Sister is in interfaith relationship, parents are distraught

HomeDiscussionsGrandparenting/Parents of Adult Intermarried ChildrenSister is in interfaith relationship, parents are distraught

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October 6, 2009 at 9:30 am #3832


I would be grateful for any suggestions about my family situation.  My sister is in a very serious long term relationship with a Hindu man.  They plan to get married although have not yet announced any engagement.  My parents, although not ‘traditional’ or religious Jews, are utterly opposed to it.  Their relationship with my sister has deteriorated and my mother in particular cannot and will not accept her relationship.  My brother and I are trying to help our family as the situation is terrible, but we do not really know what to do.  My sister wants to have a mixed household with both Jewish and Hindu influences, so her future children are ‘equally at home in a synagogue and in a temple’.  My brother and I want to try to reconcile my sister and her partner with my parents.  Has anyone else been in this situation and can help me as to the best way to try to get my parents to come to terms with this?  I have said to my parents that they may not like it, but ‘it is what it is’ and they must learn to accept it – but they do not seem to be able to do so (or want to).  They are particularly concerned about the ‘culture clash’ between Judaism and Hinduism and what identity the children will have.  I am really upset about this and don’t know where to turn.  Thanks for your advice.

October 6, 2009 at 7:58 pm #3837


I wish I had some good advice, but all I can offer is empathy. I am in an interfaith relationship and my family is reacting similarly. My parents are against it, even though they are non-religious, and my two sisters are actually also both against it. They do feel caught in the middle, but at the same time, are not on my side. So all I can say is, as someone who is in an interfaith relationship, I very much sympathize with your sister. My only advice would be to show your sister love and support and understanding, because it is very painful to have family so strongly stand against your relationship. In terms of how to approach your parents, I am in the same boat, and would love some advice, too! But at the very least, be an advocate for your sister, and try to help your parents see that her relationship is not a threat to Judaism. I have a friend who is Jewish and married to a Hindu man and they are wonderful, spiritual, loving people who will have a beautiful family one day. Many couples make it work, so we should be optimistic!

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