August 29, 2006
We've heard the insults before: if your mother isn't Jewish, you're not really Jewish; intermarriage is destroying the Jewish people; a relationship between a gentile and a Jew can never work. Comments like these hurt, especially if they come from family members. In the new issue of our Web Magazine on Responding to Negative Comments about Intermarriage, we explore how several people have reacted to others' anti-intermarriage comments, and offer our advice on the best way to respond.
Gary Goldhammer and his wife are living proof that intermarriage is not destroying the Jewish people. His wife Christine practices Judaism, is active in their synagogue and raises their daughter Jewish. But his sister still won't accept her. Sometimes Interfaith Ignorance is All in the Family .
Wondering what to tell your child to do when he or she hears a nasty comment about intermarriage? We asked outreach experts for their advice and created Tips for Responding to Negative Comments about Interfaith Families .
On a trip to Israel, Heather Lazar rediscovered her Jewish identity and became friends with an Orthodox Jewish woman. But when Lazar started dating a non-Jew, her friend became hostile. Read more in a Newfound Love and a Lost Friendship .
As a teenager Zachary Kushner said he would only date Jews. So when he met his non-Jewish soulmate, it was both scary and invigorating. Now he has to deal with people's whispered comments about his intermarriage. But their criticisms only make him feel more confident in his choice, he says, in Opening Yourself to Danger .
Unlike Zack, his wife Madhavi never gave much thought to religion. Raised in an ashram and now an atheist, she never thought it would be relevant to her life. But it is when you marry into a Jewish family, she learns, in Overcoming Our Religious Differences .
What would you do if a parent said your choice of a non-Jewish spouse would set "a horrific example" for your children? Gail Wertheimer responded to her father's painful critique with a sensitive but firm email, in An Email Conversation between Father and Daughter, from our Article Archives.
For additional resources on responding to negative comments about intermarriage, check out our Synagogue and the Jewish Community Resource Page .
What do you think? Join the discussion as we ask, "Do other Jews judge you for being in an interfaith relationship?"
Focus on Inside Intermarriage
We have some very exciting news. In September the URJ Press is publishing a new book by Jim Keen, a longtime contributor to InterfaithFamily.com. Inside Intermarriage details his experience as a Protestant man raising Jewish children with his Jewish wife, and includes many of his columns for InterfaithFamily.com. Congratulations, Jim!
To learn more about this wonderful new book, read an excerpt about how he and his wife first met, read a review from a fellow Protestant man raising his children as Jews and listen to a podcast of an interview with Jim Keen by our Web Magazine Editor Ronnie Friedland.
If you are interested in buying Inside Intermarriage --either for yourself or as a gift--you are eligible for a 15% discount off the purchase price through the URJ Press website. To obtain the discount, go the URJ Press website, add Inside Intermarriage to your cart and enter the discount code "IFF."
Also in This Issue
"To read the Conservative movement's new 'roadmap' on intermarriage," says Julie Wiener, "you would think that a mob of crusading gentile spouses was standing at the entrance of Conservative synagogues, poised to overrun the bima and plant a cross on the Ark." Read more in "In the Mix": Looking Beyond the Roadmap .
We'll return on September 12 with our issue on the High Holidays/Ramadan.
Micah Sachs, Online Managing Editor
Write for Us!
We're looking for writers on the following topic:
If you are Jewish and in a relationship with a hispanic non-Jew, or are a Hispanic Jew in an interfaith relationship, and you're interested in writing on this topic, contact Web Magazine Editor Ronnie Friedland at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Connections In Your Area--Featured Event
High Holiday Workshop at Temple Adat Shalom
Join Temple Adat Shalom in Poway, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 2 p.m., for an adult discussion led by Rabbi Tamar Malino. She will explain how to prepare for the High Holidays and how to find meaning in the services and the rituals of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This program, arranged by the Temple's Outreach Committee, is open to everyone, including non-members, and is free of charge. Reservations are necessary. Please call the Temple Adat Shalom office at (858) 451-1200 or Outreach Chair Sharon Stanford at (760) 741-7783.
For more on this event, click here. For more on Temple Adat Shalom, click here.