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Let's Not Undermine Religious Conversion

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Publication Date: October 1999

Publisher(s): JFL Media

Author(s): Jack Wertheimer

Series: Sh'ma, October 1999.

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Jewish Continuity; Congregations; Intermarriage; Conversion

Type: Brief


Responding to recent writings by Gary Tobin and Egon Mayer, the author argues that rather than becoming more welcoming of intermarried families as Tobin and Mayer suggest, Judaism ought to do more to discourage intermarriage, and encourage genuine and meaningful conversion of non-Jewish spouses in existing intermarriages. New initiatives toward hospitality to the intermarried which have been ongoing since 1980 have caused a drop in the rate of conversion, the author argues, because the community has conferred all benefits of membership on non-Jewish spouses without expecting conversion.