Today’s edition of the New York Jewish Week carries a piece called “Looking Beyond the Roadmap,” the latest in a series of monthly columns (that we also blogged about here) in which Jewish journalist Julie Wiener discusses her own intermarriage. In this column, Ms. Wiener offers her views on the Conservative movement’s approach toward intermarried couples, and criticizes a recent manual or “roadmap” put out by the movement, which she says “feels to me like a rulebook, with its detailed cataloging of what a non-Jew may and may not do in synagogue” and that by reading it:
you would think that a mob of crusading gentile spouses was standing at the entrance of Conservative synagogues, poised to overrun the bima and plant a cross on the Ark. In reality, I think that most non-Jews are just as happy to play a low-key role in the synagogue community and are more concerned with feeling accepted than in challenging religious practices.
In contrast, she points to another voice from within the Conservative movement who we’ve written about on this blog before, Rabbi Charles Simon, whose publications she describes as “far more positive in tone. As Rabbi Simon’s materials note repeatedly, stigmatizing intermarriage has simply not proven effective, and the movement needs to look beyond merely ‘reinforcing its boundaries.’”