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INTERFAITH FAMILY LIFE AT DARCHEI NOAM

Make Yourself at Home

Congregation Darchei Noam is a progressive, dynamic Jewish community approaching its 50th anniversary in Toronto. It is a Jewish communal house of prayer, house of study and house of social interactions for all its members. We are a significant, respected part of Toronto’s Jewish community.

From its earliest days, Darchei Noam has embraced interfaith families as an important part of our diverse, vibrant Jewish community. We know interfaith families take many forms. If you are an interfaith couple, if you grew up in an interfaith home, if you are the parent of a child whose partner is not Jewish, you will find a warm welcome, support, community connection, learning opportunities, and more -- at Darchei Noam.

Do you have to be Jewish to belong to Darchei Noam?

Our membership is open to anyone who is Jewish, anyone who is not a member of another faith community and has a Jewish spouse / partner who is a member of Darchei Noam, or anyone who is in the active process of conversion with a Rabbi approved by our Rabbi Tina Grimberg. We welcome every member’s participation on committees and in other facets of congregational life. Non-Jewish members are full voting members of our community and may serve on the Board of Directors or join any synagogue committee.

Services and programming

Everyone is welcome to attend our synagogue services, and to take part in study sessions and other programming. We are a participatory congregation. While traditional Jewish rituals are led by Jewish adults, everyone present can take part in what is done or read by the entire congregation. And when a family is celebrating an event, such as their child becoming a bar or bat mitzvah, we acknowledge and include non-Jewish family members in our rituals.

We want to get married, and one of us is not Jewish

We are happy to be your choice for a beautiful, meaningful wedding. You will find our Rabbi Tina Grimberg warm, welcoming, and inspiring. She offers pre-marital counselling to all couples, and all couples (including of course interfaith couples) may choose to receive a pre-wedding blessing from our Rabbi during Shabbat services in our sanctuary, in front of the entire congregation.

We recognize and respect our Rabbi’s autonomy and discretion regarding officiating at interfaith weddings. We are currently developing guidelines to authorize qualified lay leaders of the congregation to serve as officiants for interfaith marriages with Jewish elements. You may choose to hold your wedding in our stunning synagogue building and sanctuary.

What about the children of an interfaith relationship?

Darchei Noam accepts both matrilineal and patrilineal descent as confirmation of Jewish identity. In particular, a child with one Jewish parent is eligible for baby naming, can enroll in our Hebrew School and celebrate becoming a bar or bat mitzvah, regardless of which parent is Jewish.

What about burial?

Darchei Noam is a partner in the interfaith section of Lambton Hills cemetery, so that interfaith families may purchase lots allowing them to be buried together. Our Rabbi is available to officiate at the funeral and unveiling of any member, Jewish or non-Jewish.

I want to learn more about Judaism

We offer programming that teaches about Judaism at many levels, or that shows Judaism in action, such as our Social Justice events. The prayerbooks we use are rich with reflections and poetry that bring the ancient text closer. The books have the Hebrew, the transliteration (Hebrew written in the English alphabet) for many prayers and the translation all on facing pages, so one can follow the service regardless of Hebrew language skills.

Our Assurance

Darchei Noam promotes rich Jewish connections for all our members. We value interfaith families, and how they enrich our community.

I have questions. Can I get more information?

Yes! We have just scratched the surface, and would love to have a deeper conversation with you. Please contact us, and someone will be pleased to get back to you.

Mon, 25 October 2021 19 Cheshvan 5782