Resolution on Conversion, Intermarriage & Patrilineal Jews

Posted on: Thursday April 24, 2014

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly approved a Resolution on Keruv Programming in 1991, resolving that “educational and training programs be established at all levels to help synagogue professionals and lay leaders learn how to interact constructively and creatively with interfaith couples” and

Whereas members of the Rabbinical Assembly in many regions - often in collaboration with the local USCJ staff - have established learning programs for interfaith couples as well as for those explicitly interested in conversion and

Whereas our rabbis have worked extensively with the children of Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers to resolve the ambiguity of their Jewish identity that arises from  denominational differences

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly in 2012 established a Commission on Keruv and Jewish Peoplehood, confirming and deepening the Keruv Resolution of 1991 and dedicated to “finding ways for Conservative rabbis to hold true to their values while also showing intermarried families that we care about them” and includes on its agenda researching and publicizing “best practices and ideas for sacred moments of welcome and engagement.”   

Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly through the work of the Keruv Commission renews its commitment to support, publicize and expand our conversion programs and

Be it further resolved that members of the Rabbinical Assembly continue to welcome, counsel, dialogue and engage with interfaith couples consistent with halakhah as interpreted by the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards and

Be it further resolved that with regard to patrilineal Jews, we acknowledge the issues of ambiguity in Jewish identity caused by denominational differences with which many struggle; we commit ourselves to provide support and encouragement for those who wish to formalize their relationship with the Jewish community through learning programs (where appropriate), the mitzvah of brit milah or hatafat dam (where necessary) and ritual immersion in a mikveh supervised by a beit din that confers upon the individual a certificate of the Rabbinical Assembly acknowledging he or she "has long cast his/her lot with the Jewish people" and "affirms his/her place among the people Israel".