Statement on new practices for mixed faith marriages

4 October 2020 – 16 Tishri 5781

4 October 2020

At its recent meeting, the Liberal Judaism Conference of Rabbis and Cantors (CoLRaC) reviewed and made alterations to its practices in cases where a Jew is partnered with a person who does not identify as Jewish.

The most significant change is that, at the rabbi’s discretion and where the couple intend to maintain a Jewish home, a blessing may take place under a chuppah.

Rabbi Danny Rich, who drafted the report which led to these changes observed: “Liberal Judaism prides itself on responding within a Jewish context to the needs and desires of an increasing diverse Jewish community, practicing its Judaism in a modern environment.

“It seems proper that, where a couple indicate their wish to maintain a Jewish home, the ceremony marking that could take place under a chuppah.

“After all, the nature and meaning of the chuppah itself has changed over time. Since the chuppah is now more often than not perceived as a symbol of a Jewish home, the change appears logical and decent, and, most importantly, as a sign of welcome to a couple in such a situation.”

Please note that the Marriage Law of England and Wales only permits rabbis and synagogue marriage secretaries to ‘officiate’ where both bride and groom ‘profess’ the Jewish faith. All other couples must be civilly married before their blessing.

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