The Jewish community lost an important leader this month. And while some people in the Philadelphia community may have known about Len Wasserman and his work, others may not have been so fortunate to have been touched by his unflagging desire to reach out and welcome in intermarried families. Unlike so many others who get involved in such work, Len’s adult children were not intermarried. He simply saw the logic and the moral imperative in creating a context, particularly in the synagogue community, to make interfaith families feel at home. So he started what became Interfaithways and when he couldn’t find funding to support this important endeavor, he funded it himself.
I met Len years ago—our first meeting was at the Philadelphia train station. He wanted to meet me, to learn more about JOI and our work with intermarried families. Over the years, he attended our conferences and we had many conversations. Sometimes, he and I disagreed about which approaches were most effective. But we never disagreed on goals or motivations. He will be sorely missed, but his imprint will be felt for many years to come.
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