Downton Abbey Portrays Reality of Interfaith RelationshipsBy Gerri Miller
Go inside Season 5 Episode 9 where the story line of Atticus and Rose's interfaith relationship comes to a head.Go To Pop Culture
Updated May 2013
InterfaithFamily wants to help you enrich the warm connections you build with interfaith couples in the months and weeks leading up to their wedding ceremonies, and make those first encounters the foundation stones for continued relationships. The time spent exploring their desire for Jewish clergy at their wedding, helping them anticipate their future connection to Jewish rituals and the Jewish community, learning about their previous religious experiences, and explaining the elements of a Jewish ceremony can not only contribute to a bond with you but also to Judaism and the Jewish community.
To help you to enhance your relationship with these couples, InterfaithFamily.com offers four template letters. One letter [.doc file] suggests the couple hang a mezuzah in their doorway. It offers links to a booklet that explains the ritual, a video that demonstrates affixing the mezuzah and downloadable blessings with an audio clip. You can customize this template and send it to all the couples for whom you officiated during the past year.
The second letter [.doc file] suggests the couple designate Shabbat as quality time for each other. It offers links to a booklet with background information and blessings, an audio clip of the blessings for those learning Hebrew and suggestions on how they can share Shabbat with their friends.
The third letter [.doc file] begins to explain to the couple what to expect at a synagogue Shabbat service. It offers links to a booklet, a video and a more extensive Resource Guide all designed to help those who are unfamiliar feel more comfortable.
The fourth letter [.doc file] invites the couple to participate in the Jewish High Holidays. It offers links to a booklet, downloadable blessings with audio clips for Rosh Hashanah and for Yom Kippur, and even recipes for holiday foods!
Our goal is to help you maintain and enhance your rapport with each couple and to provide the couple with friendly resources that will increase their knowledge of Jewish traditions and rituals.
We plan to create a series of these template letters that you can use to send to your couples over time. You may choose to create a system that reminds you to send a letter when three or six months has passed since the couple's wedding, or you may choose to send the same letter to all couples you have married at the same time. Whatever system you choose, a letter from their wedding officiant will remind couples of your thoughtfulness and insights, and will encourage them to add a Jewish tradition or ritual to their married life.