Rites Of Spring
04/14/2011 - 09:49
Anonymous

Ah, the telltale signs marking the arrival of Passover and Easter.

The matzah and other kosher-for-Passover foods (if matzah counts as food) piled high in the supermarket. The drugstore aisles devoted to pastel-colored candy, egg-dying equipment, stuffed bunnies, baskets and synthetic grass.

And the annual Passover-Easter survey from InterfaithFamily.com.

It's not the most scientific study out there. Subjects are self-selected rather than randomly approached, and it draws on a relatively small sample: 480 respondents. Most of the survey focuses on an even smaller sample: the 140 (which included me) intermarried respondents who are raising children exclusively as Jews.

As a result, I am reluctant to grant too much weight to its findings. Nonetheless, for what it’s worth, it does provide an interesting snapshot of sorts into the Passover-Easter habits of 140 households.

Among the findings: Virtually all the raising-children-exclusively-Jewish cohort plan on hosting or attending a seder, and a little more than half plan on following dietary restrictions for most or all of the eight days of Passover.

As for Easter, a little under half are participating in celebrations, with 32 percent planning on hosting or attending an Easter dinner, 22 percent decorating eggs, 32 percent participating in an Easter egg hunt and a small number (6 percent) planning to attend church.

Among those who do participate in some Easter activities, 85 percent believe it does not affect the Jewish identity of their children, and 68 percent explain to the children that they are doing so as a matter of “respect” for the traditions of the non-Jewish parent and his/her extended family.

I don’t think the options included “because looking for brightly colored eggs outside on a nice spring day is a lot of fun” and “because those Cadbury chocolate eggs with the goopy, creamy yolks are absolutely scrumptious,” but that’s what I’d say.

As for my family, we’ve got three seders to go to this year and I’m on the modified kosher-for-Passover diet (no bread or pasta, but not scrupulously checking every packaged food ingredient list for chametz). Our sole Easter activity (other than eating Cadbury eggs, which are not certified kosher, let alone kosher-for-Passover, but have no egregiously unkosher ingredients) is our co-op’s garden egg hunt.

I always miss it because The Jewish Week makes us work on Easter Sunday, making matzah out of the blood of Christian babies, I mean compensating for the production days we miss during Passover.

Hopefully there will be some candy left over when I get home.

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