“So what Are You? Jewish or Christian?”

Recently, my teenage daughter experienced a formative moment: someone expressed negative feelings about her Jewishness. Frankly, I was thrilled. The fact that she has faced a moment common to all of us with Jewish identity means my plan to raise my children with strong connections to both Judaism and Christianity is working. My children, with only one Jewish grandparent, could have passed …

Interfaith Corned Beef: Irish and Jewish for Saint Patrick’s Day

I called my mother yesterday and told her I was making corned beef for Saint Patrick’s Day. I thought she would be pleased, because she often points out that I put more emphasis on my father’s Judaism than on her English-Scottish-Irish heritage. And she is right. Whenever my siblings and I were asked in school …

Why Interfaith Kids Love Hanukkah (Even If They Get Christmas Too)

Last night on Comedy Central, Jon Stewart was bemoaning the fact that his interfaith kids ditched Hanukkah as soon as they found out about Christmas (his wife is Catholic). I suspect this was just schtick, or perhaps he’s not trying hard enough on the Hanukkah end of things. Interfaith parents tend to fear the commercial …

Interfaith Identity: More Than One Box

Most interfaith Jewish/Christian children share a set of pivotal moments, epiphanies that help to forge our interfaith identities. These realizations well up in response to confrontation with the following facts: Hitler targeted interfaith children as well as full-blooded Jews. Hitler did not make a distinction between matrilineal and patrilineal half-Jews. Many Jews (sadly, even Reform …