I want to thank Rabbi Gerald Zelizer for acknowledging and accepting the good ideas that I presented at the Conservative movement’s think tank on kiruv (Jewish outreach).
As for the issue of full voting rights/membership in the synagogue, the one salient issue with which he takes exception, I feel compelled to point out that the rabbi acknowledges that his own position on the “Cathys and Teds” evolved over time from excommunication to inclusion. Similarly, the issue of full membership and voting rights surely will come to pass. There were pioneers 30 years ago (including the founders of my organization, the Jewish Outreach Institute) who pointed out that the Jewish community should welcome the Cathys and Teds, when rabbis thought doing so spelled the doom of Judaism.
I believe the same thing will emerge with regard to these remaining issues among the intermarried familiesin our midst.
Dr. Kerry M. Olitzky
executive director, Big Tent Judaism/Jewish Outreach Institute