Gentile And Other 'Unorthodox' Moms
02/10/2012 - 12:56

I’m still looking for good names for gentile women raising Jewish kids. Perhaps someone like the Jewish Outreach Institute or should sponsor a contest, hint hint.

Hopefully they’d come up with something better than JOI Associate Executive Director Paul Golin’s (joking I hope) suggestion to me, via Facebook, that we call them MORBs: mothers of other religious backgrounds. A bit too close to “morbid” for my taste.

Johanna Ginsberg, the New Jersey Jewish News reporter whose recent article about aforementioned moms spurred this semantic quest of mine, has a great article out this week on intermarried families and cemeteries. Which, as you know, is one of my favorite topics. Not that I’m MORBid or anything.

And speaking of things you should read, I encourage you to check out my profile of Deborah Feldman, the author of “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots.” There’s no real intermarriage connection, although Feldman is currently romantically involved with an Irish Catholic, something I didn’t have space to get into in the article. But she’s a fascinating personality and fabulous writer — and I suspect she’s going to get a lot of media attention in the coming months.

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Gentile mothers= gentile children. Only Jewish women can give birth to and raise Jewish children! That's the truth no matter what the radical pro-intermarraige and anti-Jewish women websites say!

Julie, I was joking! About the acronym, anyway. We do prefer the phrase "of other religious backgrounds" to "non-Jews," but agree that there's still no great language yet. Some folks actually prefer "gentile" but it just sounds antiquated to us. I find that "goy" and "goyim," when the only Yiddish/Hebrew word in a sentence, is pretty much always an insult.

And we've long been batting around the idea of some kind of language contest at JOI. Any sponsors? :) Of course, now that you put the idea out there, some one else is free to jump on it....

Julie, challenge accepted. Please help us promote the contest, and we'll let you know the winning suggestion!