In Opening the Gates, Gary Tobin challenges his fellow AmericanJews to avoid the process of entropy that could take a devastatingtoll in the Jewish community. “This should be our primary task,”Tobin passionately argues. Tobin confronts his community with theeye-opening reality that “in order to rebuild and revitalizeJudaism in this country we must rethink our religion as somethingboth born Jews and converts must actively choose and stop blamingintermarriage for Judaism’s decline.” He implores the Jewishcommunity to shift its focus from preventing intermarriage toembracing an open, positive, accessible, and joyful process ofencouraging non-Jews to become Jews. As Tobin bluntly puts it, “Wemust abandon the paradigm that our children and grandchildren maybecome Gentiles and promote the thought that America is filled withmillions of potential Jews.”
Opening the Gates examines the role conversion should play in theJewish future. It looks at the way the Jewish community currentlyhandles issues of intermarriage and conversion and recommAndsstrategies to incorporate conversion into a larger vision ofbuilding the next Jewish civilization. Tobin suggests what Judaismmight look like if it were to promote itself as a positive choicefor both Jews and non-Jews in the marketplace of religiousaffiliation-and tells us what the community needs to do to moldthis future. Tobin’s controversial plan is sure to spark productivedialogue throughout the Jewish community.
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