David Benkof, former international USY president , warned in The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday (Jan.

The original phrasing calls on USY leaders to “refrain” from dating non-Jews; the new wording speaks of “recognizing the importance of dating within the Jewish community.” The intention, though, Shapiro said, was to make the language more inclusive out of respect to USY leaders who have a non-Jewish parent — not to make it more acceptable for USY leaders to date non-Jews.

But not everyone is so convinced that the teens’ vote and the demise of Gardenswartz’s proposal simply reinforce the status quo.

In various corners of the Conservative community, it appears as if some are mulling — for better or worse — a loosening of the rules that govern dating and marriage.

(RNS) Whether Jews should only date and marry other Jews is not a new question, but it’s one that has come into stark relief in recent weeks.

In two separate instances in December, groups within Conservative Judaism — the second-largest movement of American Jews — appeared to challenge some of their own rules that discourage interfaith dating and matrimony: Unlike rabbis in Reform Judaism, the largest American stream of Judaism, Conservative rabbis may not preside at interfaith marriages.

Conservative Judaism has stood fast on this, even as it has embraced female rabbis and same-sex weddings and welcomed the non-Jewish spouses of congregants into its synagogues.

“This is about our children and our grandchildren, and making sure that in this glorious open society, that when our children fall in love — with whomever they fall in love — they know they can always come back to their spiritual home,” he said.

In a religion whose adherents number fewer than 15 million worldwide, which lost 6 million souls during the Holocaust, and whose children feel increasingly free to choose whether or not they will produce a next generation of committed Jews, any changes regarding dating and marriage can be fraught with anxiety and emotion.

She and other leaders of the movement reject the idea that the recent events undermined this tenet of Conservative Judaism, which stands between the more progressive Reform and more traditional Orthodox movements in its interpretation of Jewish law.