Intermarried rabbinic students


By Simon Rocker
August 2, 2013
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Equality laws may be having more effect on Jewish life than many anticipated.

As we report in this week’s paper, Leo Baeck College, the progressive rabbinical training institute has changed its entry rules, which would have previously disallowed intermarried candidates for its ordination course.

Anti-discrimination laws do give religious groups some leeway: synagogues can still demand that their rabbi is Jewish.

But, after taking legal advice, the college decided that it could not longer stipulate that a rabbinic student’s wife or partner had to be Jewish.

In the meantime, Hebrew Union College, in the United States – the largest Progressive rabbinic academy in the world – is also reconsidering its entry rules, although not because of legislation.

The HUC has embarked on a lengthy consultation over whether it should continue to deny entry to intermarried students.

In a recent debate in the American journal Reform Judaism, one HUC student in favour of change, Daniel Kirzane, argued: “Outreach is no longer about ‘turning the tide of intermarriage’, as it was 35 years ago. Today it is about embracing both Jewish and non-Jewish members of Jewish families, affirming their positive contributions to our congregations and religious schools.

“I am a child of one of these families, as are many of my classmates. My parents modeled how to build a Jewish family with non-Jewish members, and I have followed their example by building a home committed to the Jewish values of activism, spirituality, and prayer. But had I chosen to build this home with a non-Jewish partner, I would not have been allowed even to apply to be a rabbinical student.”

But, putting the opposing view, fellow student Brandon Bernstein said that leaders had “a covenantal responsibility to God, Torah, and Israel that extends beyond the self. I do not think it is unreasonable to ask a future Jewish exemplar to choose a Jewish spouse or partner for the sake of this covenant.”

COMMENTS

SimoneBRK

Tue, 08/13/2013 - 13:02

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"Anti-discrimination laws do give religious groups some leeway: synagogues can still demand that their rabbi is Jewish."
For the time being, anyway. One wonders what would happen if some PC nut, motivated by latent antisemitism, decided to take this to the European Court of Human Rights.

"one HUC student in favour of change, Daniel Kirzane, argued: “Outreach is no longer about ‘turning the tide of intermarriage’, as it was 35 years ago. Today it is about embracing both Jewish and non-Jewish members of Jewish families, affirming their positive contributions to our congregations and religious schools."
Yes, let's be all Politically Correct. Let's just give up the fight against intermarriage because, hey, all faiths have equal validity so let's just embrace the "humanistic" side of Judaism and let all the rest go by the board.

"But, after taking legal advice, the college decided that it could not longer stipulate that a rabbinic student’s wife or partner had to be Jewish."
And if, some day, the law were to be changed and circumcision were to be outlawed, would this supposedly Jewish institute of learning bend its knee to that decree also?


joemillis1959

Tue, 08/13/2013 - 13:27

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And, worst of all, it could lead to mixed dancing


happygoldfish

Mon, 09/09/2013 - 12:48

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tomorrow is the 24th!, so don't forget to join the monthly prayer vigil advertised by EAPPI at the top of its homepage

(permanent link here)

the five-point plan of the prayer vigil is here, and the "activity ideas" are here (first suggested activity is "Invite speakers" … from EAPPI? )

the prayer vigil, on the 24th of each month, will continue "until the Israeli occupation is dismantled, violence in the Middle East ends, and all can celebrate a just and lasting negotiated resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

so never mind the peril of christians in egypt, in pakistan, and in other countries …

EAPPI wants you to hold you own monthly prayer vigil for "the Christian communities in Palestine and Israel"

the article is illustrated by EAPPI's new photo (15/8/2013) of a good christian stained-glass window showing an undivided palestine holding a scales-of-justice with doves of peace on one side and huge bombs dropping on a city on the other

why is EAPPI including the christian communities "in Israel" in their prayers? why is EAPPI including "those suffering in the Holy Land" (and not just in the west bank and gaza?)
is it because the occupation EAPPI is praying for the end of is the occupation of israel by israel?

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