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?
A great way for Jewish professionals and volunteers who work with and provide programming for people in interfaith relationships to locate resources and trainings to build more welcome into their Jewish communities; connect with and learn from each other; and publicize and enhance their programs and services.
Is your community doing enough to help interfaith couples make Jewish choices? If the answer is “no,” you may want to consider offering the kind of workshop Dr. Marion Usher has been leading to great esteem since 1994. This film and accompanying workshop guide show you how to do it.
Love & Religion documents a four-session workshop model for interfaith couples developed by Dr. Usher and used at the Washington DC JCC. In a group setting, couples begin to openly discuss issues they face as partners from two different backgrounds.
Hearing other couples’ stories and understanding that they are not alone also helps in the search for answers to challenges they face. In a safe environment, couples work on creating their religious lives, learning how they can make Jewish choices while still respecting their partner’s religion.
The DVD includes an instructional handbook to help facilitators bring this workshop into your community. It is also recommended viewing for couples, their parents and grandparents.
“In this film, we are privileged to listen to these interfaith couples as they tell their compelling stories about their religious journey together. One of the American Jewry’s most experienced counselors, who has guided many hundreds of couples to embrace Jewish choices, Dr. Usher’s workshop model is an inspiring paradigm for building our community.”
Rabbi David Saperstein
Director and Counsel
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
“This film chronicles the couples’ doubts, fears, and efforts to understand, accommodate, and respect each other’s belief. In the sessions, the couples focus on creating their religious lives together, learn how they can make Jewish choices while at the same time respecting their partner’s religion.
Congratulation to Dr. Marion Usher, who has touched hundreds of couples and brought them into the greater Washington Jewish community.”
CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
“This is an important program that deals with the shared system of meaning couples need to create when there is a relationship of mixed religions.”
John M. Gottman, Ph.D.
Author of “The Seven Principles
for Making Marriage Work”
October 30, 2009
"This film is a must for all future facilitators of workshops, interfaith couples, their parents and grandparents. The issues are clear, the couples engaging, and the results exciting."
“Marion Usher, through her film and her extensive experience leading workshops for interfaith couples at the Washington DCJCC, has created a platform that stands as a replicable model for welcoming interfaith couples. This film makes an important addition to our national interfaith discussion.”
Arna Meyer Mickelson
CEO, Washington Jewish DCJCC
October 30, 2009
Hebrew for "my master," the term refers to a spiritual leader and teacher of Torah. Often, but not always, a rabbi is the leader of a synagogue congregation.
Request a Rabbi or Cantor!
Looking for a rabbi or cantor to officiate at a wedding or other life cycle event? Our free referral service can help.