Outreach: Breaking Barriers to Save Reform Judaism


Breaking Barriers to Save Reform Judaism​​​​​​​

יד מושטת: פריצת חסמים להצלת היהדות הרפורמית

"My conviction is that Judaism cannot today be an exclusive club, but must be a faith for all those who wish to join." 
~ Rabbi Alexander Schindler, 1995, Los Angeles Times

Outreach Speech, 1978, Schindler Family Archives

Click to read the revolutionary Outreach Speech 

Robyn Tantleff

Junior Division

Individual Website

Word Count: 1,183

Media Length: 3:17

Process Paper Words: 499

   Rabbi Alexander Schindler, 1996, Reform Judaism Magazine

On December 2, 1978 in Houston, Texas, Rabbi Alexander Schindler delivered his “Outreach Speech.” In response to the rising rate of intermarriage, his bold outreach proposal broke traditional, exclusionary barriers of Reform Judaism by urging outreach to non-Jewish partners in interfaith relationships, the “unchurched” seeking religion, and accepting patrilineal descent. These outreach efforts strengthened the Reform Movement to ensure its continuity notwithstanding the rising rate of intermarriage.

Rabbi Judy Schindler, 2020, Personal interview
Rabbi Judy Schindler, daughter of Rabbi Alexander Schindler, discusses the motivations behind, and importance of, outreach and inclusion to Rabbi Alexander Schindler

Collage of Schindler family memories, Years unknown, Schindler Family Archives