Interfaith Families - Yad b'Yad
Welcome to Yad b'Yad
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. Our Yad b'Yad (hand in hand) program offers 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. For information about upcoming programs and events geared toward interfaith families, please contact our committee chairs, Julie Spahn or Kim Marks.
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?
Rabbi Bonder is honored to perform the rituals and Rabbi Marx counsels the couple in preparation for the ceremony and includes his remarks under the chuppah. Cantor Green also participates if requested.
If my partner decides at a later date to convert, does Beth Or offer assistance and support?
Rabbi Bonder teaches an Introduction to Judaism class every other year. He will offer a class beginning in early October 2018 and again in 2020. In 2019, we will partner with neighboring Reform synagogues.
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 Inter-faith 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?
Introduction to Judaism is taught by Rabbi Bonder.
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.