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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is there a fee for the List of C.C.A.R. and R.R.A. Rabbis Who Officiate at Intermarriages?

For over twenty years from its founding in 1970 the Rabbinic Center for Research and Counseling provided the List of C.C.A.R. and R.R.A. Rabbis Who Officiate at Intermarriages without charge to anyone who requested it. During that period of time The List was supported by the wedding fees that intermarrying couples and their families paid to the Rabbinic Center for the services of a rabbi. In retrospect, this was not a good source of funding since couples whose ceremonies were performed by a rabbi were actually paying for The List to be sent gratis to other couples. As a result of more and more rabbis' officiating at intermarriages in the mid-eighties, the number of weddings at which I and colleagues associated with the Rabbinic Center participated declined rather sharply. At the same time the Rabbinic Center office was called upon to handle an ever increasing number of referral requests and to respond to a wide variety of questions on intermarriage. 

In 1991 after many years of struggling with the issue of charging a fee for The List, the Board of Trustees reluctantly acknowledged that the Rabbinic Center would have to charge for this service or stop providing it. The Board felt very strongly that rabbinic officiation at intermarriages was vital for Jewish survival, that the rabbi’s presence at the very beginning of a couple’s relationship was important for the couple as well as for Judaism and, that the service of providing a list of officiants should be continued. The Rabbinic Center is not supported by and has never received any funds from the organized Jewish community which is still adamantly opposed to rabbinic officiation at intermarriage ceremonies. That is one element of the intermarriage scene that has not changed in the thirty-two years since the Rabbinic Center was founded. 

The List is now supported primarily by the fees paid for The List and, to a limited extent, by the generosity of rabbis and others who recognize its importance. I would certainly appreciate any suggestions that you may have for alternative ways of funding this service so that couples who want a rabbi to officiate at an intermarriage can obtain a copy without charge. However, since there is no public funding presently available, the cost must be borne by those who find The List helpful. The List is definitely not an exception to the rule that there is no free lunch. 

A complete updating of The List, which takes place every four years, is a time-consuming, arduous and costly task. At the present time almost two thousand Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis are surveyed. This is double the number of rabbis surveyed thirty years ago. In addition to the quadrennial survey The List is updated monthly with all the changes that have come to the attention of the Rabbinic Center office. On a daily basis phone inquiries and emails to secure additional information about The List or about intermarriage are responded to.

At the present time the Board of Trustees is exploring ways of perpetuating the work of the Rabbinic Center. Perhaps you would be willing to make a contribution to the Rabbinic Center to help us continue our work. If enough people like you did that, the future of The List would be assured.


Please feel free to click here to email any questions you might have regarding marriages between Jews and non-Jews.  Rabbi Fishbein will personally answer all email on a regular basis.

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The Rabbinic Center for Research and Counseling 
Telephone:  908-233-0419
A private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting research on intermarriage, counseling intermarried couples and serving as a mental health facility for area residents. 

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Copyright © 2009 Rabbinic Center for Research and Counseling
Last modified: November 3, 2009