Dual Faith Families

Dual Faith Families: Kol Shalom Welcomes You!

Kol Shalom welcomes all individuals and families to be a part of our community. We are especially pleased to welcome as members the non-Jewish spouse or partner of Kol Shalom members.  We recognize that intermarried couples and their families face special challenges and we seek to make you feel welcome and comfortable in our synagogue.   If you have questions, we have answers!

I am not Jewish, but my partner is. Can we attend services together?
Yes, everyone is welcome to attend and participate in our Shabbat and holiday services.

May I attend classes and events at the synagogue?
Absolutely. We invite you to attend any and all programs that are on the calendar.

Can I serve on a synagogue committee?
Yes and we welcome the non-Jewish spouse’s participation in most areas of synagogue life.

Will I be pressured to convert if we join Kol Shalom?
Absolutely not. If you decide you wish to explore the possibility contact the Rabbi who can discuss the details of the conversion process.

What about Services and Life Cycle celebrations in the synagogue? How can I participate in our family’s celebrations?
We welcome the participation of non-Jewish family and friends in our services. Specific honors are available and the non-Jewish spouse is welcome on the bimah at all family life cycle events.

What happens if we adopt a child?
Children of all racial and ethnic backgrounds are welcomed into the community. Adopted children are encouraged to be converted and this should be discussed with the Rabbi.

As a dual faith couple, what choices do we have in planning a wedding?
In all Conservative congregations, weddings are performed only between two members of the Jewish faith. Conservative rabbis are not permitted to officiate at a dual faith ceremony.

If a Jew marries a non-Jew, what are the children?
Jewish law says that membership in the Jewish people is matrilineal, that is, passed through the mother.  Therefore, if the mother is a Jew (by birth or conversion), the children are automatically Jewish.  If the father is Jewish but the mother is not, the child would need to go through a formal conversion process.

Can our children attend Religious School?
Yes!  Children of intermarriage can be included in our Neshama School. All children are treated equally, whether or not they have been converted. Our teachers are sensitive that some children observe Christian holidays with their non-Jewish relatives. However, in order to become a Bar or Bat mitzvah a conversion would be necessary.

What if there is a death in our family?
In the event that a non-Jewish family member affiliated with our congregation loses a loved one, our Rabbi will be available for comfort and support. Judaism offers much in the way of mourning practices. We encourage non-Jewish members to observe any and all of the mourning rituals such as Shivah and Kaddish.