conversions — in spelling out their principles on outreach:

* All are welcome.
* There is a commitment to fostering Jewish marriage and family life.
* Interfaith couples are welcome.

* There is “nurturing and support for the spiritual journey of non-Jewish partners who join us, to deepen their connections to the synagogue, the Jewish community and to the Jewish people, and to inspire them to consider conversion.”

In discussing the pamphlet, Rabbi Joel Meyers, who was executive vice president of the movement’s Rabbinical Assembly when it was written, said: “The movement is still very much in favor of Jewish family life, and so the question was how does one approach American Jewish communal life today without changing religious standards.”

Asked about the noticeable shift in the United Synagogue’s position away from an aggressive push for conversions, Rabbi Meyers said simply: “It’s dealing with the reality of contemporary life.”

Full story here.

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