Interfaith Families / Keruv
"Beth Torah is a vibrant Conservative Congregation that welcomes members of all backgrounds to practice everything we have to offer."
Mario Rojzman - Senior Rabbi
Our synagogue welcomes those who wish to partake in the richness of Jewish life. Interfaith couples and families are part of the make-up of our congregation, reflecting the diversity of an ever-widening variety of people committed to or interested in Jewish life.
At Beth Torah, we seek to provide a level of comfort in – and accessibility to – Jewish study, Jewish worship, and Jewish life for those who are born Jewish, for those who have chosen Judaism, and for those who are part of a Jewish couple or a Jewish family. As part of our congregation, you will be invited to participate, encouraged to ask questions and supported in your personal and/or familial journey.
We invite you to call us, send an e-mail, join one of our classes, attend our services, or schedule an appointment so that we can begin a dialogue, which we know will help you see how wonderful it can be to be part of our warm and caring community. We wish you shalom (peace), briut (health) and hatzlacha (good fortune). May your desire to learn and discover how we may best fulfill the potential in our lives bring you back, often, to Beth Torah.
Keruv (to come closer), spearheaded by the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (a constituent arm of the Conservative movement), was formed to answer the needs of interfaith couples and families, and in the words of the Torah, to “welcome strangers into the tent.”
Beth Torah welcomes interfaith families into our synagogue family. In addition to participating in all of our regular programming – religious, educational, social, and cultural – we also have a Keruv Committee which offers special educational programs for interfaith families.
Your Family Is Invited To Worship With Us
We welcome both Jewish and non-Jewish family members to worship at all services. Weekday, Shabbat, and holiday services are open to members of all faiths.
As a couple affiliated with Beth Torah, you would be welcome to participate in our Torah service and would be entitled to the following honors:
- Being called to the bimah for a baby naming
- Being called to the bimah for a child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah
- Offering a prayer to your child at a Bar/Bat Mitzvah
- Being part of a family or group blessing before travel to Israel
- Being called to the bimah to celebrate an anniversary
- Coming to the bimah on the occasion of a child’s consecration, confirmation, or graduation
BRIT MILAH AND NAMING CEREMONIES
Brit Milah (ritual circumcision) is the rite through which a baby boy is welcomed into the Jewish community and at which he receives his Hebrew name. Rabbi Rojzman and Rabbi Farber will be happy to assist in the planning and participate in the celebration of this most meaningful ceremony. Upon the birth of a daughter, the Rabbis will be delighted to discuss the options for a naming ceremony in the synagogue and in the home.
BAR AND BAT MITZVAH
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony is an important rite of passage, as a Jewish child becomes a Jewish adult. We afford opportunities to all family members to participate in the service. On Friday night, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child, along with parents, will be called to the bimah at the time of the candle blessing. On the day or evening of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah service, Jewish and non-Jewish relatives may take part in the presentation of the talit (prayer shawl) prior to the start of the service. In addition, both parents will be invited to come to the bimah, and both parents may stand at the Torah to share a blessing with their child.
The union of a couple is always a celebratory event. Rabbi Rojzman or Rabbi Farber will be happy to meet with all couples contemplating marriage and will discuss opportunities for involvement in the synagogue.
Please be aware that Rabbis of the Conservative movement are only permitted to officiate at the marriage of two members of the Jewish faith.
In the event that a non-Jewish spouse affiliated with our congregation loses a loved one, Rabbi Rojzman or Rabbi Farber will be available for comfort and support. Judaism offers much in the way of mourning practices. Many Jewish traditions are universal in their ability to provide comfort at a time of loss. The Rabbis are available to discuss rituals and observances that may be helpful in a time of mourning.
One need not be Jewish to take advantage of the many educational opportunities offered by the synagogue. Everyone is welcome to our adult education programs and classes. A child need not be Jewish to attend the Suzy Fischer Early Childhood Academy at Beth Torah. Children of interfaith couples may be enrolled in the Scheck Family Religious School provided that the child is Jewish or that there is intent to have the child converted to Judaism.
Beth Torah welcomes the participation of everyone in synagogue activities. Both Jewish and non-Jewish spouses are invited to join our Sisterhood and Men’s Club and are welcome to serve on numerous congregational committees.
The major goal of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs Keruv initiative is to draw interfaith couples, their children and extended families into increased affiliation and activity in Jewish life, particularly in the synagogue.
Another goal is the repositioning of our synagogue for growth, with the specific intention of making them more conducive to the building of community and the inclusion of people who were on the periphery of the congregation.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you are an interfaith couple or family, or are related to one,
and would like to learn more about interfaith outreach at Beth Torah, please contact