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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q18.3.8 TOC Q18.3.10 >

Question 18.3.9:
Reform's Position On...Intermarriage


In 1909 the CCAR held that intermarriage (interfaith marriage) is ``contrary to the traditions of the Jewish religion.'' The same position was restated in 1947, and amplified in 1973, when a substantial majority at the CCAR Convention in Atlanta ... declared its opposition to participation by its members ``in any ceremony which solemnizes a mixed marriage.''

Outgoing UAHC president Alexander Schindler supported the stance because of the threat he believes intermarriage poses to the future of Judaism."

Most rabbis justify their refusal to officiate at interfaith weddings by arguing that the Jewish conception of marriage is that of a covenant between two Jews. However, in the United States, there are a number of Reform rabbis (one estimate is about one-third) that do perform such ceremonies, under the belief that it is better to not create an atmosphere of rejection, which can only serve to turn away and alienate the Jewish partner. If the Judaism of the Jewish partner is strong, the non-Jewish partner is often turned towards Judaism and the children are raised Jewish.

However, the proposed resolution in the minority report was adopted in June of 1973, which permits interfaith marriage, and leaves the decision to the individual rabbi. see In addition, as of 2003 50% of reform rabbis were willing to perform interfaith marriages, and the vast majority of those who were not willing were willing to refer couples to those who are. See

Note even if a Reform Rabbi does not perform an intermarriage, they will usually accept the marriage as valid, and regard the children of those marriages as Jewish as long as they are raised as Jews.

It should be noted that few, if any, Reform/Progressive rabbis will perform an intermarriage in either Canada or the United Kingdom.

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 <>