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These holy souls are not only desired but needed for our community to flourish.At the end of the day, we need to prioritize values Judaism over ethnic Judaism.
This includes welcoming them into our synagogues and learning spaces and at our Shabbat tables, protecting them from communal alienation and fervently supporting their navigation of their family journey on a pastoral level.
To be sure, I also am deeply concerned about Jewish assimilation and feel that the soul of American Jewry is at risk now: rampant materialism eclipsing spiritual values, nationalism prevailing over religion, tribalism over critical thinking, individualism over empathic community, virtual “I-it” relationships over “I-thou” relationships and an overemphasis on out-of-touch establishments over supporting new innovative approaches, to name just a few dangers.
Gentile family members who join their Jewish family in Jewish celebrations are not simply “non-Jews,” as if being a gentile is somehow inferior to being Jewish, but rather are part of the broader Jewish family.
These families must be embraced by our communities.
Peretz’s horrible rhetoric is utterly distasteful to Jews who found love with a non-Jewish partner or who express their Judaism in ways that differ from Orthodoxy.
Those Jews do not make their love commitments in an effort to hurt Judaism.
Many children of interfaith families have entered into Jewish leadership.
Sometimes the gentile parent supports a child’s Jewish journey even more than the Jewish parent.
Interfaith families are prevalent in American Jewish life and we would be neglecting Reform rabbis will perform interfaith weddings and strive to be fully inclusive to interfaith families.
Traditional rabbis will have a different task of honoring the halacha they feel bound to while maximizing inclusion for individuals and families in every other possible way.