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Interfaith Discussion

Interfaith Committee

We wish to briefly summarize for you, the work of the Kol Ami Interfaith Committee as it pertains to our community development.

Kol Ami established an Interfaith committee in August 2016 to identify and examine interfaith issues at Kol Ami. Kol Ami recognized that interfaith families are a growing reality in the Jewish community. As Jews, we can feel a responsibility to connect with our fellow Jews who choose to construct their own Jewish lives in an Interfaith construct; they do not choose to run from Jewish life but rather to construct a Jewish path that includes a non-Jewish partner (with or without children).

Moreover, we can choose to engage non-Jewish partners in a manner that reflects our respect for their choice to be a part of our community and facilitates their learning, identification, and engagement. It is an opportunity for us to embrace each other, grow and mature our community just as Jewish communities have done so for centuries.

Our committee, together with our community, has considered how to extend this embrace in a way that respects our values as Reform Jews and provides a respectful, helpful pathway for non-Jewish partners who seek to engage our community and Jewish life, more fully.

Over the course of the past two years, the committee received community input through numerous interviews and focus groups, provided a series of educational programs (scholar in residence weekend, invited speakers, Torah study) and held a series of discussion forums to educate and dialogue on the relevant issues.

After community consultation and extensive within-committee discussion, it became clear that a primary matter of concern was the existing constitutional restriction on the rights of non-Jewish members of Kol Ami. We examined those restrictions, again soliciting input in 2018 from the community through a community program and consultation from the board of directors, school committee, choir, snow birds, and individuals who responded to our outreach. Based on our congregational consultations and approaches used at other congregations, our committee recommended that our constitution be changed to remove several restrictions. We presented this to the board in the Spring 2018 and decided to present it at the 2019 AGM to discuss and then vote as a larger community after our merger took place.

We will be putting forth resolutions related to participation of non-Jewish partners in Kol Ami community life in June 2019. These resolutions will be the subject of voting at the AGM.

Our hope is that it provokes thought and engenders open-hearted discussion. Our intent is that we embrace one another in discussion and extend the conversation moving forward to strengthens us as a community. We hope many of you will come for discussion and voting!

Informational Session - May 27, 2019 AGM June 17th, 2019

Warm wishes,

Interfaith Committee, Kol Ami

Anita Small & Norman Rosenblum [Co-Chairs]; David Bernstein; Audrey Diamant; Peter Diamant; Andrea Gregor; Tomas Gregor; Elaine Page; Sylvia Starosta; Rabbi Micah Streiffer [Ex-Officio]

Sat, September 18 2021 12 Tishrei 5782