Interfaith Families Are Funny, Too!
03/16/2012 - 10:09
Anonymous

I have a confession to make.

For a long time, I’ve been unfairly dismissive of the “Everything’s Relative” comic strip that appears in this paper.

Too kitschy, too Borscht Belt, too Orthodox, I felt. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the majority of American Jews are not, in fact, Orthodox.)

Then this week I met Jordan Gorfinkel, the artist behind “Everything’s Relative,” for the first time and discovered he is not only a nice guy, but is quite eager to incorporate fresh content, fresh perspectives and more diversity into the strip. He just wants suggestions.

So, dear reader, I promised to brainstorm some ways to help make the strip feel more contemporary and inclusive. I have some thoughts — but, in the spirit of inclusivity and big tents, I officially welcome your suggestions as well, either in the comments, via e-mail to me (julie.inthemix@gmail.com) or directly to Jordan (gorf@jewishcartoon.com).

Here are some new characters I’d like to see:
-An intermarried couple raising their children as Jews.
-A non-white Jew.
-A gay or lesbian Jew.
-A Russian or Israeli Jew.
-A Jew by choice (or better yet, a character who is going through the process of converting).

Here are a few scenarios I’d like to see:
-The intermarried couple grapples with competing expectations, stereotypes and misunderstandings from family members of each faith, revolving around the wedding, lifecycle events, holidays etc. 

-The intermarried couple (or the convert-in-process) take a Judaism 101 class together.

-A character visits  Israel for the first time on Birthright.
-A character becoming more religious and a character becoming less religious.
-A Hebrew school teacher or principal dealing with the joys and frustrations of trying to engage kids and their parents.
-Family members arguing about Israel, particularly its policies vis a vis the Palestinians.
-Family members arguing about the presidential election and whether or not to support President Barack Obama.

Please add your suggestions to the conversation!

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Comments

"but the majority of American Jews are not, in fact, Orthodox"

I'm not sure how this is relevant. Over the years I've enjoyed:
- Hagar the Horrible, although I'm not a Viking
- Andy Capp, although I'm not Cockney
- Calvin & Hobbes, even though I'm not a tiger

Most of Julie's story suggestions are being dealt with in the newspaper's articles themselves. Can't we just enjoy a little kitschy, Borscht Belt humor in between the serious articles?

Hi, we had actually produce a family comedy called "Kosher Pig" in which a Chinese and Jewish family are connected through an adopted daughter. Perhaps the show can provide some ideas for the strip. Feel free to watch the trailer at www.kosherpigtrailer.com or the pilot at www.kosherpigtv.com. Hope this helps!

How about Jews who don't know any Yiddish?
Bar/bat mitzvah aged teens having to choose between participating in sports on Saturday or going to services?
Adults trying to expain to non-Jewish co-workers why they want to take a day off work for Yom Kippur or to cook for Passover?
Discussions of Easter vs Passover, Christmas vs Hanukkah

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