Breaking News in the Jewish Daily Forward: A New Union of Reconstructionist Rabbis Emerges From Intermarriage Debate

Jewish Daily Forward

John A. Oswald

April 8, 2016

Twenty Reconstructioist Rabbis at the center of a debate over whether spiritual leaders should be allowed to marry outside the Jewish faith, have formed a new association to “affirm a serious commitment to traditional Jewish thought and practice.”
It’s caled Beit Kaplan : The Rabbinic Partnership for Jewish Peoplehood, and news of its formation was announced Thursday evening in an email to The Forward.
The group’s founding rabbis said in a statement that they will be an “educational consortium and resource for rabbis, congregations, and lay people wishing to continue the work and vision of Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983).”

Several of the 20 rabbis have been outspoken critics of a seismic shift in Reconsructionism that, in September, decided it was okay to ordain students in its rabbinical seminary, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, who were in interfaith relationships.

“Many younger progressive Jews, including many rabbis and rabbinical students, now perceive restrictions placed on those who are intermarried as reinforcing a tribalism that feels personally alienating and morally troubling in the 21st century,” an RRC document explained last fall.

In January, as debate over the policy change intensified, seven rabbis said they would quit the movement. READ MORE