Thursday, December 08, 2005

Conservative 'Rabbis': "Convert them!"

The leftward, Reform copying, decline of the Conservative Jewish Movement continues:

JTA:

The Conservative movement needs to go beyond opening its doors to intermarried families and begin working actively to integrate them fully into congregational life, while continually suggesting to the non-Jews in those families that they consider conversion.
Thats the crux of a new keruv, or outreach, initiative presented Tuesday evening at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism biennial by the organizations executive vice president, Rabbi Jerome Epstein....

In general, participants seemed to feel that the initiative was long overdue. Even though it would introduce even more complexity into a movement that already has an equivocal relationship to Jewish law, many people felt the keruv initiative was necessary.
I dont know that we have to be happy about it, but we have to address it, Richard Price of Aberdeen, N.J. said of intermarriage, which he noted has touched my own family.
Price said he hopes the keruv initiative wasnt created simply because of the Conservative movements declining numbers, but is about addressing the human needs of the people involved.
The Conservative movement doesnt dictate outreach policy to member congregations, and some people were surprised to find out that not every Solomon Schechter school requires non-Jewish children to convert within a year of admission, as the movement recommends or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, that not every supplementary school accepts non-Jewish children up until their bar or bat mitzvah.
Marilyn Feinberg of Kalamazoo, Mich., said non-Jewish children of intermarried families are accepted in her congregations school without question.
In adult conversion we educate first, so why not do that with the child? she said. It doesnt make sense to wait until theyre 13. ...
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 1:51 PM

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