Spring Lecture Series 2018: Intermarriage
Spring Lecture Series 2018: Intermarriage

Intermarriage: Choices and Consequences  With R. Ethan Tucker

Tuesdays April 24, May 1, and May 8, 2018 — 7:30 - 9:00 pm 
Hadar, 190 Amsterdam Avenue

Event Description | Registration

The lectures will be recorded. Audio and source sheets will be available online after the lectures.

Can't make it to the Spring Lecture Series in person? Made it in person and didn't get to ask your questions? 

Rabbis Ethan Tucker & Avi Killip will be devoting a special episode of Responsa Radio to answering listener mail about the lectures on intermarriage. 

Send your questions about the series to Talia Graff at graff@hadar.org with the subject line: Question about Spring Lecture Series

Session Descriptions

Lecture 1: Why is/was intermarriage forbidden?: Back to the Text

Our public discussion of Intermarriage is mired in questions of demographics and frequently devolves into simple binaries of inclusion/exclusion and tradition/change.  In this session, we will return to the Biblical and rabbinic texts that actually engage intermarriage in an effort to define a substantive canon of values and ideas to which we could (and perhaps should) be accountable.
Lecture 2: Can Halakhah Embrace Intermarriage?
In this session, we will aim to push halakhic discourse to (and perhaps past) its breaking point.  What argument would one have to make to embrace or justify intermarriage in keeping with the values and concerns of traditional Jewish law and practice?  What would be gained or lost by this argument and how tendentious is it?  Our goal will be to see how halakhah might be able to say more than we might imagine on this front while identifying limits we might not have expected.
Lecture 3: Where Do We Go From Here?
Having taken stock of the halakhic canon, we will return this discussion to our present moment.  What ways forward feel possible, plausible, or necessary?  We will explore how discussions around intermarriage are really projections of dramatically divergent views of what Judaism is about, and the role of the Jewish people in making it manifest.  We will make the case for an enduring commitment to endogamy in Jewish life (necessitating boundaries and red lines) while nevertheless exploring the brave new world of a Judaism detached from the Jewish people that seems to be the implied preference of many contemporary American Jews.


Registration online is $5 per session. At the door, walk-ins are $10 per session, students are $5.