Reconstructionist Rabbinical College to admit intermarried students

The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College amended its policy to allow students with non-Jewish partners. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College on Wednesday announced a new plan to admit students with non-Jewish spouses.

“As you are likely already aware, this policy change is the result of many years of discussion within the Reconstructionist movement,” wrote Rabbi Deborah Waxman, president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities, in a letter.

“Why have we taken this step? We no longer want to prevent very wonderful and engaged Jewish leaders from becoming rabbis. After years of study, research, and discussion with many members of the Reconstructionist community, we have concluded that the status of a rabbinical student’s partner is not a reliable measure of the student’s commitment to Judaism—or lack thereof. Nor does it undermine their passion for creating meaningful Judaism and bringing us closer to a just world. The issue of Jews intermarrying is no longer something we want to fight or police; we want to welcome Jews and the people who love us to join us in the very difficult project of bringing meaning, justice, and hope into our world,” she wrote.

Reconstructionist Judaism, wrote Waxman, "has always been predicated upon changing as Jews and Judaism change, even when these changes are emotionally challenging. In this season of Sukkot, we can’t help but think of the theme of the ushpizin, the guests we welcome into our sukkah each year.” 

Posted on October 1, 2015 .