Interfaith Families: Personal Stories of Jewish-Christian Intermarriage

Interfaith Families: Personal Stories of Jewish-Christian Intermarriage

Interfaith Families: Personal Stories of Jewish-Christian Intermarriage

Interfaith Families: Personal Stories of Jewish-Christian Intermarriage

Synopsis

"As the number of Jewish-Christian marriages in America continues to rise, couples find themselves searching for ways to navigate the choppy waters of interfaith families. Children, extended family, and communities can all contribute to the strain a marriage might feel when religion is an issue. Should the children be raised in one faith and not the other? Who should decide which holidays to celebrate and how? How can couples deal with extended family members who may not understand or accept the interfaith marriage? Here, couples in Jewish-Christian marriages describe their experiences and reveal intimate details of their lives as members of these unique families. Without being prescriptive, this book offers examples of the successes and failures, struggles and triumphs of such religiously mixed families, shedding light on new ways to approach everyday situations and major life decisions." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

When we decided to get married, I remember my mother trying to talk some sense into me. She would say, “Just keep in mind that religion becomes a very, very sensitive issue, and marriage is difficult to begin with. You have so many issues that differences in religion make everything harder.” I just completely ignored her. Then we started planning the ceremony and had a real tough time trying to find someone to marry us. And that’s when I really started getting very discouraged, very disillusioned.

Stephen and I didn’t know what we were going to do about children. He wanted them brought up with some religious background, and it made the most sense for them to be Catholic because that’s what he is. On the one hand, I had never been very active in Judaism. I didn’t go to Hebrew school. I never had a bat mitzvah. And yet I identified so strongly as a Jew that the idea of raising my son as a Christian was making me impossibly uncomfortable. I just couldn’t do it.

We belong to both a church and a synagogue. We each attend the other’s house of worship. Whether we are going to the church or the synagogue, we go together, because we’re a family. I don’t want to send a message to Ellen’s church community that I would send her alone. And she feels the same way when I want to go to synagogue.

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