Gentile Spouses Join Conservative Shuls
Is a sea-change underway in the movement?
The Forward reports that some Conservative congregations have accepted non-Jewish spouses of Jewish members as members themselves (complete with voting rights). Pan out a bit, and you can see the makings of a larger trend. Last year, for example, it was grassroots agitation, led by Men’s Clubs, for Conservative synagogues to be more inclusive toward non-Jewish spouses and to the children of mixed marriages.
The last time the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly weighed in on intermarriage, according to the Forward, it was 1988, and congregations were encouraged to open up more toward non-Jewish spouses but not to offer them membership. There also remain clear red lines: a Conservative rabbi is still not permitted to officiate an interfaith wedding. It’s impossible, however, not to be able to detect which way the wind is blowing in the Conservative movement.