27 September 2006

Intermarriage 101

I'm just nabbing much of this text + links from an e-mail to someone Jewish engaged to someone who's not Jewish. Since a lot of my time in the blogosphere has been spent on Jewish matters, and often on intermarriage/interfaith family issues, I extend to the Rest of the World what I've said in some specific face-to-face encounters:

I'm happy to talk about the whole Jews-and-non-Jews part of my/our experience, since:
--I grew up in a household where Judaism was the only religion practiced, but my father is not Jewish & has never converted;
--my now-husband & I were a couple for 7 years before he ever thought about conversion
--we have lots of friends (including many members of our Jewish community back in New Haven) in couples where one partner was not born Jewish [some have become Jewish--not necessarily before marriage; others have not converted]
--we had lots of non-Jewish and not-traditionally-observant Jewish friends & family at our wedding for whom the structure, language, & rituals of the wedding would be unfamiliar (so we put together an explanatory sheet & had explanations in the wedding program...everyone had a great time & thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the music & dancing!)
--I've been spending a lot of time thinking about these issues, reading websites/blogs/listservs, and writing/commenting on them.

Some URLs of interest may be:

http://www.joi.org/ -- Jewish Outreach Institute
http://www.interfaithfamily.com --
which also has a link to a new blog "about a young Jewish woman's relationship with her non-Jewish atheist boyfriend in InterfaithFamily.com's new blog, Peace Within These Walls" (the person writing it grew up in the Maryland burbs here!)

Both have all kinds of good resource pages, links, bulletin/discussion boards, as well as blogs etc.

I've commented pretty often on the JOI blog and on the 2 blogposts at the site above (you can click on the comments at http://blog01.kintera.com/peace/ to read 'em).

I approve of my friend Zack's piece at http://zackarysholemberger.blogspot.com/2003/07/this-essay-was-submitted-to-forward.html
and there are some other comments of mine on it/these issues at

(Funny sidenote: I guess I've commented enough about it at places that people read that when I Google "intermarriage + Becca"
all of the 1st 4 hits are by or referring to me--2 JOI comments, 2 mentions on Zack's blog...)

I also got involved in a long discussion on the Shefa Network listserv (something you might be interested in) about intermarried family issues--they're handily linked to on their webpage here:


You're welcome to borrow any books I have--not just on weddings/marriage/interfaith issues, of course! Feel free to come browse my shelves sometime, or ask if I have a particular book you're looking for. :)

No comments: