Eight years ago, like all Reform rabbinical students about to be ordained, Rachel Goldenberg had to make a decision. Would she officiate at interfaith weddings or not?
Along with many of her classmates at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Goldenberg opted against performing such ceremonies, reasoning that the ritual made sense only when joining two Jews.
But a few months ago, Rabbi Goldenberg, the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester, Conn., changed her mind.
I think I may have the opposite problem of Rabbi Marc Schneier, the prominent Orthodox spiritual leader who has been divorced four times — and is facing ethics charges from the Rabbinical Council of America.
Maybe some Orthodox Jews are feeling “triumphalist” these days, with their high birthrates, high degrees of Jewish literacy and low assimilation rates, but to read the papers lately is to see Orthodoxy as a Palooka getting pummeled in a Pier 6 brawl. Between Chelsea Clinton’s intermarriage and the shelved conversion bill in Israel, the Orthodox are certainly getting the worst of it.
Strong opposition to rabbi-minister weddings, but some cracks appearing.
A ketubah behind them, the bride and groom stood under a chupah with a rabbi, listened to friends recite the Sheva Brachot — and at the end of the ceremony, the tallit-wearing groom stepped on a glass.
But Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky’s long-awaited wedding Saturday night was not your average Jewish ceremony.
That’s not just because the parents held aloft on chairs at the reception included a former U.S. president, the current U.S. secretary of state and two former members of Congress.
NOTE: The following is a post about an iPhone application that provides suggestions for what parents should say to their children to prevent them from intermarrying. It is not a product review of the application, but rather a news story. Neither the blogger nor The New York Jewish Week endorses this iPhone application. We realize the controversial nature of this application and hope you will leave your opinion in the comments section.
I recently spent a lovely day at Eden Village Camp, a Jewish environmental sleep-away camp in which kids get to — among other activities — milk goats, feed chickens, pick vegetables and make smoothies using a bike-powered blender.
Google the words interfaith, wedding and rabbi together and you get a whopping 1.1 million hits.
Perched atop this list (most are about the issues, rather than sites actually offering rabbis who do interfaith weddings) you will find Rabbi David S. Gruber, an Orthodox-ordained rabbi who has performed 60 weddings since he started doing interfaith ceremonies two years ago.
When Joe and I got engaged 13 years ago in Ann Arbor, Mich., I was sure we’d have trouble finding a rabbi to perform our wedding.
As it turned out, the rabbi at the local Reform temple was willing and available. When we arrived for our first meeting, I came expecting a lengthy interrogation about exactly how we planned to raise our children. I was prepared to commit to taking an Intro to Judaism class together and ready to solemnly pledge we would hand over our future children to The Jewish People, never ever have a Christmas tree in the house and so on.
The case of little Ela Reyes raises many thorny issues about church/state entanglement, parenting in a multicultural world, and the challenge of religious pluralism. Ela’s parents, Rebecca Reyes (born Jewish) and her now ex-husband Joseph Reyes (raised Catholic, converted to Judaism, and now returning to the Church) found themselves in court over the issue of his right to bring Ela to church. Cook County (Illinois) Judge Renee Goldfarb ruled that Mr. Reyes has the right to do so.