Finding Spiritual Oneness in Interfaith Relationships

The Intermarriage Secret

In the spring of 2012, three high-profile celebrity intermarriages took place. Typical of A-list events, details were wrapped in secrecy. That only made them more of an object for public curiosity.

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Gods Chosen People

Karen wrote asking for advice about how to relate to her Jewish boyfriend. She is a Christian. He doesn't share her faith. Karen said, "I believe that without trusting in Jesus' atonement, your sins are not forgiven. But I also believe that the Jews are God's chosen people."

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Finding Spiritual Harmony at Passover

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.” However, millions of American Jews—almost two-thirds—see themselves as Jewish by ethnicity and even by religion, without any formal adherence to Judaism.

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Jewish Intermarriage: What does it mean?

We are often asked, “What do you mean by Jewish-Gentile couples? Isn’t Jewish Intermarriage in America the hot topic today?”

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.

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The Embrace

Columnist Julie Wiener titled one of her recent submissions “Is Outreach a Bad Word?”* She was reflecting on a seminar that was hosted in New York City on “Jewish identity, Who is a Jew, Membership in the Jewish Community, and Outreach in Israel and the Diaspora.”

In the context of whether or not to embrace Jewish-Gentile couples and their families, Wiener’s article states that several traditional Jewish community leaders said that they are not in favor of outreach.

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Memories

bothsidesA 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.

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Spring Fever

Spring FeverPurim and St. Patrick’s Day occur in the month of March. So does the changing of the seasons, you know “In like a lion, and out like a lamb,” etc.

The warming trend in North America at this time of year is often associated with a familiar emotional set. 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. That is all poetic until the attraction of spring fever creates a Jewish-Gentile couple. Then emotions can run into the consequences of cross-cultural attraction.

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Ahead of Their Time

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.

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Survival: The Message of Hanukkah and Christmas

The month of December begins a wonderful opportunity for cross-cultural discovery. Some in the interfaith community refer to this cross-cultural holiday season as the December Dilemma. They ask, “How should Jewish-Gentile couples and families approach the holidays?”

We think the theme of survival provides a helpful frame through which to see appropriate meaning for the season. Why the theme of survival?

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Back then, no one else would marry us!

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.'

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JewishGentileCouples.com is all about helping people who are in Jewish-Gentile relationships (dating, engaged, married, etc.) find spiritual harmony. Contact us below to get in touch with someone.

JewishGentileCouples.com is all about helping people who are in Jewish-Gentile relationships (dating, engaged, married, etc.) find spiritual harmony. Contact us below to get in touch with someone.

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