September 12, 2006
For Jews, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are occasions for self-examination. This theme is especially relevant for interfaith couples, who often find themselves examining their religious choices during the High Holidays. Will the Jewish partner miss work and go to synagogue? Will the non-Jewish partner join him or her? Will synagogue attendance during the High Holidays remain--or become--a regular part of their religious life?
For Muslim-Jewish couples, these issues are complicated further by the competing demands of Ramadan. Those pressures are particularly acute this year, when Ramadan begins the day after Rosh Hashanah. In the new issue of our Web Magazine , we hear from several Muslim-Jewish couples--and two other interfaith couples--on how they handle the High Holidays.
You want complications? Try this couple: she's of Christian Korean and Muslim Pakistani heritage, he's the child of a Catholic and a Jew. Learn how they share their backgrounds and find an authentic way to celebrate the High Holidays and Ramadan, in Breaking Bread--Three Ways .
Things are a little different for Susan Katz. "When I first married my [Muslim] husband," she says, "the thought of Ramadan brought anxiety and dread." They've now arrived at a compromise: they don't celebrate either holiday. Read more in Different Religions, Same Guilt .
Deborah Semel has the opposite problem. She simply can't keep up with her Muslim boyfriend's strict observance of Ramadan. Even though she's Jewish, she still tries to be "A Good Muslim Wife" .
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a leading rabbi in the Jewish Renewal movement, sheds light on the confluence and convergence of the Muslim and Jewish fall holidays in When Ramadan and Rosh Hashanah Meet .
Melissa Feldman's situation is more typical. She invited her Catholic husband to join her and her parents at synagogue on Yom Kippur; he brought her to church for his brother's wedding and his niece's christening. Find out what they learned at each other's place of worship in Different Yet the Same: The Journey into an Unfamiliar House of Worship .
Like Melissa Feldman's husband, Jim Keen finds the High Holiday services difficult to follow. Wanting to participate in his children's Jewish upbringing, he found the perfect solution: attending the kids' service. It's shorter and easier to follow. Read more inThe High Holidays: New Year, New Traditions .
With Yom Kippur starting only 24 hours after Shabbat (the Jewish day of rest) ends this year, preparation for the break-fast can be awfully tricky. In Make-Ahead Recipes for Yom Kippur , Linda Morel shares some tips to help you ensure family dinner doesn't turn into a frenzied disaster.
From Our Article Archives
We dip into our Archives to share two enlightening classics: Understanding the High Holidays: A Primer for Non-Jewish Partners will teach you the difference between Tashlich and Kol Nidre, and Six Tips for Interfaith Families Facing the High Holidays offers ways to make your Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur celebrations more inclusive.
For additional resources on the High Holidays, check out our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Resource Page .
What do you think? Join the discussion as we ask, "Do you wish your partner was more involved in your High Holiday or Ramadan celebrations?"
Also in This Issue
Marlena Thompson has written a detective novel starring the daughter of an Irish Catholic father and a Sephardic Jewish mother. Mark London Williams has written a series of children's books featuring a time-traveling child of a Jew and an Episcopalian. They interview each other about their innovative interfaith protagonists in A Novel Idea: Two Writers Talk about Their Interfaith Characters .
We'll return on September 26 with our issue on attending services at your partner's house of worship. Have a wonderful New Year!
Micah Sachs, Online Managing Editor
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Connections In Your Area--Featured Events
2006 High Holidays Snapshot
Synagogues and outreach organizations throughout the country are hosting High Holidays programs tailored to your needs. Learn about some of the Rosh Hashanah programs being offered, in our High Holidays Snapshot .
Want to find additional welcoming events? visit Connections in Your Area .