Conversion and Mixed-faith Relationships
Events for Couples in Mixed-faith Relationships
Every year at least one event is run for families with both Jewish and non-Jewish members. It's an opportunity to come and meet other mixed-faith couples and families in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.
'I'm Jewish My Partner Isn't' takes place at the Sternberg Centre in Finchley, usually in January and is led by Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Romain and Jeneration.
Jeneration places a particular emphasis on work with those in mixed-faith relationships. A DIY wedding workshop for people in mixed-faith relationships organised by Jeneration took place in April 2012 which will be followed by 'Mixed-faith Couples: Unpacking our Religious Baggage' on 17th June 2012. Find out more about Jeneration's events for people in mixed-faith relationships.
In January 2010 for the first time an event took place in Leeds. 'Not Your Average Jewish Family' is an event for for those in families with Jewish and non-Jewish members facilitated by Sinai Synagogue member Judy Plaut. Other events took place in Liverpool and Manchester.
A significant part of the work of Rabbi Jackie Tabick, our newly-appointed Beit Din Convenor will be spent offering support to couples in mixed-faith relationships, regardless of whether the non-Jewish partner intends to convert.
Jewish attitudes to conversion have varied in the past and continue to do so today. In the Bible, the Book of Ruth indicates both that conversion was both commonplace and a simple procedure. Her ringing declaration ‘Your God shall be my God, your people my people’ characterised the open approach of Judaism at that time. In later periods, particularly when most Jews lived outside the land of Israel and there were hostile relations between Jews and their neighbours, conversion became much harder or was actively discouraged.
Many Jews in Britain today are integrated into everyday society, work and mix with those who are not Jewish, form relationships with them and some of these result in marriage. It has to be said that, ideally, Judaism has always encouraged same faith marriages: partly so that the couple are in religious unison, sharing the same home practices and festive calendar; and partly so as to provide a strong Jewish upbringing for any children they may have. However, the key question is, how does the community react to mixed-marriages that have already occurred.