(Closed) Raising kids in an interfaith household

posted 8 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 3
Member
183 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

no, i am not in that situation, but I am shocked the Rabbi made you promise to raise the kids Jewish. Is this a reform rabbi? 

 

I think the best way of both worlds would be if you agreed to raise the children Jewish(that is if that is what you decided), and then just traditionally celebrate the Christian holidays. You don’t have to attend mass, but you could still have a  Xmas tress, and an easter egg hunt. So the traditions are still there and then when they are older they can decide! 

I think since both of you are kind of iffy abut the situation, continue as you were when engaged, celebrate both worlds and see where it gets you and tweek as you go along 😉 

 

Post # 4
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

What does your FH think? I don’t have a lot of personal experience with this specific issue. I am Catholic, marrying a Baptist (not too much of a stretch) but even that raises questions so I can’t understand fully how difficult this is with Jewish/Catholic. I do have a friend who was raised that way. She’s said that she identifies more with being Jewish (we’ve had a lot of discussions on this with her saying being Jewish is more a way of life rather than simply a religion which I think says a lot). She still celebrates all the traditional Christian holidays like Christmas but she does the Jewish stuff too. She doesn’t keep kosher but she also doesn’t take communion at mass. Just thought I’d give a little input on the matter.

Post # 5
Member
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Kinda. Darling Husband is atheist and I was raised Catholic who has since drifted away from the church. But as you know, the religion you were raised in is hard to shake!

We’ve discussed it and Darling Husband doesn’t have any problems with me teaching our child bible stories/moral lessons that I grew up with & consider vital (let he who threw first stone, the prodigal son, the good samartian, etc) but he doesn’t want them raised in any specific religion. That’s alright with me. Christmas will be iffy because what kid wouldn’t want to celebrate Christmas? I mean, dang. I wouldn’t want them to celebrate for the commercial reasons only but I know many people who do. Christmas is tough to ignore come November-December!

I think you just have to figure out what’s really important to you. Can you teach your kids both of your religions without raising them to be on or the other specifically? I think so. Others probably don’t. You have to decide what’s right for you and your Fiance.

Post # 6
Member
251 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Are you having a mostly Jewish ceremony? If you are taking the Catholic pre-cana classes they will ask you to agree to raise your kids Catholic, or to do so to the best of your ability. Would you be able to tell the Rabbi and Priest that you would expose your children to both faiths?

Post # 7
Member
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I am not experiencing this first hand, but I can give you my two cents worth.  FI and I are having a secular wedding as we are not religious.  FI was not raised to believe any one religion. On the other hand, I was raised interfaith.  My father is Jewish and my mother is Catholic.  I suppose I would say I identified more with the Catholic faith because my mother had me Baptized, I had First Communion, I was Confirmed, and for the most part I attended Sunday school and/or went to mass.  My participation in the Jewish faith was mostly through my grandmother, aunt, and cousins, as they practiced the faith while my father sort of slacked off through the years.  (He did come to mass with us on Christmas and Easter.)  So I got Hanukkah presents/cards from them, participated in the Passover Seder, Yom Kippur, and my cousins’ Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s.  And when I was in college I was roomies with Jewish girls so I did a lot with them too.  As a kid, my mother had children’s books on Judaism so I would better understand.  Sorry…kind of all over the place with my thoughts today.

Like the previous poster stated, Judaism is more a way of life.  It’s the only religion with it’s own language.  You’ll never hear of a Catholic recipe, but I can think of tons of Jewish recipes.  It’s just an all encompassing religion/way of life.  And it takes a while to convert (2 years I think, but don’t take my word!).  As for your future children celebrating Christmas, Easter, etc. I don’t think that’s a problem.  I have Jewish friends that have always celebrated Christmas because they think it’s fun (and as young children, you don’t always understand why you can’t have fun with Santa too…it’s so commercialized you see it everywhere). Christmas and Easter were the Catholic Church’s creation based on pagan rituals anyway, so I think it’s fine to celebrate them in a non-religious way, although there are plenty of Christians that would disagree with me (like my Catholic mother).  

Best of luck to you on your decision.  I know it’s not an easy one.  We bees may be able to give you advice and such, but ultimately, this is a decision for you and your Fiance to make based on what you find in your hearts.  

Post # 8
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’m Catholic so I’m biased, because knowing what I do of my faith, I couldn’t walk away from it. While Catholicism roots a LOT of it in Judaism, I couldn’t stay with the Old Covenant and “walk away from” in a sense the “New Covenant.” (please note I have nothing against Judaism, I’m just speaking from a Catholic perspective.)

This kinda get’s deeper however, in a religious sense. Are you having a Catholic wedding, or are you getting a dispensation on your wedding to still have a valid Catholic marriage? If not, after getting married outside the church, you will not be able to receive the Eucharist until you have your marriage con validated. While this would not prohibit you from bringing your kids to mass or them (to the best of my knowledge) receiving Sacraments, it could always present problems.

If you are having your marriage recognized by the RCC, they will also ask you to impart the Catholic faith, “to the best of your ability” to your children.

Obviously, the rabbi would prefer for y’all to mainly be “jewish” and the RCC would prefer “catholics.” For me, it comes down to “fulness of faith.” While not in this position, I would raise my kids in the RCC, however, teach all about Judaism and how important it was and is. I would still celebrate Jewish traditions/holiday’s as well, but I would raise them in the RCC.

Post # 9
Member
13099 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

Personally – I don’t think you should “raise” them as either faith.  Teach them about both religions, celebrate both sets of holidays, etc and when they are old enough, let them decide if they want to be Jewish, Catholic, agnostic, any other denomination or belief you want to list, etc.  I don’t think you should force them (in a way) towards one religion or another.  Let them learn and choose for themselves!

Post # 10
Member
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@Mrs.KMM: I totally agree with you here!  We should not raise Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim children.  We should allow them to make these decisions as adults.  

Post # 11
Member
706 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@Mrs.KMM:

This is what my Fiance and I are planning.  He’s Baptist, though feels like that’s too conservative for him, and I’m fairly agnostic, with little to no religious leanings.  He feels strongly about letting our children grow up knowing what his faith is, and I am completely supportive of that.  However, I feel just as strongly that I do not want my children to be told that they have to believe too, and he is just as supportive of that. 

Post # 12
Member
5823 posts
Bee Keeper

Have you also considered what your families will want you to do?  My Father-In-Law was miffed that we decided to baptize my Dirty Delete, and my Darling Husband was really disappointed that he refused to attend.

I think more important than what a rabbi wants you to do is what the two of you want, and what your families would want.

Post # 13
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2010

You can be of Jewish ancestory and not practice the Jewish faith. Jewish is both a nationality, such as Greek or Polish and then there is Jewish faith. 

Raising children with both sets of traditions is certainly acceptable.  When  you say that someone celebrates Christian holidays and then give Christmas and Easter as examples…..are they truly celebrating the CHRIST in those holidays or are they celebrating Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny??

What it boils down to on the most basic level is belief in Jesus Christ as Savior, the Son of God.  Are you going to teach your children that Christ has come and died and has been resurected or are you going to be teaching them that the Savior will be coming for the first time?

I think it would be very interesting to sit down with the Rabbi and your Priest or Bishop and talk this all out.

Post # 14
Member
6572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

i’m not going through this, but know plenty people that have/are (my brother and bil). personally, i don’t think you should do it if you’re unsure. it takes a lot to raise your kids jewish. there’s sunday school, hebrew school, monday night school, etc. plus all of the holidays and friday nights. bat mitzvahs, baby namings, a bris, confirmation. if you’re not completely into it, you won’t want to be dragging your kids to temple every night of the week.

my bil’s wife converted, but they still celebrate christmas and all of her holidays with her side of the family. they make sure that she knows that she’s jewish, but that her other side of the family isn’t.

Post # 15
Member
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

When you bring religion into the mix things get tough.  People are either extremely passionate about their beliefs, lack beliefs entirely, or haven’t exactly made up their mind one way or the other.  I haven’t exactly told my Catholic mother yet that I am now atheist.  She knows we aren’t getting married in a church, but I don’t necessarily want to tell her further details on the ceremony because I don’t want to argue for the 10 months leading up to the wedding.  So I answer other ceremony related questions vaguely.  FI and I are getting married the way we want to and that’s that.  

If you want to bring your families into the mix, be prepared!  This really is such a hard topic, and I truly sympathize with you here.  Looking at your original post, and trying to be helpful here…what is the actual question?  You mention trying to incorporate both religions into the ceremony…does this mean you would really want to find a priest AND rabbi to marry you, or just one or the other and then incorporate other details from either Catholicism or Judaism into the ceremony?  My mother had a hard time finding a priest in the 70s to marry her to a Jewish man.  However, I have definitely seen marriages where both a priest and rabbi co-officiate…although you will also find some Catholics telling you your marriage is not really valid in the eyes of the Catholic church and that a “true” priest would not co-officiate with a rabbi.  Just another reason why I personally do not like organized religion.

Post # 16
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

“although you will also find some Catholics telling you your marriage is not really valid in the eyes of the Catholic church and that a “true” priest would not co-officiate with a rabbi.”

Completely untrue. It is 110% entirely possible to have a priest witness the wedding and have a valid Catholic marriage within a Jewish ceremony. This isn’t something up to individual churches, it’s church “law.” The only thing necessary is a reason it can’t be held in a Catholic church. In the OP’s case, that would be easy… (now, saying you just want an outdoor wedding because it’s prettier than your church isn’t a valid reason 🙂

The topic ‘Raising kids in an interfaith household’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors