When my husband read an early draft of this essay, he asked, "Why doesn't her partner have to support our daughter? After all, they agreed to raise children as Jews." What does it mean to raise a Jewish child?Go To Parenting
HI! Welcome to the Interfaith Parenting blog. Since we are starting with introductions, I will take a moment to introduce myself and my brood. I am the non-Jewish partner in an interfaith family. When my husband and I got married, we were told: It will never last, you will get divorced, it is doomed, interfaith marriages never work out, don’t get married unless you convert. Having just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, I want to say pppbbbttt to all the nay-sayers! We are still going strong and I would be very surprised if we divorced because he is Jewish and I am not.
I am still not Jewish. I really don’t plan to become Jewish. It isn’t part of what I want to do for me. It isn’t part of my reality. That does not mean that I don’t drive the kids to Religious School every week, make challah for Shabbat, take them to temple… alone, and do what a “real” Jewish mother would do. My relationship with G-d is mine, and it isn’t Jewish.
We have three wonderful, Jewish children, two boys (11 and and a girl (5, almost 6 (she wanted me to say that)). They are more than Jewish, but living in what seems to be the epicenter of Christianity, I find that describing them as Jewish happens more often than not. Oh the looks I get when I tell people that our babysitter is going to Israel for a semester and wants to be a rabbi.
As a family we struggle to educate people that Christmas is a Christian holiday, that Santa Claus does not go to shul and that Easter is not for everyone. One of my biggest surprises was going into my son’s kindergarten class and asking how many of them had heard of Hanukkah. It was shocking how many really didn’t know anything about it. Our challenge is to teach people about tolerance, and we believe that education is the route to that.
We are also embarking on many life cycle events: our oldest started middle school and is preparing for a
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