Jewish Journal


June 12, 2007

Jews get polygamous


Right now, in the boardrooms of Jewish philanthropic organizations throughout the U.S., program officers are locked in heated discussions about your love life. Whirlwind trips to Israel, boozy mixers at community centers, film screenings in darkened theaters, online endogamous dating sites—all meticulously designed to lead young Jews into lasting romantic relationships. So, in an American social climate where divorce is pandemic and for the first time in decades, more than half of the population is unmarried, wouldn’t the powers-that-be be pleased to know that some Jews yearn to be in as many Jewish relationships as possible… at the same time? Polyamory, while hardly a sweeping mainstream trend, is a lifestyle that an increasing number of Jews are embracing.

That’s part of a surprising feature in Heeb magazine. The article gives the example of what happened when Rabbi Jacob Levin, 62, came out to his Northern California congregation.

(H)is disclosure was met with a mix of confusion and dismay. Homosexuality they understood—there was growing acceptance, some synagogues more conservative than theirs were even supporting gay marriage—but polyamory? This was different, this was weird. They were Jews after all, people of the Book, not pagan nature worshipers or—God forbid—Mormons.

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