Interfaith/Multi-Heritage Families

INTERFAITH/MULTI-HERITAGE FAMILIES

How does Beth Meyer’s welcoming spirit reveal itself to member families who are interfaith/multi-heritage? Many in our community are not Jewish, even as they experience and support life in a Jewish household and kehillah (community or synagogue). We choose to honor and support these congregants wherever they may be on their Jewish journeys, whether they intend to someday convert to Judaism -- or not -- and whether they practice another faith -- or not.

Full membership is open to all Jews and their spouses of any faith and the parents of all children in our religious school. Participation in social events, adult education programming, Sisterhood and Men’s Club, our religious school and youth programs is independent of Jewish status. Membership in committees and on the Board of Trustees is open to all members. Only the roles of President, Senior Vice President and chair of the Ritual Committee are restricted to Jews.

Our tradition recognizes that children born of a Jewish mother and those who convert via mikveh (and circumcision for males) are Jewish halakhically (meaning “under Jewish law”). We offer support for any congregant who wishes conversion for themselves or their children. We also respect those who make other choices for themselves and their children, and we treat all children in our community equally.

We do hold that certain public ritual practices should be restricted to Jewish adults (those who are 13 or older), not out of a spirit of exclusion, but because they represent a public declaration of a personal and collective Jewish identity. Among these are the recitation of Torah and haftarah and their associated brakhot (blessings), the recitation of brakhot before the performance of a mitzvah, lifting and dressing the sacred Torah scrolls, and the leading of obligatory liturgical prayer in Hebrew.

We welcome all who attend our services regardless of religious status or tradition to accompany their spouse or partner to the bimah for an aliyah, to lead congregational prayer in English, to walk in a Torah procession and to give a d’var torah to the congregation.

We strive to include our members and their extended families regardless of faith in Jewish life cycle events and encourage meaningful ways to include those who are not Jewish in these events.