Interfaith Households

Welcome! Beth Jacob has served as an affirming and inclusive community before the concept was fully developed. In the 32 years of the shul’s development since its founding, Beth Jacob has been clear about its commitment to the norms of Jewish life established by our reading of Jewish tradition and to serve as a catalyst for seeing those norms stretched to their limits. We were the first Conservative congregation to fully embrace LGBTQ congregants in the Twin Cities. I was the first Conservative Rabbi in town to perform both a commitment ceremony in the 1990’s and to perform weddings in the 2000’s. We celebrated as a community as a person began their transition to their gender they understood their self to be. We created households as the determinant for membership and define each household equally. We are supportive of those family members who are not Jewish–and I have served to provide spiritual support and guidance in times of mourning and of need. Our new cemetery- “Children Of Abraham” adjacent to our current cemetery will serve as a eternal resting place for many of these families. In short, Beth Jacob which counts among its members people of color, gay and straight, inmarried and intermarried families is a community of joy and celebration, nurturance and support, affirmation and acceptance.” — Rabbi Morris Allen

Things people say

“I love inviting new and prospective members to my house for Shabbat dinner, but I’m always surprised when someone says, “I’d love to, but … my spouse isn’t Jewish” as though that’s a problem, or something they should keep quiet. I guess in some synagogues, maybe it is. But not at Beth Jacob. I could tell them that our non-Jewish spouses are members of the congregation, and members of our Shul community. That our rabbis help them sit Shiva, visit them in the hospital, and take care of them as members. That no one keeps track, or notices, or judges anything. But instead, I usually just smile and say “That’s ok – neither is mine! Does 7pm work for you?” — Rachel

“It has now been 10 years since my mother, two of my sisters, and I converted, and 8 since my father followed. In that time I can state that, without a doubt, Beth Jacob has played the lead role in my religious journey. My family members, even those that did not convert, are now part of an incredibly loving and supporting community to whom we can turn in times of sadness and celebration.” — Tovah

“The variety in the backgrounds of Beth Jacob members as well as the different ages groups is also a plus in why we continue to come here. We are fascinated by the reasons people choose to become Jewish here; especially when it is not just because of marriage.” — Joan

Upcoming Events

Beth Jacob welcomes interfaith families! In addition to all of our regular programming at which all households are welcome, below are some opportunities specifically designed for interfaith families.

Building Pathways for the Children of Abraham
Sunday, May 28, 10:00 am
This past year at Yom Kippur services, our rabbis announced the creation of a new section of our cemetery, designated for our Interfaith families. This section will be called “Children of Abraham,” in parallel with the existing sections “Sons of Jacob” and “Sons of Moses,” and in recognition of the fact that many members of our community would wish to be buried with their non-Jewish family members, but cannot in traditional Jewish cemeteries.

On May 28th, we will visit our cemeteries as a shul community, and together we will build a figurative and literal path to the new Children of Abraham section. Please join us for this important community endeavor as we recognize and embrace the full breadth of our membership in this essential lifecycle experience.

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