7 rabbis quit Reconstructionists over non-Jewish partner policy
search

7 rabbis quit Reconstructionists over non-Jewish partner policy

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College voted in September to allow applicants to have non-Jewish partners

Illustrative photo of rabbis on stage at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College's 2013 graduation ceremony (Courtesy of RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities/JTA)
Illustrative photo of rabbis on stage at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College's 2013 graduation ceremony (Courtesy of RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities/JTA)

Seven rabbis have quit the Reconstructionist movement in the wake of an announced policy that allows rabbis to marry non-Jewish partners.

Several synagogues are also discussing potential responses to the new policy, the Forward reported over the weekend.

The policy was announced in September after the faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College voted that having a non-Jewish partner would no longer bar qualified applicants from admission to the rabbinical college or from graduating as rabbis.

According to the Forward, one of the seven rabbis who has withdrawn from the movement is Rabbi Reba Carmel, who serves at a nondenominational synagogue in Warrington, Pennsylvania. She told the Forward that the policy of allowing intermarried rabbis is “detrimental to the Jewish people in America.”

Carmel, a 2009 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, said she was concerned that “ultimately we will be assimilated out of existence.”

Meanwhile, four rabbis who were ordained by Jewish seminaries of other movements have requested to join the Reconstructionist movement since the policy was announced, Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, executive director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, told the Forward.

The Kol Haneshama synagogue in Sarasota, Florida, is openly considering leaving the movement, according to the Forward. Other synagogues discussing the new policy, the Forward reported, include the West End Synagogue in Manhattan and Bet Am Shalom in White Plains, New York.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments