September 18, 2014   23 Elul 5774

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Membership is open to all Jews and their dependent children. Non-Jewish spouses and partners are welcome as part of a family membership. We regard as a Jew anyone born of a Jewish mother or converted to Judaism through a process acceptable to our rabbis. In general, we do not recognize as Jewish someone born of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother. However, should an adult join our community who has been recognized as a Jew by another Reform synagogue, we will recognize that status. We recommend that all interfaith families, and indeed all families, meet with one of our rabbis when considering membership.

Children are regarded as Jews when born to a Jewish mother or when welcomed as Jews through the rituals of beit din, milah (for boys), and mikveh. Should a family join our community, who previously were recognized as Jews at their previous Reform synagogue which recognized patrilineal descent, we would respect that Jewish status but would counsel formal conversion rituals. This will ensure wider acceptance by the Jewish community.

In most cases of adoption or cases involving the use of technology for reproduction, the children must go through a formal welcoming/conversion process concluding with mikveh. Our requirement of mikveh reflects our desire to limit any later complication that might be experienced by the child who is being raised as a Jew. Given the complexity and evolving nature of these issues, it is important for the family to meet with one of our rabbis.

In support of the formal policy of the Reform movement, we discourage and will not knowingly participate in the practice of raising a child under two religious traditions.

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