Interfaith Marriage


My son is engaged to his high school sweetheart, a wonderful woman who is Catholic. The rabbi of our conservative temple refuses to marry them and says that the temple is unavailable to them for the marriage. 



Our experience – infuriating, isn’t it? Obviously you will do something like what our daughter and son-in law did - find a rabbi and a priest who perform interfaith marriages, locate a lovely place to hold the wedding and have a joyous celebration.  When I have asked rabbis (mostly conservative) why they do not marry couples where one is Jewish and the other is not, they have failed to provide any justification for what appears to be their decision that such a marriage is immoral or illegal under Jewish law, ethics or teachings. What they say is that they will be fired from the Rabbi Union if they officiate at such a wedding.  A temple is worried about declining membership, its rabbi tells a young person who grew up in the temple that that his or her upcoming marriage cannot be blessed by Judaism and the temple wonders why so few join when they advertise  “we welcome interfaith couples”.    



Let us help you take control over another aspect of the Jewish life cycle – the planning of a marriage between a Jewish person and one who is not Jewish. Too often trying to comply with the objectionable dictates of some rabbis takes a measure of joy out of the planning.  Once you realize how few restrictions do exist, you can proceed to plan for a wedding that is consistent with both family’s values and beliefs. With our support, you will:  

  • Learn about marriage traditions in Judaism
  • Define what your goals are for the ceremony
  • Bring together all participants
  • Gather resources (reading material, individuals to talk to)
  • Write a service incorporating your choice of prayers, poetry and music
  • Locate those who will officiate, and perform, at the marriage
  • Develop a work plan (set a date, draft invitations, hire a place and plan menu)
  • Accomplish the first activity of the plan – one step leading to a wonderful and positive experience for family and friends.

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