Nathan Rifzis and Joanna Duretz were complete strangers when they traveled to Israel together in May 2012, but by the end of their 10-day trip, they were well on their way to falling in love. These days, the two are planning their upcoming wedding – and fondly remembering the trip that brought them together. Nathan, a native of Milwaukee, and Joanna, originally from Coral Springs, FL, were traveling to the Holy Land with URJ Kesher, the Reform Jewish trip provider for Taglit-Birthright Israel, which provides free group trips to Israel for young Jews ages 18-26. Here, Nathan and Joanna...Read More
Gay and lesbian couples love to get married. Again and again. Rather than marrying other people each time, we tend to marry the same people again and again. As some same-sex couples have moved from one location to another, they have registered as domestic partners in each of the cities that offered this. They have traveled to states that offered civil unions. They have journeyed to Canada to get married. And as various states in the United States have adopted marriage equality, gay and lesbian couples have trekked around the country in order to get married in these states.
Up until...Read More
The vast majority of Jewish people support the freedom to marry, knowing that strengthening gay families helps many and harms no one. The freedom to marry is not about forcing any rabbi or synagogue – or, for that matter, any priest, minister, imam, mosque, or church – to perform a ceremony. It's about the very important values of religious pluralism, freedom, and equal protection under the law that matter so much in America – and that Jews have a strong stake in safeguarding.
My own dedication to winning the freedom to marry has been consistent with my Jewish values. When I first...Read More
I woke early one morning in June to hear the decisions of the United States Supreme Court on a pair of cases about marriage equality. Joy mixed with disappointment. I celebrated the return of marriage equality to the State of California and the effective end of the ill-named Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) through the extension of benefits to gay and lesbian married couples. At the same time, the court dodged an opportunity to make marriage equality the law of the land. Still, there is hope as advocates work within the states to move equality forward.
Some people expressed...Read More
As Jews, we are often pointedly aware of our minority status in the larger fabric of society. We have friends, family, and associates who do not share our religion, and our differences often seem most obvious during times of celebration: the winter season, the High Holy Days, and yes, at weddings.
My wife and I, recently married, hail from very different backgrounds. I am a Jew by Choice from a Pentecostal family. Of that family, only my mother and I are in contact. By contrast, my wife’s closer, more diverse family represents Jews, Catholics, Protestants and seculars – many of...Read More
Submit a blog post
Share your voice: ReformJudaism.org accepts submissions to the blog for consideration.