Interfaith Sunday School, on NPR

Posted May 19, 2016 by Susan Katz Miller
Categories: Christianity, Interfaith children, interfaith communities, interfaith education, interfaith families, interfaith family communities, Interfaith Identity, Islam, Judaism, Muslim and Christian, Muslim Christian Interfaith

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I was glad to add my voice to an important piece this week on NPR’s All Things Considered, entitled “With Interfaith Sunday Schools, Parents Don’t Have To Choose One Religion.” Introduced by my favorite host, Michel Martin, the story was reported by Rami Ayyub, who visited the Sunday School at the Interfaith Families Project (IFFP) in order to talk to staff, parents, and students. He also stopped by my house to record an interview.

Rami comes from a background that includes Muslim and Christian family members, and he wanted to explore whether the model for educating Jewish and Christian interfaith children could be extended to other religions. For this story, he also interviewed Imam Yahya Hendi, the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University (and a friend and colleague of IFFP’s late beloved rabbi, Harold White, who was the Jewish chaplain at Georgetown). Imam Hendi said that as often as once a month, an interfaith couple asks him if there is some kind of Muslim and Christian, or Muslim and Jewish, interfaith education program for interfaith children.

The answer is, not yet. But as I told Rami, if you build it, they will come. Traditional religious institutions are not going to create dual-faith religious education programs for children. They are still urging parents to restrict religious education and identity labels for children to a single faith. And yet, as Being Both documents, parents are voting with their feet, creating ways to give interfaith children broader interfaith education, even if it means moving away from traditional religious institutions that disapprove of this pathway.

As for Muslim and Christian interfaith families, I know that there are already communities for these families in England, Scotland and France , and a couples group in Chicago. But as of yet, I don’t know of any interfaith education program devoted to children from Muslim and Christian interfaith families. In my book, the Muslim and Christian interfaith couples I interviewed were either planning to essentially home-school for interfaith education, and/or alternating or combining single-faith Muslim and Christian education programs. It is interesting to note that in England, all students are required to get some interfaith religious education in government-funded schools. As a result, interfaith family community leaders there have told me they feel less pressure to provide interfaith education for interfaith children.

The NPR piece considers whether the existing dual-faith programs in the US, such as IFFP, could or should become tri-faith programs. In his piece, Rami quotes IFFP’s Spiritual Director Julia Jarvis (our minister) as saying that she hopes that in 20 years, groups like IFFP will have opened the door to the third Abrahamic religion (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all share the story of Abraham as patriarch).

But I want to suggest another way of looking at this. It is true that many of us have been pushing the existing Jewish and Christian interfaith education programs to work on ways to incorporate more education about Islam, because all Americans need more education about Islam in order to combat Islamobophia. But I do not foresee all of these dual-faith programs becoming tri-faith programs. To be frank, interfaith family communities have their hands full trying to teach children about two religions, and disproving the idea that what they teach is “a mile wide and an inch deep.” They work hard to explain the great depth created when teaching the historical, theological and cultural points of connection between these two religions.

The way I see it, interfaith family programs teaching Judaism and Christianity have created a template that is available, to everyone, of any religion (or none), not in 20 years, but right now. As early as tomorrow, five Muslim and Christian families could come together and decide to build a dual-faith education program for their children. The experts in Jewish and Christian interfaith education for interfaith children stand ready to share experiences and resources on how to do this with interfaith families from Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or any other worldview.

All of us have agency–have the power to create community. Each of us can envision new ways to help our children to integrate their complex identities. Anyone has the freedom to create interfaith education programs in order to help our children to see themselves as interfaith peacemakers. We do not have to wait for permission. We do not have to wait for any door to open. The door is already open.

 

Susan Katz Miller is the author of Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family, from Beacon Press. She works as an interfaith families consultant, speaker, and coach. Follow her on twitter @beingboth.

 

Gay, Interfaith, Marriage: “Grace and Frankie”

Posted May 11, 2016 by Susan Katz Miller
Categories: Interfaith Identity

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Photo: Melissa Moseley, Netflix

 

The best television comedy featuring interfaith families right now has to be “Grace and Frankie,” with the powerhouse quartet of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. Netflix released the second season last week, and a lot of us have been bingeing. Sheen and Waterston play business partners who carried on a secret love affair for decades before coming out to their wives. Fonda and Tomlin play those wives–an odd couple (a country-club alcoholic and a pot-smoking hippie, respectively) who move in together as platonic roommates after their husbands leave them.

Religion plays a relatively minor role in the series, with occasional references to the Catholic/Christian background of Robert and Grace (Sheen and Fonda), and the fact that Sol and Frankie (Waterston and Tomlin) raised their adopted sons Jewish. But as the second season gets underway (spoiler alert), Grace and Frankie find themselves rushing around a hospital in a frantic attempt to find a clergy member who will officiate at a bedside marriage for Robert and Sol.

Somewhat naively, they try the Catholic chaplain first. Frankie asks, “There’s no leeway? Even with this new Pope?” Turned away, they next go down the hall and try the Jewish chaplain.

          Grace: “Do you have any issue marrying two men?”

          Rabbi: “No of course not. I am in complete support of gay marriage.”

But after Grace fails to provide the rabbi with a plausible Hebrew name for Robert, the conversation goes downhill.

          Rabbi: “He’s not Jewish, is he.”

          Grace: “Well what does it matter? I mean you said you’d marry two men, and they’re both men. Let’s go! Do this!”

          Rabbi: “I’m so sorry, I don’t do interfaith marriages.”

          Grace: “Are you fucking kidding me?! Why not? You’re supposed to be so lefty and progressive.”

The rabbi attempts to explain his position, but the women get up and storm out of the office. This scene plays as both hilarious and excruciating for the many interfaith couples who have been turned down by rabbis. While others, including me, have written about this before, it is still moving to watch a pop culture depiction of what feels like the irony, or the hypocrisy, of progressive rabbis who officiate at marriages for LGBTQ people but not at interfaith marriages. Do we accept that love transcends boundaries, or not? At least watching Grace’s brutally honest, supremely frustrated, and hilariously profane response provides some measure of catharsis.

I was wondering if Grace and Frankie would go on to open door number three on the hall of chaplains, and discover a Presbyterian or Unitarian-Universalist minister who would be perfectly glad to officiate at a marriage for a same-sex, interfaith couple. I hope viewers realize that door is open to them. And I hope they realize that there are some rabbis who would have said “yes” to this marriage. But the women end up taking a different route.

Several episodes later, Robert prepares a Shabbat dinner for his new husband, including roasting a chicken and learning a Hebrew blessing from the internet. (It is not made clear whether the couple even knows that a rabbi has turned them down). I have to wonder if, watching this tender love scene, the fictional rabbi would have had any regrets about turning this interfaith couple away. Or, would he be counting on Judaism to be so compelling that he can get away with turning couples away, and still bet that they will engage with these ancient rituals? You can play those odds, fictional rabbi. But they still involve loss, for the Jewish community, and for the couples who cannot get past rejection at a most vulnerable moment. Not everyone can be as resilient as a Netflix character.

 

Susan Katz Miller is the author of Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family, from Beacon Press. She works as an interfaith families consultant, speaker, and coach. Follow her on twitter @beingboth.

7 Ways to Support Interfaith Families

Posted May 4, 2016 by Susan Katz Miller
Categories: interfaith families, Interfaith Identity

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I celebrate the profusion of conferences, workshops, and organizations dedicated to interfaith couples, interfaith families, and those who experienced “growing up interfaith.” Unfortunately, some of these efforts do not provide resources and equal support for both religions or partners in the family. So I have drafted a list of tips for creating inclusive interfaith family programming. While most programs focus on Jewish and Christian families, these guidelines could apply to programs for any two religions, or for families with a mix of religious and secular members.

  1. Balance the Funding. Programs sponsored by a single religion (or worldview) often have an agenda aligned with outreach, rather than with the needs of interfaith families. When all of the couples on a panel just happen to be raising children “exclusively” in one religion, this is very transparent to interfaith families. Such funding bias will inevitably affect the ability to build trust with families.
  2. Hold the Program in a Neutral Space. Programs for interfaith families held in a church or synagogue or religious community center will not feel equally welcoming to both members of an interfaith couple. If renting a neutral space is prohibitive, try alternating meetings between a church and a synagogue. Also, be aware that interfaith families may be wary of any meeting in a space affiliated with a denomination or movement that does not accept co-officiation at interfaith marriages, clergy members in interfaith marriages or partnerships, full participation of interfaith family members in religious rituals, or the acceptance of interfaith children without conversion.
  3. Invite Clergy or Experts from Both Religions. A program that only provides support for one member of the interfaith partnership risks alienating both partners. If the workshop is for “Interfaith Families Who Have Exclusively Chosen (Our) Religion” then by all means, staff it with clergy from your religion. (Actually, even then, it would be helpful to provide experts from the “other” religion to help that partner navigate this pathway). But what if the aim is to help undecided interfaith families discern a way forward? Or to support all families no matter which path they choose? Or to provide space for adult interfaith children to understand the rich complexity of their experiences? Or even, to encourage a deep and affectionate connection to your religion, even if it is (inevitably) not the only religion practiced in these families? In all of these scenarios, the best strategy is to provide clergy, experts, or therapists with a variety of different religious identities, bringing a variety of viewpoints.
  4. Handle Interfaith Statistics with Care. Many statistics on interfaith families come from studies funded by people from a particular religion, or organizations with a particular agenda, and conducted by academics or authors with a particular viewpoint on this controversial subject. For instance, some studies on “interfaith marriage” include very few Jews or Hindus or Buddhists, and instead reflect the much more common incidence of evangelical Christians married to mainline Christians or Catholics. Such statistics are not particularly relevant if you are a Hindu married to a Jew, or a Pagan married to an atheist. In using statistics, it is always essential to note the source, determine how the sample was obtained, scrutinize the definition of “interfaith” being used, and decide whether or not the study is relevant for your purposes.
  5. Avoid the Term Intermarriage. The word “intermarriage” in a program signals a “tribal” perspective: the implication is that the organizers are on the inside, worried about people marrying “out.” Also, interfaith families include those who are married and those who are not—an interfaith family could be a single parent or grandparent raising children, or a couple who are not married but raising children together–so putting the emphasis on marriage excludes families. Related bonus tip: don’t assume an interfaith family centers on a white, heterosexual, married couple.
  6. Let People Label Themselves. Use of the term “non-Jew” clearly signals that the programming is designed from a Jewish perspective. Avoid defining people by what they are not. The more inclusive term is “people of other religions” although even here, you are establishing a Jewish bias and “othering” the Christian (or atheist, or Buddhist) partners. Also, be aware that the label “Half-Jew” (or “Half-Christian,” but does anyone ever even say that?) is offensive to some people who grew up in interfaith families, even while others have attempted to reclaim the term. As a general rule, when describing racial, ethnic, gender, or religious identity, it is always better to let people choose their own labels.
  7. Include the Voices of Interfaith Family Members. Workshops for interfaith couples will be more successful when led by experienced interfaith couples. Programming for interfaith parents (or grandparents) will be more compelling when designed by seasoned interfaith parents (or grandparents). And a conference for adult interfaith children will be more relevant when organized by people who grew up in interfaith families. In short, nothing about us, without us.

Susan Katz Miller, a former Newsweek reporter, is the author of Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family, from Beacon Press. She works as an interfaith families consultant, speaker, and coach. Follow her on twitter @beingboth.

Interfaith Artichoke on the Seder Plate?

Posted April 20, 2016 by Susan Katz Miller
Categories: holidays in interfaith families, interfaith families, Interfaith Identity, Interfaith marriage

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Artichoke, Susan Katz Miller

Artichoke        Photo by Susan Katz Miller

 

An orange? A beet? An olive? A tomato? And, new for this year, a banana? Contemporary Jewish thinkers have encouraged us to innovate on Passover, to push the boundaries of the seder plate, to incorporate new objects and themes, and expand on the idea of the “we” in the Haggadah text.

But an artichoke on the seder plate? Not for me. As much as I appreciate the proposal to acknowledge interfaith families, I reject the nomination of the artichoke for this role. The suggestion of an artichoke dates back a decade, but resurfaced this year in a jazzy new video explaining seder plate symbols. In my view, the artichoke symbol fails, because the net effect excludes rather than includes, by re-enforcing the narrative of interfaith families as problematic.

The first paragraph of my book describes my own interfaith family Passover seder, with Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, and atheists celebrating together. All are welcome at my table. In order to be as inclusive as possible, I like to emphasize the musical and poetry and storytelling, the English language, and the universal themes of social justice, religious freedom, and spring rebirth.

At the same time, I like to preserve both the specificity and the mystery embedded in the ancient and at times inscrutable liturgy of the Haggadah. I love the Kabbalistic imagery of the Seder plate, with the earthy objects placed in symmetry and relation to each other: an egg, a bone, a bitter herb.

This year, since my interfaith college kids were too far away to come home for the seder, I sent them a box of Passover treats from a project called Hello Mazel, including a set of hexagonal letter press cards that fit together into a honeycomb Seder plate. The cards resonate with a kind of mystical power conferred by geometry. I imagine my daughter arranging and rearranging the hexagons, changing the harmonic buzz created by the relationships between the Hebrew words: karpas, maror, charoset.

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Photo by Aimee Helen Miller

All religions reinvent themselves through time in response to sociology, history, environment. Why then do I reject the artichoke to represent interfaith families? In proposing this symbol, Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael states, “Like the artichoke, which has thistles protecting its heart, the Jewish people have been thorny about this question of interfaith marriage.” So interfaith families are symbolized by the resistance of the Jewish people to interfaith families? That just feels wrong to me.

First of all, the emphasis on thorns ties into the narrative of the troubled and troubling interfaith family. This feels so very last century, conjuring up the image of distraught parents wailing and gnashing their teeth, sitting shiva. The rabbi goes on to emphasize the negative in her “Ten Plagues of Being Intermarried.” But note that this piece was written ten years ago. While I acknowledge that some interfaith families still experience trauma and pain, intertwining interfaith families with the plagues feels archaic.

Thankfully, most Jewish families now embrace the Quakers, Pagans, and Hindus in their midst. They choose to expand, rather than contract. They deepen their own Jewishness through the process of explaining and educating. They rediscover Passover through new eyes, and take the opportunity to wrestle on a deeper level with both the exultant and tragic nuances of the Exodus story. While some in Jewish leadership still fight “intermarriage,” I feel just fine about excluding this sort of prickliness from my seder plate.

At most Passover seder tables in America now, we have not only partners from more than one religion, but children and adults with complex interfaith heritage. I devote a lot of time to thinking and writing about who gets to define identity in our flexible and fluid religious landscape, and I reject the idea of interfaith families defined by a vegetable representing a negative reaction to our existence. And I can’t help thinking that a rabbi, who may be the least likely to have an interfaith partner, may not have been the right person to propose a symbol to represent this new reality.

So what would be a better alternative to the artichoke? One Christian dad suggested a kiwi fruit: at least it’s fuzzy, rather than prickly. But I keep returning to the idea that every interfaith family is interfaith in its own way: we are enriched by this pluralism. Perhaps we cannot be symbolized by a single fruit or vegetable. My proposal would be to encourage each family to personalize their own seder plate with a nod to the specific cultures enriching their interfaith family. How about a jalapeno pepper? An okra pod for West Africa? Or some wasabi next to the horseradish? We are large, we contain multitudes.

 

Susan Katz Miller’s book, Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family is available now in hardcover, paperback and eBook from Beacon Press.

Long Island’s Multifaith Campus

Posted April 14, 2016 by Susan Katz Miller
Categories: Interfaith Identity

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Multifaith Campus at the Brookville Church, photo by Susan Katz Miller

 

Recently, I returned to the Interfaith Community of Long Island, for the first time since Being Both was published. IFC Long Island is affiliated with the original Interfaith Community founded by Sheila Gordon and Lee Gruzen in Manhattan in the 1980s. I first visited IFC Long Island in 2011, when I was researching and reporting on interfaith education programs for interfaith children across the country for my book. Since my first visit, IFC Long Island has evolved in relation to three other communities (one Christian, one Jewish, one Muslim) as part of a unique and important model: the Multifaith Campus at the Brookville Church. Seeing interfaith children engaged in active interfaith education on the campus, meeting the clergy and leaders from three different faiths, I realized I really wanted to update the story of the interfaith families community template on Long Island.

So today, I have an article on the Multifaith Campus, “When a tiny church houses three religions,” in Acts of Faith, the The Washington Post‘s online home for religion news. Often, I like writing on my own blog, where I can control the style and tone and accuracy of every word. But sometimes I want to get a big story out in a publication that will reach a broader audience, and I am excited to have my first piece in The Washington Post. I have a lot more to say about the Multifaith Campus, and wisdom to share from many of the leaders there. I plan to do that in coming weeks on this blog, so stay tuned.

 

Susan Katz Miller’s book, Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family is available now in hardcover, paperback and eBook from Beacon Press.

Raising Interfaith Children, and Letting Them Go

Posted April 2, 2016 by Susan Katz Miller
Categories: Christianity, Interfaith children, interfaith community, interfaith education, interfaith families, Interfaith Identity, Interfaith marriage, Judaism

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Being Both M&Ms
I want to give a thorough response to a recent Washington Post blog post (printed in today’s edition of the paper) entitled, “Not what I expected from my interfaith marriage.” The piece re-enforces some misconceptions about why parents choose to raise children with both religious traditions. In short, raising kids with both religions does not mean they will always claim “both” as a lifelong identity. Nor should it.

The author, Susan Sommercamp, states that she and her (former) husband wanted to share both traditions and “thought” their children could be “both,” but that “unfortunately things don’t always go as planned.” The big reveal in the piece is that one daughter chose to practice Christianity, while the other daughter chose to practice Judaism. From my perspective, having children choose two different religions is not an unfortunate or surprising result. It’s a typical result. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

First of all, we don’t control the ultimate beliefs, practices or affiliations of our children. This is true in mono-faith families, as well as in interfaith families. How many of us have siblings with identical religious practices to our own? As parents, we can choose an initial religious label for our children, and a form of religious education for them. But ultimately they grow up and make their own decisions. This is not “unfortunate,” it is just life. This would be a good moment to put on Sweet Honey in the Rock’s gorgeous rendition of Kahlil Gibran’s poem “On Children,” which states, “They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”

Second, as a corollary, raising children with both traditions cannot have the goal for children to become, and stay, religiously both. Some will, and some won’t. As documented in Being Both, some will choose one religion, or the other, or both, or none, or a new religion. And the choice may not be permanent. Pew Research has found that some half of all Americans change their religious affiliation at least once. The benefits of educating children in both family religions include allowing them to make more informed religious decisions, and allowing them to feel a connection and support from both sides of the extended family, and giving them bi-religious literacy. Not fixing them permanently in a “both” identity.

There were unfortunate aspects of this family story, but they do not stem, in my estimation, from the initial decision to raise the children with both religions. Of course it was unfortunate that the couple divorced, and that the children may have felt a competition between the parents (and parental religions) as a result. It was unfortunate that (partly as a result of the divorce) the two religions were each celebrated with only one parent, and without the support of an interfaith families community, so that the parents and children did not have a way to discuss and integrate their identities in a neutral and supportive space.

And while the author claims in the first paragraph that the couple had agreed to share both “faiths and heritages,” she admits that she took them to synagogue and Jewish religious education, and felt “surprise and some disappointment” when her husband begins taking them to church. In reality, she was attempting to raise them solely with Judaism, plus some holiday celebrations, not with full exposure to both. It is only after the divorce that she tersely accepts a sort of “separate but equal” exposure to both religions. So this family’s experience in no way reflects “doing both” in the context of good communication between the parents and full dual-faith religious education.

Ultimately, despite the divorce and initial tension as the two daughters claimed their religious identities, the author concludes that “we are all more tolerant and understanding because of our messy interfaith family.” It is interesting to note that Sommercamp saw the benefit of being an interfaith family, even after the difficulty of divorce. But those of us who raise our children with both religions with the intention of letting them go, of letting them claim the practices and identities and affiliations most meaningful to them, would never use the word “tolerant” in this context. The goal is not to tolerate each other, but to embrace each other, and embrace the religious choices of everyone in the family.

Susan Katz Miller’s book, Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family is available now in hardcover, paperback and eBook from Beacon Press.

A Spring Quilt of Interfaith Connections

Posted March 10, 2016 by Susan Katz Miller
Categories: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, holidays in interfaith families, Interfaith Identity, Jainism, Judaism, Paganism, Sikhism

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Glorious Color quilts by my cousin, Liza Prior Lucy

In seven years of writing this interfaith blog, I have posted many essays on a number of spring Jewish and Christian holidays: Purim, St Patrick’s Day, Passover, Easter. But the complex, interlocking quilt squares of Generation Interfaith now go far beyond Judaism and Christianity. Speaking in Chicago this week, I met a woman from a Jewish and Christian interfaith family with a Hindu partner, and a man from a Jewish and Christian interfaith family with a Muslim partner. Increasingly, I see the world of interfaith families, not as a Jewish/Christian binary, but as vibrant pieces bound together into a greater design, and traced with embroidery that winds across the pieces.

My book Being Both is devoted to the idea that interfaith children, in particular, benefit from exploring that whole quilt through interfaith education. But actually, all of us in extended interfaith families (and increasingly, that is most of us) benefit from interfaith education. Meanwhile, with political demagogues busy stirring up ugly religious intolerance in this election season, now is the time for every American (and every world citizen), whether or not we have extended interfaith families, to do a better job of educating ourselves about the religions around us.

Just in the next two weeks, we have a dense schedule of religious holidays, providing many opportunities to celebrate with interfaith family, and interfaith friends. If you don’t have family and friends who will invite you over, check out my Beacon Press colleague Linda K. Wertheimer‘s suggestions on how to get out and visit local houses of worship. And if you don’t live near any temples or mosques, there is always the free online courses from Harvard’s Religious Literacy Project.

Below, I have written up a quick list of just some of the religious holidays in the remainder of March. Note the ancient connections many of them have to the spring equinox, and possibly, to each other. And notice how many of these spring festivals are now celebrated by people of multiple religions. My belief is that we are all religious syncretists, tied to the religions that came before us, and the religions that surround us. And so as part of Generation Interfaith, I celebrate these connections:

March 17, St Patrick’s Day. Catholic commemoration of the Feast Day of St Patrick, primarily celebrated by Irish-Americans with parades, drinking, and the wearing of the green, as a way to connect with Irish culture. Now celebrated in America by people of many religions. Possible historical connection to Ostara.

March 20, Ostara. Modern Pagan and Wiccan commemoration of the spring equinox and Eostre, the Saxon lunar goddess of fertility. Celebrated with planting of seeds and nature walks. Possible historical connections between Eostre, Easter, Passover, and Norooz.

March 20, Palm Sunday. Christian commemoration of the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, celebrated with church services and processions with palm fronds. Among Indian Christians, the Hindu practice of strewing flowers such as marigolds has been adapted for Palm Sunday.

March 21, Norooz. Zoroastrian/Bahai/Persian celebration of the New Year on the spring equinox. With roots in ancient Iran, it is celebrated by many people of all religions throughout the Balkans, Caucasus, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East with spring cleaning, flowers, picnics, feasting, and family visits. Possible historical connection between Norooz and Purim.

March 23, Holi. Hindu commemoration of the arrival of spring and love, celebrated with bonfires, throwing powdered color pigments and water on each other, music, feasting, forgiving debts, repairing relationships, and visiting. Popular even with non-Hindus in Asia, and increasingly throughout the world.

March 23, Magha Puja Day. Buddhist commemoration of Buddha delivering the principles of Buddhism, on the full moon. Celebrated in Southeast Asia with temple visits, processions, and good works.

March 24, Purim. Jewish commemoration of the Biblical story of Esther in ancient Persia, celebrated with costumed reenactments, three-cornered pastry (hamantaschen), drinking, and charity. There may be a historical connection between Norooz and Purim.

March 24, Maundy Thursday – Christian commemoration of The Last Supper. There may be a historical connection between The Last Supper and Passover.

March 24, Hola Mohalla. Sikh celebration including processions, mock battles, poetry reading, music. There is a historical connection between Holi and Hola Mohalla.

March 25, Good Friday. Christian commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus, with church services and fasting.

March 27, Easter. Christian commemoration of the Resurrection of Jesus, celebrated with church services, family dinners, baskets of candy for children. Fertility imagery including bunnies and eggs may have a historical connection to Eostre, and the spring equinox.

March 30, Mahavir Jayanti. Jain commemoration of the birth of Mahavira, celebrated with temple visits for meditation and prayer, decoration with flags and flowers, and charitable acts.

New Bordered Diamonds Cover

Glorious Color quilts by my cousin, Liza Prior Lucy

 

Susan Katz Miller’s book, Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family is available now in hardcover, paperback and eBook from Beacon Press.

 


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