The Courage To Go Public


As a longtime member of Lab/Shul, I was pleased to read the article last week (“Maverick Rabbi Breaks Ranks over Intermarriage”) about Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie’s proposal for a new conversation about intermarriage and opening more doors to people seeking a connection to Jewish life.

These days it takes courage to go public with a bold idea that changes the way many people approach Jewish life. I am proud that Lab/Shul and our visionary rabbi are helping inspire this conversation. I have long felt that we live in a time where there can be many ways to be Jewish. Rabbi Lau-Lavie has brought this idea to the Lab/Shul community and beyond by looking back at traditional texts and by looking around him at some very real trends and ideas. He is searching for a path to inclusivity that is not “anything goes” but is relevant, meaningful and welcoming.

The key question: What does the future hold? Perhaps if more people explore our traditions and look clearly at the current landscape, the future will include open, honest, frank and respectful conversations resulting in a stronger and more accepting and diverse Jewish community.


Editor’s Note: Stuart Himmelfarb is president of the board of The Jewish Week.