The Temple Beth Shalom community and our Rabbi welcome all levels of participation by interfaith families. We encourage questions and are happy to discuss any issues or answer any questions about Judaism and the Jewish people. We encourage your interest. In this spirit, we believe we can all learn and grow together.
Temple Beth Shalom is open to anyone seeking a connection to God, to Torah, or simply wanting to learn more about the Jewish people. This includes Jews, people thinking about or working toward becoming Jews by Choice, and people whom our tradition calls rey’im ahuvim, or beloved companions—people not interested in converting to Judaism but who would like to know more about Judaism or wish to be supportive of Jews in their family. We have many interfaith families who are active in our community. If you have questions, please:
- Contact Rabbi Tamar by calling our synagogue office at 509-747-3304
- Contact our Membership Chair by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 509-747-3304
Temple Beth Shalom does have customs and traditions around Jewish identity and how Jews and non-Jews participate in religious life together. Some of those customs are described below.
Membership and Services
Membership in Temple Beth Shalom is available to any person of the Jewish faith and her/his household. In congregational meetings, voting privileges are reserved for Jewish adults.
Everyone, Jewish or not, is welcome to participate in Temple Beth Shalom's worship services, educational, cultural and social programs, and community activities. If you are attending our worship services but are not familiar with our practices, see Visiting Temple Beth Shalom Services to learn more.
Children's Religious Identity
The Conservative movement follows the traditional Jewish law (halakhah) of matrilineal descent, meaning that if a child's mother is Jewish, the child is Jewish, and if the child's mother is not Jewish, the child must convert to Judaism to become Jewish. Non-Jewish children are welcome in our education program, but a child must be Jewish in order to have a bar/bat mitzvah. Our Rabbi is available to meet with non-Jewish Midrasha students and their families to discuss whether conversion and bar/bat mitzvah is desired.
Interfaith burials take place in the Jewish section of Fairmount Cemetery. Our Rabbi presides over the burials of both Jewish and non-Jewish family members.
Looking for more resources on interfaith families and Jewish life? Try InterFaithFamily.com.