I am amazed, each time I meet with an interfaith family, that they need to ask (in round about ways) whether the warm welcome and full integration that we offer to all Or Ami congregants is available to interfaith families as well. No one comes out and asks it directly, but I find it to be an undercurrent in the conversation.
Pleased that we offer a truly warm welcome to any individual or family who has chosen to create a Jewish home (and, if there are children, to raise them as Jews), we decided to put this into writing. We hope now that our Or Ami website is clear and true to the warm welcome we offer.
Our welcome begins:
No one is more welcomed at Congregation Or Ami than you!
Congregation Or Ami, like all Reform Jewish congregations, holds the mitzvah (religious responsibility) of ahavat ger (welcoming the stranger) among the most important tenets of our faith. We actively welcome interfaith families into our communities and encourage their participation in our synagogues. We work to empower people to make Jewish choices for themselves and their families and strive to provide resources to inform educated decisions. We strive to be welcoming places for people of diverse religious backgrounds, sexual orientations and ethnic backgrounds.
Many couples that begin with two individuals from different backgrounds need to integrate separate lives into one family. And for interfaith couples and their families that integration also includes differing religious traditions and cultures. Remember: you are not alone. Congregation Or Ami, our Rabbi Paul Kipnes and Cantor Doug Cotler and our Reform Jewish movement, welcome you. Congregation Or Ami is already proud to be a home congregation for many interfaith couples and families, and we welcome you to share in the warmth of our community. We invite you to begin a conversation with Rabbi Kipnes to share your hopes or questions about being an interfaith family at Or Ami. Read more.
I am also proud that we added to the home page of our website images that signify our openness to diversity: the blue/white wheelchair (symbolizing our openness to people with disabilities), the rainbow flag (our welcoming of gay and lesbian Jews and Jewish families), and the 12-Step Triangle (our awareness of and acceptance of people recovering from addictions and dependencies).