Interfaith Families

Interfaith Families

We Welcome Diversity! We Welcome YOU!

Adath Shalom welcomes you. We understand diverse households have special circumstances. Whether it’s attending a service, supporting a child in religious education, or socializing with our men’s club, we strive to help everyone feel comfortable in our synagogue. We appreciate the support you provide for your Jewish member(s). We can offer your family the resources to practice Judaism and to create Jewish homes.

We are a vibrant inclusive community. Our membership comes from all types of backgrounds, both Jewish and not, Jews-by-choice, interfaith families, multiracial, multicultural, married, single, families and individuals, LGBTQQ, straight, old, and young.  All can find a home at Adath Shalom. Our clergy and leadership recognize people are not “one size fits all”. We work with our members on their personal journeys.

You’ll see we mention the word “Keruv”. This is a Hebrew word meaning ‘to come closer’. Keruv is a beautiful Jewish value that is all about welcoming. Our goal is to truly integrate our diverse families into the fabric of Conservative Jewish life. In the words of the Torah, we want to “welcome strangers into the tent.”

Rabbi Rudin Video

Just as our ancestors, Abraham and Sarah, welcomed all travelers into their tent, we want you to feel just as comfortable. We appreciate your family’s commitment to creating a Jewish home and raising children to be learned and engaged Jews. We want to share our Jewish traditions, culture and practices with you. Whether you are seeking personal connection or you want to support your family’s development, we are here for you. We realize there might be issues unique to your family. Please, get in touch with me to discuss any interfaith issues important to you so we can do all we can to meet your needs. I look forward to these conversations.

Engage with Us! Life Cycle Events – Education – Spirituality

Some interfaith families choose to start in a course of study towards conversion, while others are interested in learning more about Jewish practice to support their family’s experience. A non-Jewish parent or partner is welcome and encouraged to participate in Adath Shalom’s committees, social action projects, and can participate in most aspects of Jewish ritual. Some of these possibilities are detailed below.  Adath Shalom welcomes you to our community, and we encourage active participation in all facets of synagogue life.

Brit Milah (Bris) and Naming Ceremonies

Brit Milah (ritual circumcision) is the rite though which a baby boy is welcomed into our Jewish community, and he receives his Hebrew name. Rabbi Rudin will be happy to assist in planning and participate in celebrating of this meaningful ceremony. Upon the birth of a daughter, the Rabbi will be delighted to discuss the options for a naming ceremony in the synagogue and/or in your home.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah is when we welcome your Jewish child to be fully participating adults in our Jewish community. We have opportunities for all family members to participate in the service, regardless of faith. Parents and other family members can be called to the bimah for tallit presentations, passing the Torah through the generations, participating and leading prayers, and sharing blessings. The rabbi is happy to discuss your family’s specific needs, and help all family members to be comfortable celebrating this meaningful rite of passage.

Weddings/Commitments

The union of a couple is always a celebratory event. Adath Shalom’s clergy will be delighted to meet with all couples contemplating marriage or commitment ceremony, and discuss opportunities for involvement in the synagogue and Jewish life. Conservative rabbis are mandated to only perform weddings between two members of the Jewish faith. They are not permitted to officiate at an interfaith civil ceremony. We recognize some congregants and children of congregants will enter interfaith marriages. Rabbi Rudin can assist the couple in exploring Judaism, and ways to create a meaningful wedding ceremony. In addition, he would be available to offer the couple a special prayer prior to the ceremony.

Funerals

Our clergy and community are here to support the special needs of our interfaith families during times of loss and mourning. Jewish rituals and customs are guided by two basic principles: respecting the dead and comforting mourners. Judaism offers much in the way of mourning practices, and many Jewish traditions are universal in their ability to provide solace at a time of loss.  Our clergy are available for to discuss rituals and observances that may be helpful in a time of mourning, along with comfort and support.

Jewish Education

One need not be Jewish to take advantage of the many diverse educational opportunities offered at Adath Shalom. Everyone is welcome to our adult education programs. Children of interfaith couples may join our religious school programming (K-12), provided the child is Jewish or there is intent for the child to be converted to Judaism. We have preschool programming to engage our littlest mitzvah makers. Our nurturing community allows all members grow their knowledge of Judaism.

Services

Weekday, Shabbat, and holiday services are all open to members of all faiths. We welcome you to join us anytime. If you are less familiar with the service, we would be happy to have someone sit with you during worship.

Other Community Educational & Social Activities

There is always something happening at Adath Shalom. Check out our busy calendar of events.  There are many ways you might choose to get involved in our congregation!  Try out our sisterhood, our chesed (caring) committee, or take a Hebrew class. We also have programming specifically designed for our interfaith families.

Conversion

Adath Shalom welcomes you to explore our community, and to feel embraced as you make your journey towards becoming a Jew.  Choosing to be Jewish is an evolutionary process that culminates in the adoption of a new cultural, spiritual, national, and even historical identity.  Conversion to Judaism requires serious study, active participation in Jewish holiday and lifecycle events, and, finally, a ritual moment of acceptance and affirmation.

Rabbi Rudin is happy to meet with individuals curious about converting, and also conducts ongoing classes that might be appropriate for candidates for conversion. Please contact Rabbi Rudin if you are interested.

Let’s Get to Know Each Other!

Our clergy and leadership are pleased to invite your family to make our synagogue your spiritual home.  If you are an interfaith couple or someone whose life has been touched by an interfaith relationship and would like to learn more about our efforts at Adath Shalom, please contact us office@adathshalom.net. Alternatively, please feel free to contact Rabbi Rudin, or join us for one of our services or events. We would love to meet you!

For more information about the Keruv program and the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, click here.

FAQs

We are members who are Jewish and not, Jews-by-choice, interfaith families, multiracial, multicultural, married, single, families and individuals, LGBTQQ, straight, old, and young. We explicitly recognize and cherish each other as teachers and students, celebrating our diversity.

Yes! Everyone is welcome to attend and participate in our Shabbat and holiday services.

Throughout the year nearly any clothing is suitable to visit Adath Shalom. We request people follow the rules of tasteful good sense when coming to synagogue (no holes in clothing, no revealing or offensive clothing, etc.) Many members will dress somewhat more formally for services. Gentlemen are politely requested to wear a Kippa (headcovering) which is a sign of respect before G-d. If this makes someone uncomfortable he will not be pressured to do so. On the High Holidays, men often wear jacket and tie and women wear something which is of similar “dressiness”.

Yes! We invite you to participate in our adult education classes, social action programs, holiday observances, social events, and more.

Yes! We want our adult spouses to be part of our community. Any adult Jew and her/his partner would be considered members.

Our Rabbi is always happy to explore and explain conversion. However, we will never pressure you to convert. You are welcome in our synagogue, simply as a supporter of the Jewish people.

Adoption brings G-d’s holiness into the world, and adding children to our community is a blessing. We welcome and embrace adopted children of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Like children of non-Jewish mothers, adopted children would need to undergo conversion.

No! Rabbi Rudin genuinely wants to get to know all of our synagogue members. He wants to offer his support, and build our community. All members are encouraged to contact Rabbi at any time to discuss any questions or concerns.

Jewish law says that membership in the Jewish people passed through the mother. Therefore, if the mother is a Jew (by birth or conversion) before any children are born then the children are automatically Jewish. If the father is Jewish but the mother is not, the child would need to go through a formal conversion process in order to become Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

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