Jewish Gentile couples report real challenges in finding spiritual harmony. Dissatisfaction often begins with an inability to understand the language or experiences that partners use to describe their unique religious traditions.
Gentiles often describe traditionalist but non-observant Jews as "not really Jewish, because they don't practice their religion."Â However, millions of American Jewsâ€”almost two-thirdsâ€”see themselves as Jewish by ethnicity and even by religion, without any formal adherence to Judaism.Read more...
There is no debate that Jewish intermarriage scares some people as a potential threat to Jewish survival. However, our concern is for Jewish-Gentile couples, and their children, who find themselves living in relational frustration amidst a cross-cultural complex set of misunderstandings. We want to help sort out the confusion and work toward better understanding.Read more...
I don't know where I first heard the term "December dilemma," but it accurately describes a Jewish conundrum at this time of year. It refers to the cross-cultural tension that intermarried, specifically Jewish-Gentile couples and their children, experience at the winter holiday season.
Many intermarried couples find these days particularly distressing. Familiar cultural symbols seem to scratch across the grain of a partner's ideal for celebrating the season.Read more...
A lot of what we understand as culture is formed by memories. Any deliberate attempt to mark a special occasion helps to create identity and traditions. Passover is one of the three most significant memorial events on the Jewish calendar [i]. Celebration of Messianic resurrection is one of the key remembrance days among Christians.Read more...
Columnist Julie Wiener titled one of her recent submissions â€śIs Outreach a Bad Word?â€ť* She was reflecting on a seminar that was hosted in New York City on â€śJewish identity, Who is a Jew, Membership in the Jewish Community, and Outreach in Israel and the Diaspora.â€ť
In the context of whether or not to embrace Jewish-Gentile couples and their families, Wienerâ€™s article states that several traditional Jewish community leaders said that they are not in favor of outreach.Read more...
Purim and St. Patrickâ€™s Day occur in the month of March.Â So does the changing of the seasons, you know â€śIn like a lion, and out like a lamb,â€ť etc.
The warming trend in North America at this time of year is often associated with a familiar emotional set.Â Spring fever is what occurs when boys come out of their winter burrows and notice the beauty of young ladies in the flower of their youth.Â That is all poetic until the attraction of spring fever creates a Jewish-Gentile couple.Â Then emotions can run into the consequences of cross-cultural attraction.Read more...
Chuck and Jo were way ahead of the curve. They married in 1955. At that time, the Jewish-Gentile intermarriage rate was less than 6%.
Jo was from an involved and practicing Christian family. She knew Jewish people and their culture, but hadn't envisioned marrying one. That is, until she met Chuck.
He was from a traditional Jewish family. His parents came from Russia and raised him in a religious home near Cleveland, Ohio. After serving with the U.S. Air Force during W.W.II, he and his family moved to California. When Chuck and Jo got married, they didn't have very many models for how to be a Jewish-Gentile family.Read more...
The month of December begins a wonderful opportunity for cross-cultural discovery.Â Some in the interfaith community refer to this cross-cultural holiday season as the December Dilemma.Â They ask, â€śHow should Jewish-Gentile couples and families approach the holidays?â€ť
We think the theme of survival provides a helpful frame through which to see appropriate meaning for the season.Â Why the theme of survival?ÂRead more...
In 1998, Harvard Law professor, Alan Dershowitz, wrote The Vanishing American Jew. He was sounding the alarm in response to news that the American Jewish community has been intermarrying with Gentiles at a rate of 52% since 1985. Twenty five years later, that rate has not abated.
Recently, at a Jewish Federation event in Vancouver, Canada, Dershowitz was asked to comment on assimilation and intermarriage among Jews of North America. He remarked with humor, "Everyone says to me, 'Your generation was so good, you only married Jews.'Read more...
I would say after 28 years of a "cross cultural" marriage there simply is no spiritual harmony. It has for me, been like being in a marriage by myself. With loving respect I would counsel anyone contemplating this sort of union to consider strongly 2 Corinthians 6:14.
That being said, I believe for those of us who did not heed God's guidelines, should stay in our marriage and believe God to display His mighty work (Romans 8:28).