3 Cheers for Intermarriage! (1-Minute Video)

A gung-ho video from the Columbia School of Journalism about the confused children raised by intermarried couples. Just in time for Tisha B’Av…

Interfaith
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5 comments

  1. Daniella

    My cousin got engaged to her long-time non-Jewish boyfriend two days ago, and I also felt the timing could not have been more appropriate. She is the fifth young person in my extended family to get married in the past few years. I was the only one who married a Jew.

    In some ways, it feels like a holocaust. A sweet, quiet, gentle, politically correct holocaust, with flowers and white lace and giggling babies. But more deadly to the Jewish people than the Nazi holocaust was, and in some ways worse than any other tragedy in Jewish history because it is our own fault. It is Am Yisrael actively choosing to disappear.

    And what can you do? You can’t be angry. They’re tinokot shenishbu. They’ve been raised to believe that what they are doing is just wonderful. So accepting and open-minded. Interfaith, what a lovely, elegant word. Expressing your anger will only push them away and complete the process of cutting off their ties with Am Yisrael. So you have to swallow your anger. Smile. Say congratulations and good luck. Pray that they will be drawn, somehow, back to the light of Torah.

    And have lots of your own Jewish children to raise with a sincere and passionate love of Hashem and Am Yisrael.

    I have never felt that that mission was as urgent as I do now.

  2. Tamar Miller

    thank you Daniella….for putting into words what I’ve been feeling as well.

  3. Daven Daven Daven!

  4. This video seems very light. My sisters have both intermarried and it is a very heavy feeling. On the plus side any children of theirs are Jewish and my sisters are aware of this. And the one with children has just begun to send her children to Hebrew school – and not a reform one, one run by Chabad. And the children consider themselves Jewish. But still, their father isn’t. Doesn’t that confuse them? Hashem Y’rachem.

  5. I understand the heavy feelings you all express. However I would like to offer a bit different perspective. I do not wish to defend intermarriage, however I can believe that in some parts of the world and in some situations, it is not so easy to be so critical when it comes to judging this issue. I live in the Czech Republic, where it has not been easy since WWII until today for people NOT to intermarry because of the size of the local community and where – as a result – many children grow up in interfaith families. This, however, does not always mean these are lost souls.

    I was also born to an intermarriaged couple. My father, who was born in 1951 in Prague had very little chance to meet a Jewish spouse when he grew up in Czechoslovakia and eventually married my mother, a truly great woman that never converted but was always open to the religion of my father´s family (who were not observant, though.) Undoubtedly also thanks to her I later on converted to Judaism with an orthodox beit din, married a great Jewish man two years ago and thanks G-d also gave birth to a great Jewish young lady Johana Einav 14 months ago. Today, I work as a teacher of Judaism and Hebrew in the Prague Jewish day-school, where I can see on daily basis that through enthusiastic work with the kids you can tangibly change reality and bring children from mixed marriages to love Judaism and become a stable part of the community.

    I would be alsways the first one to support Jewish inside-marriage. It is important to tell youg people that raising children in a mixed marriage is not the best you can do for them (an I could tell many stories about how hard it can be for a teenager that thinks she is Jewish and cannot be a „full“ part of the community. However in situations when it does happen, I believe does not help to be critical about the parents any longer. It is the children who need help and care and support from the community to be able to form a stable identity.

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