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August 16, 2013

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:. :i' PAGE 14A Marriage From page 1A president of the rabbinical seminary of the Reform movement, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, told JTA last week that HUC is planning to take a "very serious look" at whether to end the school!s longstanding policy against admitting intermarried rab- binical school students. In the Conservative move- ment, it's no longer uncom- mon to see non-Jews on the bimah during a bar mitzvah service. Some Conservative synagogues even grant voting rights to non-Jewish mem- bers. Officially, the move- ment's only rules on the subject are that rabbis must neither perform nor attend interfaith weddings• But the latter regulation often is ignored. "First someone has to make a complaint, and nobody has ever. brought a complaint against a colleague for having attended an intermarriage," said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the movement's Rabbinical Assembly. "Itwould be hard to imagine that someone would be punished for it." Even in the Orthodox movement, the idea of shun- ning the intermarried is passe, seen as counterproductive to the ultimate goal of getting unaffiliated Jews to embrace their Jewish identity. "The preponderance of intermarriage has made it usually pointless to shun those who have married out," said Avi Shafran, director Of public affairs for the haredi Orthodox Agudath Israel of America. "Once upon a time, intermarriage was a sign that the Jewish partner was reject- ing his or her Jewish heritage. That is no longer the case, of course, and hasn't been for decades." While there have been no national studies of Jewish intermarriage rates since the 2000-01 Ntional Jewish Population Survey, which reported an intermarriag e rate of 47 percent, anec- dotal evidence and general population surveys suggest intermarriage is on the rise. A landmark 2008 study by ttie Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that one-third of all marriages in the United States are now interfaith, and Jews are the most intermarrying ethnic group of all (Mormons are the least). The survey also found a growing number of Americans switching reli- gions: Twenty-eight percent no longer belong to the reli- gion in which they were born, or 44 percent if switching Protestant denominations is counted. "What was once seen as abnormal, socially taboo, something you did not pub- licize has become socially acceptable," Erika Seamon, author of"Interfaith Marriage in America: The Transforma- tion of Religion and Christian- ity," said at the UJA-Federation conference in June. "This is a huge shift." Today, the very notion of fighting a battle against intermarriage in America seems as likely to succeed as a war against rain: It's going to happen, like it or not. The question is how to react. Given that the children of intermarriages are only one- third as likely as the children of inmarried couples to be raised as Jews, according to the 2000-01 NJPS, the overall strategy appears to be the same across the denomina- tions: Engage with the inter- married in an effort to have them embrace Judaism• That's true from the Reform movement to Chabad, with the exception of some haredi Orthodox. Where the denomi- nations differ is how far one • may go in that embrace, and how strongly--if at all--to push for conversion of the non-Jewish spouse• At Orthodox snagogues, non-Jews cannot ascend to the bimah, and many synagogues go so far as to deny certain ritual roles to Jews married to non-Jews. The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism leaves it to the discretion of its member synagogues to set the rules HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 16, 2013 on how to treat non-Jews. Rabbi Steven Wernick, tke association's executive vice president, says conversion of the non-Jewish spouse should • be a goal. The only question is tactical--how and when to bring it up. "Do you have the conversa- tion about¢onversion first, or do you welcome them in and then have the conversation about conversion?" Wernick said, "You build the relation- ship first and then you have the conversation." In the Reform movement, there is some question about the significance of formal conversion. "There are plenty of people who want to sojourn in the synagogue and not convert and still know they're part of the Jewish family," said the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, who has advocated a vision for the movement as a big tent with the flaps wide open. "He's living in the Jewish comi-nunity. He's trying on Jewish commitments," Jacobs said. "Conversion can't be the only thing we talk about, but it also should not be off the table. We'd be delighted to have people join the Jewish people•" Perhaps more than any- thing, the shift in attitudes has changed the conventional view of intermarriage as a net loss to the Jewish community, in the form of the out-marry- ing Jew, to a potential gain, in the form of the non-Jewish spouse or children who may convert, ?Once you've intermarried, it doesn't mean you've left the Jewish faith," said Rabbi Menachem Penner, acting dean at Yeshiva University's rabbinical school, the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary• "As times go on, we have to constantly evaluate what is the best response," he said. "Given that it happens, what's the best way for the commu- nity to approach it? The last thing we'd want that person to do is to throw everything away just because they're intermarried." JFGO From page 1A creation, implementation and support of retirement, es- tate, and insurance planning strategies for the Central Florida area. He is a certi- fied financial planner and a registered representative with NFP Securities, Inc. Udell is also very involved with Toastmasters, having achieved advanced commu- nicator bronze level and has served as a club president and as an area governor. The Jerome J. Bornstein Senior Leadership Award was established in 1992 in memory of Federation Past President Jerome J. Bornstein and is given to a community leader who exemplifies Jerry Bornstein,s many attributes and contributions. InaPorth's tireless e.fforts and selfless devotion over all these years is one of the many reasons the community honors her. Porth moved to Orlando in June 1978 and began her volunteer career chairing a yard sale to benefit the JCC Preschool. She soon found herself on the JCC board and quickly became involved with JFGO. Porth went on to chair numerous programs and committees, including CRC, Women's Division, Campaign, Major Gifts and served as president of the Federation, 1990-91. She has sat on the boards of Congregation Ohev Shalom and the UCF Jewish Studies Advisory Board, has chaired Yom Hashoah and Jewish History Month at the If you're like most people, you'll probably wait until the last minute to send your annual Jewish New Year greetings. And, like most people, you will probably truly regret having waited so long. However, once a year, prior to Rosh Hashanah, you have the opportunity to wish your family and friends and the Jewish community "A Happy and Healthy New Year" through the Special Rosh Hashanah Edition of HERITAGE. No Postage--No Problems--No Excuses! Having your personal NewYear Greeting appear in the HERITAGE Special Rosh Hashanah Edition, shortly before the holiday begins, will save you time, money, inconvenience and worry about whether or not your cards were delivered.You won't leave anyone out, because your family and friends will be among the thousands of members of the Jewish community reading this special edition. Deadline for Greetings is August 23, 2013. BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY NEW YEAR YOUR NAME D $78.80 3V4"x 4" May you be inscribed in the BookojLif00 Or a Happy and Hea-00hy Year (or your personal message) YOUR. NAME May the New Year be ever joyous You and Your Family (or your personal message) YOUR NAME E DATE OF ISSUE: $9S.50 31/4"X 5" "August 30, 2013 L'Shana Tova Tikatevu (Or your personal message) YOUR NAME B $a9.40 31/4"X 2" C $59.10 31/4"X 3" I00EETINGS AND BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY NEW YEAR (Or your personal message) . YOUR NAME Mail to: HERITAGE GREETING, P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730 I Please run my greeting in Your holiday issue. I would like ad (circle one) A B C D E. I am enclosing a check in ; the amount of $ (all ads must be paid for in advance). Or please bill my credit card (check one): Visa Master Card: Card No. I Expiration Date Signature [ Name I Address I Ciiy/State/Zip I I Name(s) on greeting should read: L If you have any questionS, call HERITAGE at 407-834-8787. I J JCC and has taught classes at Beit Hamidrash. She was se- lected to be on the UJA Young Leadership Cabinet and was awarded the Young Leader- ship Award in Washington, DC.Additionally, she has been co-chair of the local AIPAC chapter and is a life member of Hadassah. The Jewish Communal Pro- fessional award was created to acknowledge an outstanding Jewish communal profes- sional who has advanced the mission of his/her respective agency and has promoted harmony, understanding and education among profession- als and between agencies; synagogues, organizations and the Federation. The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando is proud to recognize Eli Bercovici, the Jevish Community Center of Greater Orlando's outgoing Sports di- rector and financial assistance manager as this year's recipi- ent of the Jewish Communal Professional Award. In September 1982, Ber- covici and his wife Lisa transitioned from Phoenix to Orlando, where he started his career as the Sports and Wellness director of the JCC of Greater Orlando. In March 1983, the JCC's first road race was held and On July 24, 2013, the 30th annual race was completed. It is the longest running program at¢he JCC. During the summer of 1995, Orlando hosted the JCC Re- gional Maccabi Games and he served as games director. More than 300 Jewish youths ages 13-16 from all over the United States attended the games and Orlando won gold medals in Basketball and Soccer. Orlando hosted the Marvin Blumenthal Basket- ball tournament in February 2005 and more than 100 bas- ketball players from southern region JCCs participated: Team Orlando finished second out of 14 teams. On Aug. 15, 2013, Bercovici retired after 31 years of service• Executive Director David Wayne said of him, "The JCC isvery thankful for Eli's 31 years of dedicated service and commitment to the community. He has had a tremendously positive impact on people's lives and always played a vital role in helping us fulfill our mission." Associate Executive Director Robby Etz- kin remarked, "When people find out I work at the JCC, the first question everyone asks is, 'Do you know Eli Berco- vici?' Eli's involvement in the community through the JCC is immeasurable. Everyone knows Eli. His presence at the JCC will certainly be missed." These prestigious awards will be given at the JeWish Fed- eration of Greater Orlando An- nual Meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, at 7 p.m. in the JCC auditorium• The meeting will also feature a community update and an introduction to the new executive director, OlgaYorish. A snack bar with popcorn and movie treats will be served• All members of the community are welcome to attend the annual meeting. To RSVP visit or call Becca Ginns at 407- 645-5933 x 236. Kerry From page IA "The community expressed our concern at a time of transition, the Arab Spring, how we can work in the way we all want to do, for a two- state solution and for Israel's security," said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, the executive vice president of the ,Conserva- tive movement's Rabbinical Assembly. Nathan Diament, direc- tor of the Orthodox Union's Washington office, .said the exchanges were "conversa- tional." "I would characterize it in general as an important--not the first, not the last--step in a conversation Kerry wants to conduct with the American Jewish community," he said. Diament and Schonfeld spoke under conditions that allowed them to generally describe the meeting, without directly quoting Kerry and others. Kerry and Rice had top aides at their side, including Martin In@k, recently named the top Middle East peace ne- gotiator. Kerry was planning on holding a similar meeting with representatives of Arab- American groups.