Regarding Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove’s Opinion essay, “To Officiate Or Not At Intermarriages,” March 17: The “mission” of Conservative Judaism should be to not lose our children. Gone are the days that young Jews only married “in” due to societal shaming. Young Jewish-Americans, for at least two generations, are marrying whom they want because they have fallen in love. What we have learned is that if we do not embrace these interfaith families, the children will be lost to the Jewish people.
That is the issue, and one that has been addressed by the Reform movement. I don’t like everything the Reform stand for on many political fronts any more than I like what the Orthodox stand for, which is an Old World view of reality. But the truth is that our children are not simply going to only marry Jews. And I for one will not abandon my child because of that.
You can teach children all you want about remaining part of the Jewish people, but they live in the real world and come across many people. “Love” is an outgrowth of being accepted into the greater society. The trick is to make sure that even when they love someone who is not Jewish, that they and their future spouses feel welcome in the Jewish community. Rabbis can help by being the officiant under the chuppah.
What Conservative Judaism needs is a realistic approach to this real world issue. It’s really that simple.