Controversial study: Many Conservative rabbis open to officiating at intermarriage

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A scene from a Jewish wedding. Photo by Jorge Lemus, courtesy of Union for Reform Judaism

A scene from a Jewish wedding. Photo by Jorge Lemus, courtesy of Union for Reform Judaism

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(RNS) The issue is fraught within Judaism, as more than half of all American Jews marry outside their religion, and the community worries that its small numbers -- about 2 percent of the U.S. population -- may further dwindle.

  • David of Long Island

    The motto of the Conservative movement is “Tradition and Change.” It has always allowed for changes in halacha to meet the changing reality of modern times. “Jewish tradition says” that same-sex sexual conduct is forbidden. In 2006, Conservative Judaism revised this to hold that only anal sex between males is forbidden, as it is a specific Torah prohibition. The majority of the movement now welcomes same-sex persons, both single and married. In fact, recently the movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards developed a same-sex wedding ceremony. This was specifically necessary because kiddushin, the traditional Jewish ceremony, can only be done between a man and woman and otherwise makes no sense. Similarly, kiddushin is only available for two Jewish spouses. I am willing to bet good money there will be a similar non-kiddushin ceremony for interfaith couples available for Conservative use within 10 to 20 years.

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