discrimination against adult children of intermarriage

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This topic has 5 voices, contains 13 replies, and was last updated by  Sara 1736 days ago.

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August 4, 2009 at 6:54 pm #3494

Sara

Perusing past articles it seems we are in limbo – if we didn’t grow up in a religiously or culturally engaged Jewish household, we’re not “real” Jews, don’t share the same frame of reference on the culture, and are less welcome than converts. Knowing no more than a convert, I was excluded from outreach efforts targeting converts because I was too Jewish – yet still not Jewish enough to count as a “real” Jew, still different enough to make people nervous.

There is obvious discrimination, as in the comment of one poster here who referred to us as “those sorry people who were not raised as Jews and are not Jewish now.” Such blatant remarks are in some ways reassuring – rather than face the cognitive dissonance that comes with ongoing denial of the Jewish community’s true feelings toward us. 

Nevertheless – what exactly is that all about? How can Jews can lament assimilation, yet refuse to help reverse it when it comes to us (apparently second-class) members of the tribe? Why are adult children of intermarriage a lost cause, disposable, throwaways, irretrievable, unredeemable – to be forgotten? Why are converts, the GLBTQ community, full Jews raised non-religiously but rediscovering Judaism as adults, and underage children of intermarriage ALL viewed as more desirable targets for outreach efforts? Someone explain this to me honestly. Especially when, at this point, I am now more observant than most Reform Jews I know.

August 4, 2009 at 9:16 pm #3495

Debbie B.

Sara, from your posts I can see that you have experienced a lot of emotional pain from feeling rejected because of your intermarried family background. It is sad particularly because that treatment pushes you away from the Judaism that you would clearly like to embrace. But I am certain that you would not be treated badly by either of my minyanim nor by my sponsoring rabbi (who is the most caring and empathetic person I have ever known). If you live in an area with more than one Jewish group, I think you should try looking elsewhere for a more welcoming community. I don’t think there is a single completely universal attitude about anything over the wide range of Jewish groups. It is hard to try another group after being rejected by one, but it is worth looking further.

But I also wonder, do you immediately bring up your background or do you find that people are fine and then react badly when something gives them a clue about your background? Is the issue that people will not accept a patrilineal Jew for an aliyah or other honors without a formal conversion? For Orthodox and Conservative Jews, that is simply an inflexible policy and I don’t believe that insistence on certain definitions of Jewish identity is necessarily a “rejection” of individuals. We converted my children with a Conservative beit din so that they would be Jewish in the Conservative and independent (but traditional) groups that we affiliated with. We have Orthodox friends who would consider our children non-Jewish and thus not suitable for marrying their children, but are otherwise accepting of our family as a “Jewish family”, even if only as a non-Orthodox Jewish family. We could interpret that as meaning that they think we are not a “real” Jewish family, but we think that they see our Jewish identities more as simply “different”.

You say that you were “too Jewish” for “outreach efforts targeting converts”, but many of the “Introduction to Judaism” classes that I have seen are aimed at both prospective converts and adult Jews by birth who are not knowledgeable about Judaism. I find it hard to believe that people teaching such a class wouldn’t welcome say an adult patrilineal Jew who was not raised Jewishly and who thus in some sense fits both of the above categories at once.  I am certain that a local Conservative rabbi who has an on-going conversion class would welcome you into his shul and be happy to help you to become more knowledgeable…but if you are not halachically Jewish, he would hope that you would choose to undergo a formal conversion, and he would not allow say an uncoverted patrilineal Jew to take an honor or be an official member of his shul (and he can’t according the USCJ standards).

Because of your negative experiences, could you possibly be overly defensive and be insistent on having people see your Jewish identity as you do, almost expecting or daring them to treat you badly due to your family background? I don’t meant to imply that you are deserving of bad treatment, but sometimes when we expect or are afraid of the worst we unwittingly encourage it.

Could you possibly be taking personally off-hand comments that are not really meant to be hurtful? For instance, I could imagine that a member of one of my minyanim or my sponsoring rabbi making a comment to that it is unfortunate when children of intermarriage are not given a Jewish education. Would you take that as a criticism of the way you were raised?

August 4, 2009 at 10:01 pm #3496

Hebrew Catholic

I know this is probably just an honest mistake on your part, Debbie, but even the fact that the mistake was so easy for you (and presumably many other people) to make proves Sara’s point:  You automatically assumed she was patrilineal, therefore “not halachically Jewish” and perhaps ought to undergo a “formal conversion”, even though she has stated in several places on the website (including her article, Out of the Desert) that her mother was Jewish. 

That makes her (supposedly) a Jew even to your Orthodox friends who do not consider you or your children Jewish! Yes, from their point of view (and these are your friends, not hers), she is supposedly more Jewish than you are.  And yet, she encounters from people like them, also, the same assumption that she is not quite a Jew.

As you can tell from my “name”, Sara and I have different horses in this race.  But seeing your reply, and the mistake it was so easy for you to make, really makes me feel for her dilemma.

Sara, you must REALLY have a Jewish soul to keep banging your head against this wall!  If it takes a Catholic to see it, well, life is full of ironies.

August 4, 2009 at 11:07 pm #3497

Ruth Abrams

I think like most forms of discrimination, there are elements to this you wouldn’t know about unless you came from the group in question. (I am kind of obsessed with this idea of privilege causing ignorance, because it seems like such a paradox.)

If you have a strong Jewish background and know the community, you would naturally assume that the main issue is who-is-a-Jew, again–matrilineal vs. patrilineal descent. You wouldn’t ordinarily think that people would say unkind things to a person without much Jewish educational background when they come to learn–because you know that one isn’t supposed to do that!

But that was why I wanted to publish your story, because I think people don’t realize which things they say and do are the most off-putting, and who it is they are pushing away. 

August 5, 2009 at 6:25 pm #3501

Sara

Ruth – Yes, I really appreciate that. That was why I wanted to write my story. I think most people don’t realize what it is really like to be an adult with a Jewish MOTHER (thank you Hebrew Catholic – and thanks for the head-banging comment – as my husband is fond of saying, “the worst thing about religion is religious people”) and a non-Jewish father, trying to develop a Jewish life.

I may have simply chosen the wrong denomination – I might be happier with a Conservative synagogue that will not question my legitimacy to the extent that the Reform movement does. I was shocked that the Reform rabbi who taught my Intro to Judaism class told me, “You’re not really Jewish.” I can appreciate the desire to make Judaism only a religion – but that doesn’t jibe with my personal experience of it as an ethnicity, shared history, destiny, and family culture.

Robin Margolis at the Half-Jewish Network confirms my perception – there are many others who frequent her site who’ve had similar encounters with Judaism – so I know it isn’t just me imagining things. Look around this site and you’ll see some pretty blatant hostility.

I am largely self-taught. So far, the warmest reception I have received is from the Chabad people – I admire their passion & commitment, although I can’t live the way they do. They are incredibly well-organized, and care very deeply about preserving Jewish knowledge and their way of life. Most of all, they are just plain kind-hearted, lovely people. Of course with a non-Jewish husband they will never fully accept me, but at least they’ll be pleasant, encouraging, and respectful about it.

I recently offered to lead a group for newcomers at my synagogue because I don’t want anyone to struggle with adjusting the way I have.

Debbie, I think you make many valid points – however, I also believe it is much easier for converts to gain acceptance than it is for adults with one Jewish parent who were not raised as Jews. You’ve come in, it seems, voluntarily, fully choosing Judaism, and don’t have the kinds of identity issues or anxieties half-Jewish people typically acquire. You may share many of the same issues with regard to being culturally different and needing to learn to think in a different way – but you don’t have that heavy family history of flight from or ambivalence about Judaism. A lot of us struggle with who we are and what that means – but there isn’t any support for or recognition of that kind of struggle – in fact no one wants to hear about it – they just use it against us as fodder for why not to intermarry. Why do they not want to hear about it? I think the answer is that hearing about the problems is threatening to many people, such as intermarried couples who don’t want their own children to have a bad experience, or those who have fears about Jewish continuity and/or feel betrayed by Jews who left Judaism. Rabbis are not helpful because they generally have no idea – they are not allowed to intermarry. So, there is a lot of isolation, trying to sort out family histories, choices, experiences with other religious communities, non-Jewish relatives, and encounters with anti-Jewish bigotry as well as rejection within the Jewish community – either of self or of parents. I’ve met two women whose mothers were Jewish but kept it so secret they didn’t even know they were Jewish until their mothers died. Another woman whose father was Jewish practiced Judaism at home but outside the family no one was supposed to know. Those types of family environments leave an impression, shall we say – it’s a really big deal. A lot of us must process an enormous boatload of emotional baggage to enter a Jewish community – and to not be well-received at such a sensitive time is hard to take.

The issue is not so much whether full-blooded born & raised Jews can, at times, act like incredible jerks or snobs – but why, when that does happen (which I am capable of dismissing in other contexts) I take it so deeply to heart. Why does it bother me so much? Why is it so hurtful? Why can’t I shrug it off? I suppose on some level I feel abandoned by Jewish people. I’m supposed to be part of the  tribe, according to halacha. I feel betrayed by my mother who worked so hard to deny her Jewishness – and now I’m in the poor relations basement of Jewish life because of choices she made? It’s complicated stuff – no wonder no one wants to deal with it. I certainly don’t. But it would be nice if there were support groups out there specifically geared to reclaiming a religious life or reverse-assimilating.

August 5, 2009 at 6:37 pm #3502

Debbie B.
Hebrew wrote:
I know this is probably just an honest mistake on your part, Debbie, but even the fact that the mistake was so easy for you (and presumably many other people) to make proves Sara’s point:  You automatically assumed she was patrilineal, therefore “not halachically Jewish” and perhaps ought to undergo a “formal conversion”, even though she has stated in several places on the website (including her article, Out of the Desert) that her mother was Jewish. 

That makes her (supposedly) a Jew even to your Orthodox friends who do not consider you or your children Jewish! Yes, from their point of view (and these are your friends, not hers), she is supposedly more Jewish than you are.  And yet, she encounters from people like them, also, the same assumption that she is not quite a Jew.

Perhaps I should have remembered that Sara’s mother was Jewish, but I didn’t try to find and read all her previous postings and articles. I was moved to write something on the spur of the moment because her pain was palpable. I was simply trying to understand myself why she was pushed away. I am as puzzled as she is as to why she would be pushed away simply because one of her parents was not Jewish. I don’t know if it is worthwhile to try to understand the “why” of that kind of senseless bigotry.

I also think Sara may assume that just because she sees things specifically mentioning GLBT Jews of prospective converts, that the same people who rejected her are truly welcoming of other Jews who are “different” in some way. But there are plenty of stories on this IFF web site about rejection of people from those other groups too. I feel that part of Sara’s pain was feeling that she was singled out for bad treatment.

I have Lesbian friends who were rejected by other Jewish communities. One couple even gave up on living in Israel, their fondest dream since they are both very religious, due to the negative experiences they had after they made aliyah. The reason I got to know them is that when they returned to the US, they joined my minyan although it was not Orthodox because at least it was observant and welcoming. They eventually found a MO congregation that was accepting of them and left our minyan.

My lay-led minyan prides itself on being able to accommodate many different kinds of people with different kinds of backgrounds. The minyan currently has two single-sex couples, a couple of intermarried families, quite a few converts (some who converted before meeting their spouse and others who converted many years after being married to a Jew), a very autistic teenager, a patrilineal Jew brought up without religion who did an Orthodox conversion in her 20′s, and a hispanic convert who thinks his family were “conversos”, children and adults of various racial groups….even though it is still majority standard American Ashenazic “Conservadox” Jewish. It wouldn’t surprise me if we don’t already have a member whose mother was Jewish and whose father was not, who was not raised as a Jew. In my minyan, a person’s background is just what it is, not something to judge them by.

Anyway, I am certain that my minyan would welcome Sara, and they would do so not despite her non-Jewish parent, nor because of it. They would simply accept her for who she is. I was very touched that after my conversion, a number of minyan members very earnestly told me that although they were really happy for me that I converted (because it made me so happy), that they wanted me to know that they had considered me a valued member of the community even when I wasn’t Jewish (and therefore could not be an “official” minyan member). In other words, they didn’t like me “better” as a Jew, nor did they think less of me when I wasn’t. They also don’t think more or less of anyone due to who their parents were. If anything, since many members grew up in less observant homes, they have additional respect for people who have to find and learn about Judaism on their own instead of simply being brought up observant and learning in day school.

I’m sure the local Reform synagogue that many of my neighbors belong to would also welcome Sara. I know a few families with a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father who are members of that shul. And although Sara says that people who accept children of intermarried families reject adults of IFFs, I personally know many members of that shul and I’m sure that adults of IFF are welcomed there too.

So I know that I am simply lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of Jews and many Jewish communities to choose from. But I do think it is important for people who have bad experiences with particular Jewish communities to know that not all are like that. So hopefully, they will not let the bad experiences turn them away from Judaism altogether.

I agree that people who maintain their interest in Judaism despite bad treatment are to be admired. As I reviewed my long spiritual journey while studying for conversion, I realized how lucky I had been to have met so many wonderful, encouraging and non-judgmental Jews, and I wondered if I would have had the persistence and determination to continue on my Jewish path if I had had some of the negative experiences I have read about.

August 5, 2009 at 7:31 pm #3503

Debbie B.
Sara wrote:

I may have simply chosen the wrong denomination – I might be happier with a Conservative synagogue that will not question my legitimacy to the extent that the Reform movement does. I was shocked that the Reform rabbi who taught my Intro to Judaism class told me, “You’re not really Jewish.” I can appreciate the desire to make Judaism only a religion – but that doesn’t jibe with my personal experience of it as an ethnicity, shared history, destiny, and family culture.

A lot of us struggle with who we are and what that means – but there isn’t any support for or recognition of that kind of struggle – in fact no one wants to hear about it – they just use it against us as fodder for why not to intermarry. Why do they not want to hear about it? I think the answer is that hearing about the problems is threatening to many people, such as intermarried couples who don’t want their own children to have a bad experience, or those who have fears about Jewish continuity and/or feel betrayed by Jews who left Judaism. Rabbis are not helpful because they generally have no idea – they are not allowed to intermarry.
….
But it would be nice if there were support groups out there specifically geared to reclaiming a religious life or reverse-assimilating.

It is ironic that the Reform definition of who is a Jew, meant to be more welcoming to more people, ends up alienating others. Or rather it is the fact that it can be used as a justification by some people for insensitive remarks that causes the hurt. I read all the reponsa on the Rabbinical Assembly web site about personal status issues, and many of them stress that even if it is determined that a person is not halachically Jewish by the Conservative movement’s standards that a rabbi should NEVER tell that person that he/she is “not Jewish” or “not really Jewish”.

I don’t think that just because rabbis are not intermarried themselves doesn’t meant that they can’t understand the issues. Rabbis of Conservative and Reform synagogues will typically have congregants with a wide variety of family backgrounds, so they should be able to deal sensitively with that, and I believe the good ones DO. Sara, you could try talking to other rabbis. Perhaps it would be helpful to study with a sympathetic rabbi in a similar way to a non-Jewish prospective convert, even if a Conservative or Orthodox rabbi wouldn’t feel that you need to be “converted”. You have issues you need to work out about your background, but it is not altogether different from the situation of some converts needing to work out issues with respect to their previous religions. I did not have these kind of issues, but my sponsoring rabbi asked me questions to determine if it was something we needed to talk about, and I got the feeling that other converts did have these issues which he had helped them with. I wish you could talk to my rabbi. I think you would find that he has the same sincere wish to help people explore their Judaism that you find in the Chabad people, but coming from a Conservative perspective.

Also, I do still think you should check out other congregations. Perhaps a Conservative one, as you mention. My own experience is all with Conservative groups (although my primary minyan was proudly “Independent” until a “merger” with its host shul forced USCJ membership). Some people assume that Reform shuls are necessarily the best place for intermarried families, but I don’t think that is always the case.

As for a support group, that is one of the valuable functions of this IFF web site and Robin’s Half-Jewish web site. It’s not quite the same as a physical meeting with real conversations, but it offers the chance to unload, share, and see stories and comments by others like you. I don’t think you can expect people who don’t have your background to want to hear a lot about it. It’s not even that they are threatened as much as it just isn’t as much of a concern of theirs as it is for you. Similarly, people who have children sometimes find that they become less close to their childless friends because something that is the center of their lives isn’t important to their friends.

I would try to focus more on learning about and embracing those aspects of Judaism that resonate with you and try more to connect to other Jews through more positive things. I think if you can build up more positive feelings it will allow you to look back at aspects that bother you without it causing more pain in remembering.

August 5, 2009 at 8:22 pm #3505

Sara

Hi Debbie –

Thanks for your response. You are absolutely right about building up positive experiences (and maybe not being so intense about the whole thing!) and about not expecting people with different perspectives not sharing the same concerns. It is difficult to feel so overwhelmed and not have any place to take those feelings – as a result of which, I am probably in an emotionally demanding state of mind – even if I don’t actually talk to people about it face to face. I don’t deny that this is painful or difficult.

Nevertheless, I am not hallucinating when I think I encounter people who are truly unwelcoming, unfriendly, suspicious, snooty, or even hostile.

With regard to the relative inclusiveness of different groups, my impression is that the GLBTQ, interfaith, and returning 100% Jews are recognized and treated as meaningful outreach demographic categories – especially if they have small children or are of child-bearing age. They are mentioned. They are on the radar. Programs exists for them.

I completely support that work and the people it is meant to assist. I contribute financially to Jewish institutions.

however:

Until I discovered this website, I thought adults from interfaith families were invisible – not thought about at all, not considered, studied, explored, reached out to, nor supported in any way. I don’t think Jewish people should kvetch about assimilation if they are not willing to help us. I resent that we are less important than these other groups.

My synagogue is about half gay, 25% interfaith couples, 99.9% white. I think there are some half-Jewish people there but they are not open about it. I may be wrong, but I get the feeling people are denying their backgrounds to fit in.

I suspect the future of Judaism would be helped along by including and supporting anyone who wants to become Jewish and/or participate in Jewish life.

I would like to see the following:

1) Sensitivity to and awareness of half-Jewish issues
2) Supportive and welcoming attitudes
3) Willingness to identify resources so we can teach and/or help each other
4) Organized discussion groups addressing our issues

I am going to try to launch my own social half-Jewish group in Seattle in the near future. I am also, as mentioned, going to extend myself to newcomers so that they’ll know they’re not alone. I would be willing to teach a new person how to do the shabbat blessings, for example. I would be willing to teach someone the Hebrew alphabet. I would be willing to share books & resources that have helped me. And I would be willing to talk to someone struggling with emotional issues about their transition into Jewish life (like a woman who was born 100% Jewish but raised around “Jews for Jesus” – she was desperate to talk to someone and I immediately gave her my email and phone number  – as opposed to sitting there thinking, Ew, you have yucky issues, don’t bother me.)

I believe in the idea of communal responsibility. I believe everything is connected, and what happens to you also happens to me.

August 5, 2009 at 8:59 pm #3506

InterfaithFamily Administrator

Hi! Sara,

We would love to help you launch Seattle half-Jewish group using the new functionality on the InterfaithFamily.com website. 

To start a group, just go to the group tab (on the left side of the web page.)

If you would like to talk about this in more depth, please send me an email on the Network or at robins@interfaithfamily.com.

All my best,

Robin
Network Director

August 5, 2009 at 10:22 pm #3507

Debbie B.

Sara,

Last night, I went to a screening of a movie called “Faces of Israel” for a Jewish educators group (I’m not one, but I’m on their mailing list because my daughter was enrolled in the BJE high school program). It was all about what the rabbi who moderated termed “personal status” issues in israel. One member of the audience mentioned that a recent study showed that some large percentage (half?) of the students who go to university Hillels have a non-jewish parent, so the Hillels are trying  to be extra-sensitive to those issues. The Hillels ARE interested in outreach to this group of students with one Jewish parent. You might look into what the Hillels are doing. You may out of that age group yourself, but it might give you ideas and resources.

Because of the rate of intermarriage has increased in recent decades, there are fewer adult children of IFFs who are middle aged or older, but a much larger number of younger adults. So i think there will be a greater need for programs for adult children of intermarriage in the future. It is great that you are willing to put the effort into creating your own group. If it takes off, I’ll bet you will find people who come to you and had the same background and felt like you, but kept quiet about it. Given the bad reactions you’ve had, it’s understandable that some people might decide that it was better not to let people know.

Another thought about the other adult children of intermarriage who are members of your shul: maybe they simply don’t have your issues, so they don’t bring it up because its not a big deal to them. Maybe they grew up with a firm Jewish identity. It is possible even in an IFF. Even if I had not finally recently converted, I don’t think my children would have had less firm jewish identities. One reason is that we raised them in a home that was basically an observant Conservative Jewish home except that the mother (me) wasn’t technically Jewish, and another factor is that they have always been in supportive Jewish communities. The few changes since my conversion affect only me:  I can take an aliyah, I now read Torah regularly, and sometimes I go to morning minyan when they need an extra person to make a minyan. I talked to my son about whether other kids had ever questioned his Jewish identity. His reply was that since most of the other Jewish kids were so much less observant than we are (they don’t keep kosher, Shabbat, holidays, etc), that he wouldn’t take their attitudes seriously because he felt MORE Jewish than most of the kids with two Jewish parents. (There are only a few Orthodox special ed kids in our public schools, and most of the Jewish kids are from not very observant Reform households.) I just hope he is still able to feel that confident when he comes across the kind of negative reaction that you have in the future—and I’m sure he’ll run into it eventually.

August 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm #3518

Sara

Hi Debbie:

I think you make an excellent point – a solid Jewish identity as developed in the home is going to mitigate any outside questions about one’s Jewish status. I’m sure even if your son encounters discriminatory attitudes about being the child of interfaith parents, he is not going to waver in his sense of self – with everyone in the family on the same page.

The one question that bothers me and which has come up for others is when someone’s conversion status in Israel is challenged, sometimes years after the fact – one Orthodox fellow doubted his Jewishness when the rabbis decided his mother’s Orthodox conversion wasn’t good enough – at that point it sounded like he considered throwing in the towel on the whole thing.

My parents came of age in a generation when Jews were outside of the upwardly mobile WASP world, and for whatever reason my mother was cut off from her roots – so we didn’t get that knowledge or foundation, we got little exposure to religion – and a lot of exposure to bigotry.

I’m sure there are reasonably well-adjusted adults who come from interfaith homes. To be clear, I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong or misguided about interfaith marriages. While I realize that is the common fear, I think the effect on children depends upon how the situation is handled. Healthy parents tend to raise healthy kids. Having said that, though, I suspect everyone from a bi-cultural or multi-cultural background is going to carry with them the many facets of their personal heritage – we don’t stop being whatever the “other” parent is or was, as that too is part of who we are. No one should be expected to deny the influence of the other parent in an attempt to become a “real” Jew. We’re hybrids. That’s who we are. That’s the way it is – it doesn’t change. It can’t change. Shouldn’t have to.

It does sound as though the numbers of people who come from interfaith households is growing. I was born in 1963, first tried to find a link to Judaism in the ’80s and was rebuffed, also afraid – and since my mother’s family had mostly assimilated or abandoned Judaism, there wasn’t anyone to turn to for support or information. When they found out I was studying Judaism, my sister and mother seemed to feel very threatened – both reacted with a kind of visceral panic and twitchiness.

Better late than never, I guess. There are more than a few of us from my generation, even a little older than I am – some of whom, as described above, didn’t even know they were Jewish until their mothers died, or were also told to keep their Jewishness secret.

What a disaster – I see parallels between that experience and the experience of light-skinned African Americans who could and/or tried to “pass as White.” There was this feeling of “passing” for a long time, which is a great way to end up feeling bad about yourself.

August 7, 2009 at 5:53 pm #3528

Sara Davies

As a footnote on the concept of privilege & ignorance – recently talked to someone who grew up in a Jewish community, Conservadox by practice, lived in Israel for years, etc. – who was shocked to learn that there are still Jewish families out there who are paranoid about being Jewish. “Still?” he said, “but we all have the same history.” Meaning, everyone from an Eastern European background shares the immigrant experience and post-Holocaust fallout. Which is true. Why some families maintained a Jewish identity while others did not, I couldn’t tell you. As a result of this exchange, I wondered if my situation was an aberration. No more than a day later, I spoke to three other people with very hidden Jewishness in their families. If you’ve had a comfortable Jewish family life, it would be easy to miss how weird it can be for others. How would you know? I’ve certainly been in situations where I learned a lot more about the experiences of various other minorities that shocked the heck out of me. White privilege carries all kinds of ignorance. But if we don’t actively seek out information about the experiences and perspectives of those outside our own group, chances are we’re going to remain clueless. For many, I suppose, the question becomes: Why should I seek out that information?

October 5, 2009 at 4:01 am #3827

karen

Each of us has an obligation to seek the spiritual path that best serves our personal journey.  It is wonderful to find that in the religous traditions in which you have been raised.  We should all be able to respect that spiritual choice. 

People who have time to worry about your parent’s religion or if you keep Kosher or how well you know your prayers in Hebrew may be just trying to avoid thinking about their own issues. 

 

February 24, 2010 at 9:29 pm #4371

Sara

Think that discrimination does not exist? Check this out:

http://www.halakhah.org/14/TheMatriline … hIdentity/

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