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Interfaith Families Outreach

Welcome to Beth Or's Interfaith Families Outreach Group

Beth Or strives to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all, and as a result we have a significant number of interfaith families in our community. We are proud to offer opportunities for our interfaith families to learn about Judaism with guidance from our clergy, share experiences with each other, celebrate Jewish holidays and incorporate them into your home in a way that works for your family.  

FAQs for Interfaith Families

Are Interfaith families welcome at Beth Or?

Absolutely. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and welcoming community.

Can Interfaith families be members of Beth Or?

Yes. We welcome interfaith families who are choosing to affiliate and celebrate their Jewish heritage.

Does my partner need to convert for us to get married?   

No. While we encourage conversion, so that there is unity of faith in the new home, we do not require conversion for our clergy to officiate.

Will the Rabbi marry Interfaith couples?

Both Rabbis Marx and Bonder are honored to perform the ceremony. Usually, the rituals are conducted by Rabbi Bonder while  Rabbi Marx speaks personally and religiously to the couple  under the chuppah. Cantor Murley is also available to officiate at interfaith marriage ceremonies.

If my partner decides at a later date to convert, does Beth Or offer assistance and support?

Rabbi Marx offers a brief introduction to Judaism in three short sessions called Taste of Judaism.  Check the calendar for the dates of the offerings.  Rabbi Bonder teaches an Introduction to Judaism class every other year. His class is currently in session for the 2022-23 year.

If we choose to raise our children as Jewish,  how is my Interfaith partner included in life events, such as Bar/Bat Mitzvah, weddings, etc.?

Non-Jews are welcome to sit on the pulpit and participate in all aspects, except certain prayers which affirm the unique covenant with Israel and Mount Sinai. In other words, non-Jews can open the ark, recite certain blessings, but are asked not recite the Hebrew brachot before the Torah, as they are the closest thing to a dogmatic statement of faith. Instead, non-Jews are invited to recite an English personal prayer.

How can my Interfaith partner participate in our child/children’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah?

Your partner is able to participate in a way that does not compromise their principles and is respectful to the Jewish faith.

My Interfaith partner doesn’t know Hebrew.  Is there something in English that explains the service and prayers available for them to follow along?

Yes. We have service supplements that explain the service in detail.

Does Beth Or offer any support for Interfaith families?

Yes. We offer workshops and social gatherings.

Are there classes available at Beth Or for Interfaith families or non-Jewish members to have a better understanding of Judaism and Jewish Life?

Yes.  Rabbi Bonder teaches Introduction to Judaism which is an 18-session class. Rabbi Marx teaches an informal three-session class, A Taste of Judaism.

Does Beth Or provide or have activities that are inclusive for Interfaith families?

Yes. Interfaith families are welcome to join in the many activities Beth Or has to offer.  The Yad b’ Yad (hand in hand) together group will also be sponsoring events and programs specifically geared to Interfaith families.  Check the calendar for these events.

If we have any questions about our Interfaith family, is the rabbi and/or cantor available to meet with us?

Of course. Whether it is one of the rabbis, the cantor or anyone else involved with Beth Or, there will always be someone to help answer any questions you have.

Tue, May 21 2024 13 Iyar 5784