The middle path
In describing the community’s blind spot, Harold Berman lets us know that he has his own (“A community’s blind spot on intermarriage,” Aug. 15).
I agree with Mr. Berman wholeheartedly that the liberal approach to intermarriage is not sustainable and the Orthodox approach is not realistic. The middle path which he enthusiastically endorses is the path that the Conservative movement has been forging for quite some time. About 10 years ago a group of Conservative rabbis in the Bay Area began a conversation on intermarriage that resulted in a book titled A Place in the Tent. In my own congregation, we carefully balance the needs of two-faith families with the demands of Halacha (Jewish law). So, for example, the child of a non-Jewish mother must be immersed in the mikva (ritual bath) but the supportive non-Jewish parent has a place of honor on the bima during a bar or bat mitzva.
I applaud Mr. Berman’s efforts, but he should know that he’s not alone. All he needs to do is check his blind spot and he’ll see that he has many partners working toward the same goal.
Rabbi Avi Friedman
Congregation Ohr Shalom-SJCC