Friday, December 19, 2014

This Hanukkah, I'm Going to let it Shine


Last week was banner chapel at my son's school. Each fourth-grade boy created a felt banner that celebrated his faith or values. The boys carried their banners into the school chapel to be displayed during a special service. As the boys held their creations high, the school chaplain talked about how symbols communicated our beliefs and ideas.  


Looking around the room, I saw faith-specific signs as well as ones that conveyed universal messages shared by all religions. True to his interfaith heritage, our son chose Peace on Earth as his theme and included the signs of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism on his banner. My husband and I thought our son represented much of what we teach at home–a focus on shared values, acceptance and coexistence of different faiths, and our responsibility to make the world a better place.


Banner chapel, with its discussion of emblems, comes at an appropriate time of year given that symbols surround us. Christians share their Christmas spirit inside and outside their homes. Holiday lights brighten neighborhoods. Wreaths hang on front doors. Santa and his reindeers and elves greet visitors on front lawns and in malls. Creches and Jesus-is-the-reason-for-the-season displays remind passers-by of the holiday’s religious purpose. The signs of the season are virtually impossible to escape.

While those who celebrate Christmas rejoice in the public celebration of their faith, Jews often choose to celebrate their heritage privately. What is interesting about this choice is that Jews are encouraged to observe Hanukkah openly by placing menorahs in a window or lighting the candles in a doorway facing the street. Doing this publicizes the miracle of Hanukkah, sends a message of strength to enemies and shows Jewish pride.

But many Jews prefer to hang holiday decorations and light the Hanukkah lights inside their homes where they are visible only to themselves and their guests. This private celebration is a holdover from times of religious persecution. Yet, recent acts of anti-Semitism and religious intolerance in Europe and the United States make some Jewish and Jewish-interfaith families feel that boldly communicating their faith to their neighbors is still not a good idea.

But the latest incidences have had the opposite effect on me. This year, for the first time ever, I am communicating my family's Jewishness outwardly. I have an electric menorah in a window facing the street so it is visible to all who drive into the cul-de-sac or down the main road in the neighborhood. A dreidel is hanging on the front door. 


I am proud of these symbols and what they say about my family's beliefs, heritage, and values. I am able to display them proudly because of the Maccabees victory. This Hanukkah, I'm going to let my Jewishness shine.



Monday, December 8, 2014

Incredible Edible Hanukkah Traditions


Guest post by Ellen Zimmerman, creator of Jewish Holidays in a Box

If you’re like me, you might think it’s hard to find fun Hanukkah kitchen activities for little ones–but that is only if you think about fried foods like latkes and donuts. Even cutout Hanukkah cookies take some dexterity.

But, then, aha! I realized that there are so many options. I discovered edible dreidels, thanks to Joanna Brichetto, the Bible Belt Balabusta. They are made with marshmallows, pretzels, and chocolate kisses. I’ve made them with little kids and Sisterhood ladies. I don’t know who had more fun.

Then, I realized that we could quickly make an edible menorah that we could eat for dessert or as part of a meal. I came up with several options:

  • Donut menorah: This version wasn’t messy, just a little sticky. We made ours with brownies and donut holes. My grandkids decorated the tops of the brownies so that they were extra festive. Then we assembled them using toothpicks and double brownies to make the shamash (Remember to remove the toothpicks when eating.)

  • Marshmallow menorah: This version required a few more ingredients, a little more time and tolerance for more mess. But it was worth it. We used regular-sized, not mini, marshmallows; unwrapped chocolate gelt and Nutella. We glued the marshmallow to the gelt with a dab of Nutella to form a base. For the shamash, we used extra gelt or an extra marshmallow to elevate it. Colorful frosting can be used instead of Nutella.

  • Fruit and vegetable flat menorah: You’ve seen the amazing food art that people create with fruits and veggies, making patterns, faces, and animals. You can easily do the same with a menorah design that lies flat on a plate–you don’t need to figure out how to stand it up. Here are some options: alternate carrot, celery, and zucchini sticks for candles; red grapes or cherry tomatoes for flames. Check out this asparagus and radish menorah! Want to make a big hanukkiah? Get a large platter. Then use whole carrots as candles and kiwi rounds or halved strawberries as flames. The options are endless! Let your kids go wild.

If your kids are ages seven and up, you can turn over the entire activity to them and even make it a competition. If the makers of these treats can wait until after candle lighting, you can eat these menorahs while the candles are burning.


I created another fun holiday treat after I bought large Hanukkah cookie cutters. The cutters were much bigger than the precious, but smaller shapes I still have from when I was a child and that I used with my daughters when they were little. I remembered that my grandchildren loved pancakes— regular and cottage cheese. Hmm. What about a special Hanukkah breakfast—pancakes made in the shape of a dreidel, menorah, shield and Jewish star? They were a hit!

Of course, you can also be traditional and make Hanukkah cookies!

Happy Hanukkah!



Jewish Holidays in a Box designs and develops fun and interactive materials to help families celebrate the Jewish holidays, and build powerful and positive Jewish memories through creative celebrations. Follow Ellen and Jewish Holidays in a Box @JewishFamilyFun.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

#MyInterfaithStory

http://www.interfaithfamily.com/files/images4/MISbluegreenwords.jpg

Are you an interfaith family living Jewishly? Join the social media campaign #MyInterfaithStory by sharing how you "do Jewish" via text, photo, video, blog, etc.

What to share:

Share your story in words, picture or video on any social media platform and tag it with #myinterfaithstory. Watch and learn from others around the country -- and the world -- who share their story too. Your story can be something you’re proud of, something you’re working on, something you’re wrestling with, or a dream for the future.

Ideas for stories can include:

  • How you’re celebrating holidays or shabbat
  • How your heritage / religion is represented in your home
  • Who is in your interfaith community
  • How you planned or celebrated your interfaith lifecycle events, such as a wedding ceremony, new baby or bar/bat mitzvah
  • What questions you struggle with personally, or in your family
  • What words do you use to represent or describe yourself and your family
  • Hopes and wishes you have for your children
  • What you want to try or do in the coming year
Want more information? Visit MyInterfaithStory.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Think Intermarriage Vitriol is Unique to Judaism? Think Again.



In a November 2 article in The New York Times, Sonia Faleiro, author of “Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay’s Dance Bars,” highlights the upheaval in India over interfaith marriages. She shares the experience of a Hindu-Muslim couple married in the 1970s and details how Hindu extremists are using violence to discourage intermarriage today. I was intrigued by the essay and wanted to see how other faiths dealt with interfaith relationships.

Faleiro starts with a portrait of the interreligious couple. The woman, a Hindu, kept her relationship with a Muslim man a secret from her conservative, middle-class family. When her parents found out, they were furious and warned her that it would not work and that she would "end up on the street." After she had married her boyfriend, her family disowned her. 

As I read this woman’s story, I thought, how it sounded much like the stories of Jewish-non-Jewish couples over the decades. Modern children who choose a partner for love rather than to conform to a religious or cultural norm and parents who disapprove of the choice and shun their children. 

For generations, the way in which Jewish parents and the community disowned a child who intermarried was to consider the child dead. Intermarriage symbolized a rejection of Jewish heritage. Parents sat shiva, the seven-day period of mourning that Jews observe when a parent, sibling, child or spouse dies. While sitting shiva for a child who has intermarried is no longer commonplace, there are still Jewish families that shun their children if they marry outside the faith. 

An observant man with two intermarried children recently wrote to The Seesaw, The Forward's column on interfaith relationships seeking advice on what to do about his estranged relationship with his two intermarried children. He wanted to have his children in his life, but he couldn’t get past their interfaith unions. He didn’t allow their non-Jewish partners into his house and he wouldn’t visit his children in their homes. 

As an occasional Seesaw contributor, I told him, that by choosing strict adherence to a religious norm over unconditional love, he had given up the chance to have a meaningful relationship with his children and grandchildren. By rejecting his children’s partners, he also lost the opportunity to influence his kids’ families through exposure to Jewish life. 

At some point, the parents of the Hindu woman in Faleiro’s essay learned a similar lesson because they decided to accept her husband and family after her second child was born. Over time, the Muslim spouse even became the parent’s favorite son-in-law. 

Faleiro also paints a scary portrait of the violent response to interreligious unions by some Hindus in India today. She details attacks on mixed faith couples in consenting relationships, women being dragged to police stations, weddings being stopped, and the faces of women partnered with Muslim men painted black by roving bands of men. She talks about right-wing Hindu politicians in states with sizable Muslim populations who fan communal flames by propagating the false claim that Muslims plan to seduce vulnerable Hindu women and convert them. 

Thankfully, these kinds of intermarriage prevention tactics are not used, at least to my knowledge, even in the most conservative segments of the US Jewish community. But they are in some Orthodox communities in Israel. These communities use social service professionals to "rescue" women dating Arab men, vigilante-like patrols to stop Arab men from mixing with local Jewish females and anti-assimilation campaigns from right-wing religious organizations  anti-assimilation groups to save Jewish girls. 

Faleiro’s piece reminded me that the specifics of the intermarriage issue may differ from faith to faith, but the fears are the same. Outsiders are luring our children away from our tradition, and weakening our community. For the sake of continuity, these relationships must be stopped before our children reject our faith or the non-[insert the religion of your choice] converted. 

While the concerns are the same, in my opinion, so are the solutions. Reach out to welcome the stranger, show loving kindness to demonstrate respected, and educate and engage the partner of another faith by including him or her in rituals and traditions. Above all, focus on having meaningful relationships with children and their families, rather than on religious norms and community opinion.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Non-Sectarian Chapel? Seeing is Believing


This week I had my first chapel experience at my son’s new school. It was birthday chapel where boys (it’s an all-boys school) with October birthdays were recognized. My Jewish and Muslim friends told me to expect a non-sectarian service, but I was skeptical.

One reason for my skepticism was that we lived in Dallas, the most Bible-thumping city in Texas according to a 2014 study by the American Bible Society. Christianity was practically a state religion, and it wasn’t hard to find Jesus in public life. He was discussed in Gymboree classes; served through dance schools, baseball clinics, and talent agencies, and talked about in boardrooms and public school lunchrooms. It was hard to believe that a school named for a Christian saint would have a non-denominational service.

The other reason I questioned the non-sectarian nature of the chapel was that in pictures, it appeared very Christian–candles, altar boys in robes, an organ, and wooden pews. It reminded me of Our Lady of the Lake church in my New Jersey hometown. How could something that seemed so Christian be ecumenical?

This was how: The school was created in 1950, not by the church, but through the merger of two schools–one secular and one Episcopal. As in any merger, as the two organizations worked to become one, compromises were made.

One compromise was chapel. It was decided that the new institution would have a non-sectarian spiritual component that honored all faiths, but the chaplain would always be an Episcopal priest. 

The chapel compromise sounded very peace-love-and-happiness-ish, but I still needed to see how it worked in practice. After experiencing it, I realized that my friends were right. The spiritual aspect of the school was as advertised: non-denominational and designed to provide moral direction through the integration of teachings from a variety of faiths.

The reading at the service was from the Tipitaka, the sacred book of Buddhism. The homily delivered by the priest included a brief overview of Buddhist beliefs–decrease suffering, increase happiness–and a story about Siddhartha, the prince that became the Buddha. Rather than succeed his father as king Siddhartha chose to work to alleviate suffering and make the world a better, happier place.

Sounded like Siddhartha knew something about the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam; repairing the world. The priest then discussed Buddhism’s focus on ethical speech, action and living. As he talked about each of these principles, I was reminded that Judaism requires the same things from Jews.

Regardless of the faith, the story was reinforcing the same moral doctrines my son learned at home and in our synagogue, and heard about from his Jewish and non-Jewish family. I was thankful for the assistance in driving home these messages.  

Following the story, we sang a few songs about appreciating the beauty of all of God’s creations while the birthday boys and their parents were honored. The hymns used the words"God" and "Lord," but were otherwise religiously generic. The most Judeo-Christian aspect of the service was a blessing in recognition of the parents in attendance. The priest offered the prayer in the name of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, Rachel and Leah, and Joseph and Mary.

After a brief announcement, the service ended. The priest said, “Chapel is over.” There was no closing hymn or parting words of wisdom. I gave my son a kiss and said goodbye. He left for his next class and I headed towards the parking lot.

As I walked to my car, rather than feeling concerned about the religious component of the school’s curriculum, I was delighted. My son was learning about other faiths in a way that taught him to recognize the values shared by many religions. Important tenets of Judaism such as asking questions and living a life of responsibility were being reinforced through Jewish and non-Jewish stories.

As I drove home, I thought about how my son would be a more enlightened and tolerant person because of this spiritual education. I thought about this in the context of the actions being perpetrated today around the globe in the name of God. And I saw that the non-sectarian chapel was good.




Friday, October 10, 2014

A New Kind of Friday Night Lights


For the past eight-and-a-half years, Friday night lights meant one thing: Shabbat candles. Each week, before we lit them, we would dim the lights in our kitchen and family room so we could enjoy the glow of the flames. Even on the nights when Shabbat dinner was hastily thrown together, the candles’ radiance was calming, helping to put the work and school week behind us. But this fall, we’ve had to make room in our routine for a new kind of Friday night lights; the Friday night lights of high school football.

One of the traditions at our son Sammy’s new school, which includes first- through 12th-grade, is that students and their families from all grade levels attend varsity home games on Friday nights. On game days, the players wear their jerseys over dress shirts with ties and slacks, and stand at the entrance to the lower school during morning carpool. They greet each boy (it’s an all boy’s school) as they enter the building, encourage them to go to the game and give them a team ribbon to wear. 

With a sales pitch like that, you can imagine that all the boys, including Sammy, want to go to the game that evening. Cameron and I want to go also, not only to support the school, but also to get to know the parents of Sammy’s classmates and integrate into the school community. The problem is that the games begin at 7:00 p.m. about the same time we start Shabbat.

This wouldn’t be an issue if I were willing to trade our home ritual for football. Instead of reconnecting as a family over Shabbat dinner, we could reconnect at the game. The spotlights on the field could fill-in for the candles. We could pretend it was kind of like Shabbat.

But Sammy planned to meet his friends and play football in a grassy area next to the field, leaving Cameron and me in the stands with the other parents. While this was nice, it wasn’t time spent connecting as a family. It wasn’t Shabbat or even sort-of Shabbat-like.

Since I wasn’t willing to abandon Shabbat on game nights, I had two other choices: say no to football or find a compromise. Shabbat was an important ritual and one that had been key to building my interfaith family’s connection to Judaism. But I knew if I said, "no football," Sammy would resent the observance and me. I wanted him to look forward to Shabbat, not feel it was an obligation pushed on him by his mother.

I decided to work out a compromise solution, a way for us to have our football and challah too. A quick pre-game Shabbat dinner was considered but was nixed because leaving burning candles unattended while we cheered on the football team sounded like a recipe for disaster or at least fire.

A post-game celebration was suggested but voted down because Cameron and I didn’t want to start our observance at 10 p.m. At that hour, after a long week, we wanted to go to bed.

What we finally came up with was a two-part ritual–a pre-football dinner that included all the blessings minus the candles, followed by post-game candle lighting. This ritual wasn’t ideal, but it allowed us to have Shabbat and football, candles and spotlights.

This week we will again welcome Shabbat with our two kinds of Friday night lights. One ancient; one modern. One that bonds us to the Jewish people and one that makes us Yankee transplants a little Texan.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sharing the Sweetness of the New Year


Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you 
Happy birthday dear friends 
Happy birthday to you

Birthdays are one of life’s simple pleasures. They don’t celebrate an achievement or accomplishment; rather they celebrate life, existence.

We are about to celebrate a big birthday, the world’s birthday. In addition to marking the New Year, Rosh Hashanah also marks the universe's creation. While it may not feel like a birthday when you're sitting in services, Rosh Hashanah mirrors secular birthday observances. It's a time to take stock of the past year, be with family and friends, eat sweet treats and think about the year ahead.

My family started to get into the spirit of the holiday last Friday evening. With our havurah (a small group of like-minded Jews who gather for Shabbat and holidays, communal experiences, or learning), we volunteered at The Birthday Party Project.

The Birthday Party Project brings joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays. It partners with shelters and agencies to help children and families experience what it feels like to have someone recognize you simply because you're you. The organization works alongside agencies dealing with the complexities of poverty and homelessness to address some of the emotional needs of children in this situation. As an advisory board member of the group has said, “The Birthday Party Project…says to these kids, ‘Homelessness may be your circumstance, but it is not who you are. You matter. Your dreams matter. You are worth celebrating.’"

So, instead of gathering around a Shabbat table, we gathered to throw a big birthday party. We had crafts and a petting zoo, cakes and gifts for the four children celebrating their birthdays in the month of September, and cupcakes for all. The smiling faces smeared with icing communicated all we needed to know about the impact we made. Watching the children cuddle the animals and play with balloons showed us how joy changes lives.

After the party, we learned that the families we served did not actually live on the street, but were part of a program that provides transitional housing, household management skills, and childcare to participants.

Parents and caregivers have jobs and undergo regular drug testing, the children attend school. The birthday parties help celebrate the fresh start they are making.

As I thought more about these families, I realized that the work they are doing is similar to the work we are asked to do on Rosh Hashanah. They are facing their mistakes, asking for forgiveness, and working to create a better life for themselves and their children. The same things we will be tasked with over the next 10 days.

Volunteering at The Birthday Party Project was a fun mitzvah and a great way to share the sweetness of the Jewish New Year. It was also a real example of what the High Holy Day season is all about.






Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Leaving Our Jewish Bubble



For nine-and-a-half years, my family has lived in a Jewish bubble. Our son attended Jewish preschool, then Jewish day school and attends Jewish overnight camp.

The majority of our Dallas friends are either Jewish or interfaith raising Jewish children. Our synagogue is the center of our social network.

This Jewish circle has nurtured our religious identity and made engaging in Judaism easy for my interfaith family. Many of the stories in From Generation to Generation grew out of the supportive Jewish community in which we are immersed.

But the time has come to expand our interaction with the non-Jewish world beyond extended family, business associates, a few neighbors, and families from our son’s extracurricular sports activities. It’s time to leave our Jewish bubble.

The catalyst for this transition is our son’s education. That might be a surprise since I dedicate a chapter in From Generation to Generation to our decision to use day school and our satisfaction with our choice.

But between the writing of that chapter and the publication of the book things changed. A new administration came in and adjusted curriculum and teaching style. We gave the changes a chance, but after two years, it was clear the adjustments weren’t working for our child.

Our son who had always loved learning and bounced out of bed excited to go to school, now dreaded getting up. It became harder for him to get to school on time. He told us he wanted to leave. We agreed to investigate other options.

We found a school that we felt was a better fit for our son. It was not a Jewish school, but one affiliated with the Episcopal Church. It had a religiously diverse student body and celebrated the traditions and stories from the major Eastern and Western faiths during chapel. Still, I needed reassurance that a Jewish family, even an interfaith one, would not feel like outsiders.

I spoke to Jewish friends whose children had been students. They assured me that the faith component of the curriculum was egalitarian, representative of various religions and emphasized universal values.

Still, I wondered what it would be like, especially for our son who had been in Jewish schools all his life, to move from an all-Jewish environment to one where Jews were a minority. I pushed the thought aside. There were only 12 openings for fourth grade and at least 100 applicants. There was no guarantee he would get in.

But as From Generation to Generation moved deeper into production, we learned that our son had been accepted at the school. Now my wonders edged closer to worries.

Would the religious component really be as innocuous as my friends said? Would our family feel like outsiders because we practiced Judaism? Would we encounter prejudice or proselytizing? Would our son want to shed his Jewish identity? Should I stop production of the book and remove chapter seven?

After much thought, I chose to leave the education chapter in the book. Over a four-year-period, day school deepened our family’s connection to Judaism and nurtured our son’s heart and mind. While our son was no longer thriving, we didn't regret our choice. It was the right place, for a time, and I hoped the experience I shared would make others consider day school, even if only for a few years.

As for my other concerns, after a week of classes, there have been no problems. There are two other new Jewish students, and their shared faith has helped the three boys connect. My son said that during chapel they read about creation and the burning bush – stories familiar to him. He said that some children clasped their hands and placed them on their foreheads during a prayer, but many of his classmates did not including him. He said he didn’t feel uncomfortable in any way.  

I don’t know how this new environment will affect our family’s Jewish identity and practice. The Talmud teaches us that it’s difficult to know what is truly good or bad, regardless of appearances, when a story is still unfolding. Right now, breaking out of our Jewish bubble is just another stop on our interfaith and Jewish journey.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wanted: A Welcoming and Inclusive Jewish Community



Arnold Eisen, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, thinks Judaism has a problem; it needs more Jews. In his recent opinion piece "Wanted: Converts to Judaism" in The Wall St. Journal, he writes that our numbers are shrinking because efforts to prevent intermarriage have failed and Jews, like many other Americans, are moving away from religious engagement of any kind. His solution: go after the non-Jews that have slipped into the Jewish community through interfaith unions; "actively encourage" them to "formally commit to Judaism;" make conversion the focal point of the Jewish community's consciousness and agenda. 

I agree that attempts to discourage intermarriage have failed and I would argue that intermarriage prevention efforts have actually contributed to some Jews moving away from the faith. But as an intermarried Jew, I believe Eisen’s recommendation will exacerbate, rather than solve, the problem of declining Jewish identification and engagement. 

A focus on conversion will make our non-Jewish partners who are already committed to nurturing and living a Jewish life, targets of proselytory zeal. Many not Jewish spouses agreed to create Jewish homes because they felt no pressure to change their religious identity. They were welcomed and included, and in some communities, celebrated for their engagement in Jewish life. By “explicitly and strongly” advocating that they convert, we risk alienating these Righteous Strangers, making it harder for interfaith families to live Jewishly.

A strong emphasis on conversion may actually turn away future converts. For many non-Jewish spouses, formal conversion to Judaism is the culmination of a long journey – sometimes 20 or 30 years. These men and women date Judaism through their involvement with their Jewish families often for decades before deciding to marry the faith: They drive religious school carpool, learn the Shabbat blessings–in Hebrew, engage in adult learning, participate in lifecycle rituals, set the Shabbat table and light the candles, observe holidays and volunteer in the Jewish community. One day they decided to formalize their Judaism. What will happen to these journeymen in a convert or else environment? Will they be given the time and the space to explore Judaism in their own way and at their own pace? I doubt it. 

I have no issue with asking a non-Jew who lives a Jewish life as part of a Jewish family if he or she has considered conversion. But asking someone is different from placing "conversion at the center of the Jewish community's agenda" and it is different from "explicitly and strongly advocating for conversion" movement-wide. 

A few years ago, someone gently asked my husband if he considered converting since he is very active in Jewish life. He answered, “No.” He explained that while he no longer identifies as Christian, finds Judaism’s rationality appealing, and feels part of our Jewish community, right now, he doesn’t feel he needs a particular religious identity. He said, “If that changes, I’ll convert.”

What is Eisen’s back-up strategy, when the answer is, “No?” Surely, he knows, that not all non-Jewish partners are interested in adopting a new faith or identity. What does he suggest the Jewish community do with people like my husband? Do we show them the door? Do we exclude them from our congregations, holiday observances, lifecycle participation, and adult learning opportunities? Do we tell them and their Jewish families that they are not welcome?

Eisen’s strategy makes no allowances for these scenarios and will most likely result in intermarrieds continuing to find Jewish connection in the more progressive and non-denominational Jewish movements, or moving away from Judaism or religion altogether. The chancellor fails to recognize that placing inclusion at the center of the Jewish community’s agenda and consciousness is a far better way to win adherents. Welcoming interfaith couples unconditionally; allowing non-Jewish partners the freedom to explore Judaism in their own time, without pressure or stipulations, and helping intermarried couples raise Jewish children will be what creates more Jews, not Jewish proselytism.

What is wanted and needed is a welcoming and inclusive Jewish community. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Welcome

As an intermarried Jew, and writer and advocate for a more inclusive Jewish community, I have seen the effectiveness of outreach efforts firsthand. My own family is a testament to how engagement can encourage interfaith families to embrace a religious identity and bring additional meaning to their lives. Through my writing and volunteer work, I have had the opportunity to connect families like my own to Jewish life and encourage Jewish choices.

What I have learned through my own experience and outreach efforts is that often inmarried Jews consider all intermarrieds to be the same—all some shade of interfaith. But while we may face common issues, we do not always have common solutions; and we are not all in the same place emotionally or spiritually in how we navigate the joys and challenges of being an interfaith family. Each of our stories is different.

This blog grew out of my book From Generation to Generation: A story of intermarriage and Jewish continuity in which I share my interfaith family's Jewish journey. It is here that I will share the next steps my family takes on our Jewish path. I also hope you will share your unique story - your rituals, choices, challenges, successes and failures - and connect with others who are creating Jewish homes with one non-Jewish partner.