Interfaith dating statistics
Rabbi Mychal Copeland, the director of Interfaith Family in the Bay Area, graduated from RRC in 2000, but only after her partner—whom Copeland met while she was studying for her Ph D in Early Christianity at Princeton—agreed to convert.“This is for me the single most important reason for supporting a change,” she said.
“Especially in the work that I’m doing now, working with young couples.
That is, until a friend raised her hand and inquired about the school’s policy on interfaith relationships.“I sort of went pale,” recalled Rofes, who was dating someone outside of the religion.
Nearly all of the country’s rabbinical colleges have firm policies that prohibit the admission and ordination of students who are in committed relationships with non-Jewish partners.
Reconstructionists have shepherded the rest of the religion into the twenty-first century, ordaining female and gay rabbis, officiating same-sex weddings, and embracing interfaith congregants before any other denomination.
Each of those decisions has been met with similar derision from Judaism’s more orthodox gatekeepers.
That's a fairly radical step for a denomination that still prohibits rabbis from officiating interfaith marriages.
Interfaith marriage is not strictly a Jewish quandary.
At congregational meetings and in online forums, opponents are taking aim at the proposal and at the RRC for even considering it.“Likewise, we have avoided change when we believed it to be detrimental to that fundamental cause: the creation and furthering of ethical religious peoplehood.”There is plenty of data to support opponents’ concerns.The rate of interfaith marriage in Judaism has grown rapidly in the last half-century, from just 17 percent in 1970 to nearly 60 percent today, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center.Even as interfaith couples are increasingly being welcomed into congregations of all denominations, they are effectively barred from pursuing the rabbinate. The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, which ordains rabbis for the denomination’s more than 100 congregations across the country, took the first step late last year toward ending the policy prohibiting applications from students in interfaith relationships.Faculty at the college, located just outside of Philadelphia, cast a preliminary vote in November to reconsider their admissions standards, though college officials are quick to note that the vote only signifies that they are taking the matter under serious consideration, not that the final decision is a fait accompli.