Recently, the Huffington Post published an article in the ongoing narrative about the Jewish community’s uneasy relationship to people who have Jewish fathers but not Jewish mothers. In this article by Rivka Cohen, she describes her experience of being treated as less than Jewish by classmates and rabbis when her mother’s conversion was called into question, As a Jewish professional with a non-Jewish mother, this article is deeply troubling to me, as it speaks to the miles that we as a community have yet to go.
In my time at the Jewish Outreach Institute, I have realized that there is a true paradigm shift happening in American Jewish culture. More and more synagogues, JCCs, and other Jewish institutions are reaching out and looking for ways to welcome and actively include interfaith families. These families are increasingly able to shape the Jewish community through their participation and leadership, and I am grateful to see this.