JTA reported that Hebrew College, the progressive, nondemominational rabbinical school located outside Boston, will begin will begin admitting and ordaining rabbinical students in interfaith relationships. This was anouced as part of the rolling out of new admissions standards.
Hebrew College’s change comes seven years after the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College made a similar decision. Here, we’ve gathered a reaction from our president, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., and some other resources related to RRC’s policy.
“When the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College changed our admissions policy to allow for the possibility that Jews partnered with non-Jews could become rabbis, we did so out of the understanding that in the 21st-century Jewish behavior and commitments–religious, cultural, secular–are more important than Jewish status.
We acted to meet Jews in the realities of their complex lives—to engage with them, to raise up leaders from among them, and together to build the Jewish future. We have been inspired and moved by the powerful and passionate students who have enrolled at RRC since this policy change, some because of their non-Jewish partners and more in support of this principle.
Some of these students have already graduated and are serving in diverse settings as rabbis, making a profound difference in Jewish communities and the wider world.”
Explore the history and impact of RRC’s policy change in this feature story.
Rabbi Deborah Waxman has articulated the rational and moral conviction behind the policy change in several pieces. These articles also examine major trends in modern Jewish life and progressive religion writ-large.
Rabbis With Non-Jewish Partners, Huffington Post, 2015
Judaism on the Cutting Edge, ReconstructingJudaism.org 2016
Why Fighting Intermarriage is a Lost Cause, Forward, 2015
Why Reconstructionism Now? ReconstructingJudaism.org 2020