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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q18.4.3 TOC Q18.4.5 >

Question 18.4.4:
Fallacy: Reform Judaism encourages intermarriage


Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis has repeatedly opposed mixed (interfaith) marriages. However, it does not feel that once the marriage has occurred, the couple should be shunned, for this serves only to drive them further away from Judaism. This is best illustrated by a resolution ( issued in 1973 by the CCAR:

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, recalling its stand adopted in 1909 that mixed marriage is contrary to the Jewish tradition and should be discouraged, now declared its opposition to participation by its members in any ceremony which solemnizes a mixed marriage.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis recognizes that historically its members have held and continue to hold divergent interpretations of Jewish tradition.

In order to keep open every channel to Judaism and K'lal Yisrael for those who have already entered into mixed marriage, the CCAR calls upon its members:

  1. to assist fully in educating children of such mixed marriage as Jews;

  2. to provide the opportunity for conversion of the non-Jewish spouse, and

  3. to encourage a creative and consistent cultivation of involvement in the Jewish community and the synagogue.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <>