Are you looking for a synagogue where your Interfaith family will feel welcome and comfortable? Then Or Ami is the synagogue for you! Interfaith families are most welcome at Or Ami. For Jews and non-Jews alike, Or Ami is the community that “opens doors” to explore how Jewish wisdom, custom, and celebration can play a role in your life. Your children will enjoy learning how to be Jewish and being prepared for their b’nai mitzvah in our wonderful religious school, in an atmosphere that is respectful of other religious faiths.

We welcome non-Jewish partners to join in the complete Or Ami program from worship and study to celebration and leadership. Non-Jews are most welcome and encouraged to participate in virtually every aspect of our Or Ami worship services, except when taking on the few roles or leadership responsibilities that are unique to Jews. Interfaith couples share the same status as couples where both partners are Jewish. 

Whether this is your first synagogue experience or you are a long-time member of Or Ami, we hope that you feel welcome in our community.

Interfaith Customs

Ritual

Q: What do I do during a religious service? Can I read aloud or am I supposed to sit quietly?

A: We welcome your participation in our worship services and other rituals, and we encourage you to read, sing, meditate and celebrate with the rest of our congregation. Our intention is to fully respect your individual religious choices while maintaining the integrity of Jewish tradition.

On special occasions, congregants may be honored with leadership roles in our services. Most of these roles are open to everyone. However, we respectfully request that only those who are Jewish lead the congregation in prayers that affirm a Jewish identity (such as the Shema) or speak of specifically Jewish obligations to fulfill God’s commandments, including the recitation of the blessings surrounding Torah readings.

Life Cycle Events

Q: What about the big events in life? Can I get married at Or Ami; will my children be considered Jewish; can I be buried near my loved ones?

A: Our rabbi is available for pre-marital counseling and wedding preparations and may also officiate at weddings or offer wedding blessings, when one member of the couple is not Jewish, but both members of the couple agree that they will raise their children together as Jews.

We are overjoyed and humbled that you are choosing to raise your children in our community. We especially recognize the unique commitment made by interfaith families who seek out our synagogue.

We are honored to conduct rituals that include baby naming, brit milah (ritual circumcision), and bar and bat mitzvah for your children, and we welcome your full participation as parents.

At times of death and mourning, our rabbi is here to give comfort and support to you and your family. This includes counseling and conducting funeral services that are respectful of a loved one’s spiritual beliefs and practices.

Membership

Q: Can I be a full member of Or Ami and participate in all aspects of congregational life?

A: Absolutely! Our membership is open to all individuals and families who wish to be part of a vibrant progressive Jewish community.

You are encouraged to participate fully in educational, communal, and social action activities. 

Q: I’d like to get involved on a higher level. Can I serve on the board or volunteer to contribute in other ways?

A: Yes! We would love for you to get as involved as you would like at Or Ami. Each adult member of our synagogue in “good standing” is eligible to vote at annual congregational meetings. All adults are also welcome and encouraged to serve in elected and voluntary leadership positions.

Other Questions You May Have

Q: Will I ever be pressured to convert to Judaism?

A: We value every individual for who they are and where they are in life. We will never pressure you to convert to Judaism. If, however, you are interested in pursuing a journey toward conversion, our Rabbi is always here to serve as your guide.

Q: Can I speak privately with the rabbi?

A: YES! Our Rabbi is always here for you with a compassionate ear and open arms.

Or Ami also offers and Introduction to Judaism class, with the current session beginning in February, 2015. Learn more.