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Ask a Jew: What is a Reform Jew’s viewpoint on interfaith marriage?

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By Hyphen Parent

Q: What is a Reform Jew’s viewpoint on interfaith marriage?

I can’t speak for the viewpoint of a Reform Jew, but I can speak about policies within Reform Judaism.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) discourages performing interfaith weddings, but leaves the decision up to each individual Reform rabbi. Some won’t perform them. Some will.

Reform services and events typically welcome interfaith families.

Whereas other branches of Judaism only adhere to matrilineal decent (so that only those born to a Jewish mother or who convert are considered Jewish), CCAR recognizes patrilineal decent and believes anyone with one Jewish parent who was raised and educated exclusively as Jewish, is Jewish. So, there are some couples that other branches may consider interfaith, but Reform Judaism may not (for instance, if one member of the couple was raised Jewish, but has a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother).

Hyphen Parent

About Hyphen Parent

Dorothy-Ann Parent (better known as Hyphen) is a writer, a traditional Jew, a seeker of justice, a lover of stories, the self-proclaimed Jewish Molly Weasley, hobbit-sized, and best not left unattended in a bookshop or animal shelter.

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