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Outreach to Interfaith Couples: A Conceptual Approach

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Publication Date: January 1990

Publisher(s): Conference of Jewish Communal Service (U.S.)

Author(s): Michael Wasserman

Series: Journal of Jewish Communal Service, 66:3

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Social conditions (Marriage and family life)

Keywords: Jewish Organizations; Jewish Identification; Intermarriage

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The conventional definition of outreach, under which Jewish communal boundaries are extended outward in an effort to increase access to the community, is inapplicable to the great majority of interfaith couples at the beginning of their religious decision making. Because their religious and ethnic identities are unclear and unresolved, they are not able to take advantage of the offer of greater access. For most interfaith couples, the Jewish community must operate under a second definition of outreach—providing the means by which the couples can explore and reach clarity in their religious and ethnic identities. In cooperation with synagogues, which operate under the first definition of outreach, the Jewish Community Center should provide programs based on the second definition of outreach.