UJA-Federation of New York is proud to have launched its new effort of outreach to intermarried families, reported in The Jewish Week [“UJA-Fed Launches Outreach to Intermarrieds,” Dec. 9] and now the subject of a response by Jack Wertheimer [“New Outreach to Intermarrieds Makes Wrong Assumptions,” Dec. 16].
During the past 15 years, UJA-Federation has undertaken numerous initiatives to strengthen the likelihood of positive Jewish identification. They include — but are not limited to — increasing participation in Israel Experience programs and Jewish summer camps, and strengthening synagogues, Hillels, JCCs and Jewish day schools. It has also become apparent in recent years that there are interfaith families that seek to become involved and engaged in Jewish life and learning.
We believe such families should be welcomed into our Jewish organizations. This is an initiative whose time has come. Many synagogues, community centers and other institutions in the New York community have already shown creativity and sensitivity in welcoming interfaith couples, and our report lays out our plan to help strengthen these efforts and build a supportive culture for them.
Jerry W. Levin, President, UJA-Federation of New York
Alisa R. Doctoroff,
Chair of the Board,
UJA-Federation of New York
John S. Ruskay, Executive Vice President & CEO, UJA-Federation of New York