Former Orthodox Rabbi Officiates for Interfaith Couples

50% of American Jews marry non-Jews, while only a small minority of rabbis will officiate at their weddings. Rabbi David S. Gruber of Dallas, Texas provides Jews with a vital service in this regard.
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June 14, 2008 - PRLog -- While Judaism has greatly evolved over the course of the last two hundred years the extreme disconnect between rabbis and lay Jews in one major area of life remains as entrenched as ever – interfaith marriage. While some individual Reform rabbis will officiate at interfaith weddings, not without posing a laundry list of conditions, that movement itself officially discourages rabbis from officiating at such weddings. It goes without saying that interfaith couples need not apply at their local Orthodox or Conservative synagogue. Contrast that with the fact that more than 50% of American Jews marry non-Jews.

Even amongst the small minority of rabbis who will officiate at interfaith weddings most will not do so on Saturday, nor will they co-officiate with non-Jewish clergy, and most will not officiate unless the couple agrees, sometimes in writing, to raise their children exclusively as Jews. These conditions make it very difficult if not impossible for couples to find a rabbi who will officiate for them.

“The fact is that you have a huge population that would love to have a rabbi at their wedding, that would love to embrace Judaism, and that population is being turned away and turned off,” says Rabbi David S. Gruber, of Gruber estimates that the number of rabbis, like him, who will officiate at interfaith weddings, without posing any of the above conditions, is about two to three dozen in the entire country. A basic Google search proves he may be overly optimistic.

Gruber, a former Orthodox rabbi, who lives in the Dallas area, led Orthodox congregations and educational organizations in the past in Israel, New Zealand and the United States, having last served as the Assistant Principal of Yavneh Academy High School of Dallas. After going through a serious period of religious and philosophical reassessment he became a secular Jew, and hence open to the idea of interfaith marriage.

“Demand is really high, as I am one of the only rabbis in Texas and the surrounding states who will do what I do,” says Gruber, “I really hope the rabbinic establishment becomes more reasonable about this issue. In the meantime, I will continue to do my part to meet this acute need, and officiate at interfaith weddings, no ifs, buts or maybes.”

You can learn more about Gruber, the service he provides for interfaith couples, and his reasons for doing so at his website
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Tags:Interfaith, Wedding, Rabbi, Officiant, Jewish, Texas, Marriage
Location:Texas - United States
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