I want to thank Rabbi Gerald Zelizer for acknowledging and accepting in his Opinion piece, “Making A Place For Non-Jews In Our Synagogue” (Feb. 21), all 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 admits that his own position on the “Cathys and Teds” evolved from excommunication to inclusion over time. While there may not be enough time in Rabbi Zelizer’s own rabbinate to evolve on the issue of full membership and voting rights, it surely will come to pass just as there were pioneers 30 years ago (including the founders of my organization, the Jewish Outreach Institute) pointing out that the Jewish community should welcome the Cathys and Teds back when the rabbi thought doing so spelled the doom of Judaism.
I believe that the same thing will emerge with regard to these remaining issues among the intermarried families in our midst.
Executive Director, Jewish Outreach Institute