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Raising Children Interfaith

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Raising Children Interfaith

Jewish interfaith relationships are increasingly common in the United States. An article written by Lisa Katz (2006) reported the following statistics:

  • Approximately 50 percent of American Jews today marry non-Jews.
  • Approximately 33 percent of all American Jewish families today are interfaith, a rise from 28 percent in 1990.
  • Approximately 33 percent of intermarried couples in America today are raising their children to be Jewish.
Raising children in an interfaith family brings up specific issues. It is necessary to have lots of open communication before and after the marriage and the arrival of the babies. No matter how uncomfortable or how much you think it will just work itself out, do not delay discussions. This increases the chance of assumptions, disappointment, hurt feelings and conflict. You do not want this to become a topic filled with tension or pain.

If you don't feel able to broach this on your own or talking seems to turn to arguing, seek interfaith counseling. Faith is a beautiful source of love and strength, do not let miscommunication rob your family of what this can be.

Ideally, a willingness to expose your children to traditions, beliefs, history, and community of both parent's faiths will be the end result of your work. Given that this is what is best for your child, it seems worth the effort.



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