When Joe and I got engaged 13 years ago in Ann Arbor, Mich., I was sure we’d have trouble finding a rabbi to perform our wedding.
As it turned out, the rabbi at the local Reform temple was willing and available. When we arrived for our first meeting, I came expecting a lengthy interrogation about exactly how we planned to raise our children. I was prepared to commit to taking an Intro to Judaism class together and ready to solemnly pledge we would hand over our future children to The Jewish People, never ever have a Christmas tree in the house and so on.
But our rabbi was surprisingly low-key. Once he determined that he would be the only clergy member at the wedding, he immediately bonded with Joe over their shared passion for “Star Trek.” To my surprise, he didn’t even try to recruit us to join his synagogue.
Since my experience was so easy, I haven’t, in the four years of writing “In the Mix” given much thought to the issue of finding a rabbi willing to officiate at interfaith weddings. But a few weeks ago I got a call from a Manhattan man complaining about how difficult it was to find a good rabbi, one who was not only willing to officiate at interfaith weddings, but who wasn’t flaky or incompetent or a charlatan.
I’m in the midst of researching this topic, but in the meantime I’m wondering if some of you readers would like to share your own experiences. How difficult was it to find a rabbi, and did you seek any help, such as from the InterfaithFamily.com referral service? What, if any, conditions did the rabbi require? Was the rabbi Reform, Reconstructionist, Renewal, Humanist or not affiliated with any denomination/movement? Did you have a solely Jewish wedding, or did a clergy member of another faith participate as well? And for you rabbis out there, what has your experience been? Do you officiate at interfaith weddings and, if so, do you set certain conditions? Has your attitude evolved at all since you were ordained?
E-mail me at Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org or simply leave your thoughts as a comment below.
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