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Interfaith Families

Our Temple warmly welcomes all who wish to practice Judaism, whether in interfaith families or not, to join the Temple Hesed family. In keeping with the standards of the Union for Reform Judaism, we recognize as Jewish all children who are raised as Jews, and we invite participation by non-Jewish partners. Come join with the many interfaith families that call Temple Hesed home.


Some frequently asked questions:


1. What is the Temple’s policy on interfaith wedding ceremonies? Interfaith weddings of temple members, and their children, which conform to the Rabbi of Temple Hesed’s personal policy on conducting such services, may be held in the Temple or on its grounds.


2. What about life cycle events like funerals and burial? Temple Hesed cemetery allows interfaith couples to be buried together. Our cemetery is the only one in the area to allow this. All members of the congregation who are in good standing have the right to be interred therein, and to inter members of their families.


3. I am a partner in intermarriage and I want to continue to embrace my religion. Are we both welcome at services? Yes, our services are open to all.


4. I don’t want to take a conversion class, but I do want to learn more. Temple Hesed sponsors a “Taste of Judaism: are you curious?” class for those who wish to know more, whether or not they are interested in converting.


5. Are there parts of the service reserved only for Jews? You are welcome to participate in everything done or read by the entire congregation.


6. I don’t read Hebrew – will I be able to follow the service? Many prayers are said in both Hebrew and English, and each page of our new prayer book contains phonetically written versions of the Hebrew. We try to make sure that everyone can participate in at least some parts of the service, including lots of joyful singing.


7. If we send our child to your school, can both parents actively participate in school events? Yes, Jewish tradition puts a high value on family life. Many non-Jewish parents are active volunteers in our school.


8. Will we be the only interfaith family at your Temple? No. A large proportion of our members represent interfaith families. All members of the family are welcomed at Temple Hesed.