June 27, 2006
When your children interdate or intermarry, it can be difficult figuring out how to respond. Should you express your disapproval? Is it your fault? Should you become more or less involved in their life now? In the new issue of our Web Magazine , we share perspectives on interfaith weddings and accepting our children's choices from parents, couples, outreach workers and rabbis.
Take Carol S. Targum. Her son dated a young woman in college who was perfect but not Jewish. Then he dated a girl who was Jewish but not perfect. Then he got back with his college girlfriend. What Is a Parent to Do? , Targum asks.
Hal Schneider is on the other side of the equation. He's marrying a native Hawaiian and he'd like to have a Jewish wedding ceremony. The problem? His traditional parents won't come to the wedding. Find out his solution in We Have the Bride and the Groom--All We Need Are the Parents .
S. Courtney Nathan, a social worker and former outreach coordinator, has worked with many parents whose children are marrying a person of another faith. She knows what you're feeling, and shares some of her wisdom in When Our Kids Get Married .
And if you'd like a quick and easy set of tips for handling your child's pending intermarriage, download our Tips for Parents of Children Who Are Intermarrying .
Many rabbis disapprove strongly of intermarriage, but some see officiating at intermarriages as a powerful way to welcome young couples into the Jewish community. For 30 years, Rabbi Lawrence Raphael said no to these couples. Now he says yes. Meanwhile, the Reform movement's rabbinical body is considering changing its stance on discouraging rabbis from presiding at intermarriages, reports Sue Fishkoff in To Officiate or Not? Mixed Marriage on Agenda at Reform Rabbis' Parley .
Planning interfaith weddings can be a tutorial in the art of compromise. Jennifer Kellogg, a Roman Catholic, and her husband Matt Kanter, a Jew, created a ceremony that blended elements from both of their heritages--and didn't require a rabbi or priest. But what do you do if one partner is a committed Jew and the other is an atheist, albeit with a strong cultural identity? Zack Kushner and his wife's solution was a Jewish wedding followed by a reception that honors her heritage. Read more in What's a Wedding without Elephants?
And your child may want to consider premarital counseling for dealing with the particular issues that interfaith couples face. Rabbi Julie Greenberg, who works with many interfaith couples, shares her perspective in Preventing Interfaith Problems .
Finally, Elise Klein, the director of an outreach program, shares why and how she started conducting interfaith weddings in On Becoming a Justice of the Peace .
What do you think? Please join our online discussion on the topic "How did you respond when your child told you he or she was going to marry someone who wasn't Jewish?"
Also in This Issue
Karin Albou's Jewish father and Catholic mother divorced when she was seven. Traumatized emotionally, she shut herself off from the possibility of love. Find out how her childhood mirrors the interfaith romance in her new movie La Petite Jerusalem .
Look for our next issue on Travel on July 11.
Micah Sachs, Online Managing Editor
Write for Us!
We're looking for writers on the following topics:
1) For Jewish-Muslim couples, please tell us how you celebrate the High Holidays and Ramadan, and what Ramadan means for you.
2) Did your interfaith family connect to Judaism through an outreach program? Did one individual make a difference in your or your partner's connection to Judaism?
If you want to write on these topics, please send an email to Ronnie Friedland at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Connections In Your Area--Featured Event
InterfaithFamily.com is proud to be a co-presenter of the film La Petite Jerusalem at the upcoming 26th Annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, which runs July 20 to August 7 in San Francisco, Berkeley, Mt. View and San Rafael. La Petite Jerusalem tells the story of the romance between an intellectual Orthodox girl and an Algerian Muslim immigrant. For tickets go to www.sfjff.org or call (925) 275-9490.