Discussion Guide - Leaders by Choice

April 3, 2013
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  1. Jews by choice create their Jewish identity, for the most part, as adults. Will the increasing visibility of community leaders who have chosen Judaism — and who have a different relationship to ethnicity, history, and practice — influence contemporary Jewish life? How do Jews by choice integrate their own cultural religious history into their Jewish identity?
  2. Are communal standards different for leaders who are known to be Jews by choice? Is there still a small voice within the Jewish collective unconscious that rails against converts as “inauthentic outsiders”? 
  3. What role might “fellow travelers” play in the Jewish community? Should they be allowed to join synagogues as part of an intermarried family? Can they sit on boards and hold other leadership positions? Might we welcome their fresh take on our tradition?
  4. Should communal leaders — such as rabbis or educators — be free to make whatever personal choices about a marriage partner they choose? Does a partner’s non-Jewish status presume that he or she does not contribute to the richness of a Jewish home or community?
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