Keruv / Welcoming Intermarried and Alternative Households

Keruv means to “bring closer”. At Congregation Shir Shalom, we strive to be open and inclusive, and are welcoming to families and individuals of all backgrounds. This includes the unaffiliated, intermarried families, those with special needs and the LGBTIQA+ community.

We welcome both Jewish and non-Jewish family members, partners and friends to worship with us, and participate in our many programs, events and activities.  Regardless of your background, financial or personal situation, our doors are open and we encourage you to join us.

Honors and Participation in our Services

As a Jewish or intermarried congregant, you are welcome to participate in our service, and, among others, may be honored in the following ways:

  • Being called to the Bimah (platform where services are conducted) for a baby naming
  • Being called to the Bimah on the occasion of a child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah
  • Offering a Prayer for your Child at their Bar or Bat Mitzvah
  • Being part of a group blessing before traveling to Israel
  • Being called to the Bimah to celebrate an anniversary
  • Coming to the Bimah on other family occasions and celebrations, such as a child’s graduation.

Brit Milah and Baby Naming Ceremonies

Brit Milah (ritual circumcision) is the rite through which a baby boy is welcomed into the Jewish community and at which he receives his Hebrew name.  Rabbi Kurland will be happy to assist in the planning and participate in this very meaningful ceremony.  Upon the birth of a daughter, Rabbi Kurland will be delighted to discuss the options for a naming ceremony either in the synagogue or your home.

Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

A Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony is an important rite of passage, as a Jewish child becomes a Jewish adult.  We encourage all family members to participate in the service on the day of this wonderful occasion.  On Friday night, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child, along with his/her parents are encouraged to come, with the child participating in the evening service.  On the morning of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, opportunities are provided for Jewish and non-Jewish family members to participate, and both parents are invited to share a blessing with their child.


While, as a rule, Conservative Rabbis are not permitted to officiate in intermarried weddings, Rabbi Kurland is happy to meet with all couples planning their marriage, to discuss and help coordinate opportunities for involvement in the synagogue.  Same sex unions are permitted under the Conservative movement. Rabbi Kurland likewise is happy to discuss and help coordinate this.


In the event that a non-Jewish spouse or another non-Jewish family member passes away, Rabbi Kurland is available for comfort and support.  Many of our Jewish traditions are universal in their ability to provide comfort at and after the time of loss. 

Jewish Education

Everyone is welcome at our Adult Education programs and other educational and social events.  Children of intermarried couples are encouraged to enroll in our Hebrew School and participate in our Youth programs, provided that the child is Jewish or there is an intent to have the child converted to Judaism.

For More Information

Please contact Rabbi Paul Kurland: / (845) 708-9181