My spouse/partner is Jewish and I am not – will I be welcome at Temple Emanuel?
Without hesitation, the answer is YES. Both Temple Emanuel and the Reform Movement (the denomination of Judaism of which Temple Emanuel is a member) have long histories of welcoming interfaith families. Many of our members are part of an interfaith family, whether they are married/partnered with a non-Jewish spouse, were raised by interfaith parents, or have siblings and children who are intermarried. It’s part of the rich diversity that is Jewish life today; and here at Temple Emanuel, we embrace and welcome it. Our Rabbis and staff are always available to answer your questions, and we hope you will take the opportunity to reach out to them.
If we join Temple Emanuel, will a non-Jewish partner be considered a full member?
Yes! When a family or a couple joins Temple Emanuel, all immediate family members are considered full members. We encourage everyone to participate fully in all aspects of Temple life.
As the non-Jewish parent in an interfaith family, will I be able to participate in our child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah?
Participation in your child’s bar or bat mitzvah is one of the most meaningful aspects of Temple life and Temple is sure to include the entire family in the celebration of this event. While there are some aspects of Jewish ritual life that are reserved for Jews to fulfill, all parents and family members will have an opportunity to participate in a meaningful way. Our Rabbis will be happy to discuss this with you in further detail.
Will I ever be pressured to convert to Judaism?
The Jewish community takes delight in welcoming those who choose to embrace Judaism as their own religion. Our sages, however, have made it very clear that a conversion is not valid if it results from any pressure or coercion. You are welcome in Reform synagogues as a friend of the Jewish people. You do not have to convert. If, however, you are interested in pursuing a journey toward conversion, our Rabbis are always here to serve as your guides.