Update to Standards of Practice

Posted on: Friday October 19, 2018

This week the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS) of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly responded to the request of the Executive Council that they determine the status of attendance at an intermarriage in light of the Blue Ribbon Commission's findings. 

They determined that "Clergy of the Conservative/Masorti movement may officiate at weddings only if both parties are Jewish. Officiation means signing documents or verbal participation of any kind. Attendance as a guest at a wedding where only one party is Jewish is not included in this Standard of Religious Practice."

Yesterday, the Executive Council voted to amend the RA code of conduct so that the Standards of Religious Practice were consistent with the findings of the Blue Ribbon Commission and the CJLS. 

The Rabbinical Assembly issued the following statement:

"The CJLS was asked to review the restriction on attendance at interfaith weddings. In deliberations that began in June and concluded this week the CJLS made the following determination:

Clergy of the Conservative/Masorti movement may officiate at weddings only if both parties are Jewish. Officiation means signing documents or verbal participation of any kind. Attendance as a guest at a wedding where only one party is Jewish is not included in this Standard of Religious Practice.

This standard continues to affirm our belief that the narratives, symbols, and rituals of the Jewish wedding ceremony we represent are intended for Jewish couples who can authentically accept them as religiously meaningful.

This important standard, however, does not preclude our welcoming and reaching out to intermarried couples and families, as we believe it is also important to create positive rabbinic relationships with both the Jewish and non-Jewish member of such a couple.

We consider it a high privilege that Jews and their partners turn to us as rabbis to guide their Jewish lives, and we honor and love the people who seek from us such guidance and care."