Article Discussion: From Terrible Conversation To Intermarriage Realization

HomeDiscussionsInterfaith MarriageArticle Discussion: From Terrible Conversation To Intermarriage Realization

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October 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm #7950


Click here to read the article: From Terrible Conversation To Intermarriage Realization

October 26, 2012 at 11:20 am #7960


I am a Catholic women who was married to a Jewish man. Before we agreed to get married, we agreed that we would raise our children as Jewish – and I made it clear that I was Catholic and was not going to convert. Once we had children, we embraced Judaism for them and our friends joked that I became more “Jewish” than my husband in knowledge and in celebration. Fast forward 15 years and I am now a Catholic widow raising Jewish children. Both my children have chosen to be Mitzvahed. My daughter is incredibly active in BBYO, has been to Israel and embraces a Jewish life. Yet people still tell her that “she is not really Jewish”. It breaks my heart every time she comes to me and says “Why do people tell me I’m not Jewish?”. How do I explain to her that the ignorance and intolerance of others should not be a reflection on how she sees herself. Sadly, I watch the light dim in her eyes a little every time. I often feel that other Jews can be their own worst enemy when it comes to assimilation and acceptance.

I rarely post on the Internet – but I felt that this was a lovely blog post which describes attitudes that I experience every day and wanted to let you know how it touched me.

October 30, 2012 at 1:43 am #8020


The sticky part of Jewish interfaith marriage is that according to Halacha, a child is Jewish if their mother is Jewish (or if the mother converts to Judaism before she has the child-if it is after the child must convert themselves). So although embracing interfaith marriages sends a message of inclusion, it is not in line with Halacha and leads to families where some (if not the majority of the family) are not halachically Jewish. “Raising your child as Jewish” is great- but if the children or other members of the family aren’t halachically Jewish, raising them as such won’t make them Jewish.

October 30, 2012 at 11:00 am #8037

Benjamin Maron


Some Jewish denominations follow both matrilineal and patrilineal descent, holding both as halakhically valid. As such, children born to Jewish parents are “just as Jewish” as those born to Jewish mothers in those denominations.

October 30, 2012 at 11:03 am #8038


My understanding is that certain “flavors” of Judaism accept patriarchy as well as matriarchy as my brother-in-law’s temple in Eugene, OR does. I think in the ever evolving Jewish culture, we should be open to accepting children as “Jewish” if the home they are raised in practices the traditions of Judaism. As Jews we have always honored courage; what is more courageous than putting everything you were raised with and may be ingrained with aside to raise your child Jewishly? Maybe we need to worry less about strict Halacha and embrace those who embrace our traditions.

October 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm #8039

Candice Slobin-Sindermann

An article that is important, really well written, and a subject that has many variables and angles…kudos to the young and gifted thinker/writer of this article

November 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm #8247


Can’t children born to a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother be converted at birth? My understanding that is a bris or dip in the mikvah and appearance before a beit din will begin a conditional conversion process for the children, with a bar or bat-mitzvah satisfying the condition once the child becomes of age. Am I incorrect?

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