Post # 1
I’ve noticed that the majority of interfaith wedding and family resources I have found are authored by Jewish organizations/people and have a markedly Jewish approach to the issues. For example, we’ve been reading up on the whole “How to raise the children” question and have found a ton of advice for raising a child Jewish in a mixed family, but nothing about raising them Christian. The real-life stories featured on the websites seem to all be about families that choose to have a Jewish home even though one partner is Christian.
Has anyone else noticed this? Where can I get some unbiased resources?
Post # 3
I’m not in this situation but poked around a bit when my Jewish bf married a Hindu guy, and I definitely think you’re right about that. It seems to be true on this board too! I wonder if that’s because of a Christian split – either you’re too far right to marry a Jewish person or you’re too far left to risk offending anyone.
Also, there’s a perception that somehow Jewishness is more of a cultural thing than other religions are – tell that to an Indian, lots of whom are non-religious Hindus! And aren’t Christians always complaining about secularization, Holiday!Christians, etc? So how is there not a cultural/non-observant aspect to it? Don’t know enough about other religions to speak to them so I won’t….
Post # 4
To respond to the cultural aspect I do think Jewishness has more of a cultural aspect than other religions and that’s because Jewishness in many ways functions as an ethnicity. In the USSR, as my grandad would say, they didn’t beat you up on your passport (or your synagoge attendance – which no one attended) but on your face! So it didn’t matter what you believe, it matter what your blood was – that’s much more an ethnic thing than a religious one. You can’t tell who is Christian but you can tell who is Jewish just by looking at them.
Also, aside from Orthodox Jews the objections in the Jewish communities to Jews marrying gentiles is the ethnicity dilution not the religious aspects. My family is not Jewish in a religious sense but are very pleased I’m marrying an atheist Jewish man. I don’t think that would be true of most Christians.
Also I agree with hopewell that most Christians who really believe in Christianity are less likely to marry interfaith than Jews to whom Jewishness is important.
Also, Christianity is the mainstream religious so it’s easy for everyone to know the traditions of Christman or Sunday school etc.
Good luck with finding resources. Maybe you could even write some if they are missing.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
Jewish organizations probably cater to people planning to live in a mostly Jewish household because it’s in their interest to do so! You’d have to find a Christian interfaith agency to find more information about raising your children Christian in an interfaith family. Why would a Jewish organization want to “give away” future adherents?
Post # 6
@Arachna – I am toying with the idea of writing an interfaith wedding guide from a Christian perspective, actually, since it’s so difficult to find one 🙂
@Spaniel – Totally agree. The problem is that there don’t seem to be Christian organizations out there doing this. Jewish culture definitely has this strong concept of not losing its members, so those who intermarry are given plenty of support so they can raise Jewish kids anyway and stay in the fold of the Tribe. I guess this isn’t a concern among Christian groups because there’s so many more of them or something! I’ve looked at all of these books and websites and they ALL lean toward the Jewish side of an interfaith marriage!
Post # 7
I used to work in the Jewish outreach world (even though I am Catholic and my husband is Jewish). There is a split among Judaism, but one reason that there are so many Jewish resources is because so many Jews intermarry. Some movements have decided to actively court interfaith couples.
It is disappointing that other faiths haven’t put the effort into recruiting mixed families. From my background, I know that the Catholic church wasn’t interested in supporting an interfaith family unless my husband converted, thus making us not interfaith.
Post # 8
I have also run into this issue. Though my boyfriend and I do plan on having a mostly Jewish wedding, marriage, and family, it doesn’t change the fact that I am not Jewish! Most of the research I’ve done as well has led me to Jewish resources, and though those have been immensely helpful, I totally agree with the frustration.
GirlWithARing – I will keep you updated, if I find any good resources, I will definitely pass them along.
Post # 9
I’ve run into a similar situation as the OP, and am particularly disappointed with interfaithfamily.com (though in all fairness to the site, its tagline is “Encouraging Jewish choices” – it’s not really hiding the ball on that one). So, I wanted to refresh this thread to see if any of the prior posters found bias-free interfaith resources, or if any one else had some recommendations.