A chuppah awaits a wedding couple. (Photo/JTA-Mendy Hechtman-Flash90)
A chuppah awaits a wedding couple. (Photo/JTA-Mendy Hechtman-Flash90)

Britain’s Liberal rabbis begin allowing interfaith couples to get married under a chuppah

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Britain’s Liberal Judaism movement moved to allow interfaith couples to be married by a rabbi under a chuppah, the traditional Jewish marriage canopy.

The movement’s Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors announced the policy change on Sunday.

“Liberal Judaism’s Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors (CoLRaC) came to the decision, after much discussion and studying, in order to recognize and celebrate the diversity of Jewish life in Britain in 2020,” the movement said on its website.

In adopting the new policy, Liberal Judaism became the first Jewish movement in the United Kingdom to permit the chuppah to be used at an interfaith ceremony.

The change is a “sign of welcome to a couple” who indicate their wish to keep a Jewish home, said Rabbi Danny Rich, who drafted the report which led to the changes.

The blessing under a chuppah is “at the rabbi’s discretion and where the couple intend to maintain a Jewish home,” read a statement from the conference.

Liberal Judaism represents about 10% of British Jews affiliated with a synagogue, according to the Guardian. It is part of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, an international network that includes Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist communities.

Marcy Oster
Marcy Oster

Israel-based JTA correspondent


Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.