While the debate rages around intermarriage and Jewish continuity, it’s important to remember that: dual faith families make up some 25 percent of all the intermarried, according to Pew; they are interested in religion; without attention, they are likely to drift entirely away from any religion; and with attention, they offer real promise to sustain connections to Judaism and open avenues to greater engagement.
For the past 19 years I have been conducting “Love and Religion: an Interfaith Workshop for Jews and Their Partners.” The target population is interfaith couples that are seriously dating, engaged and/or newly married. Over 600 couples have participated in these workshops, and my goals are that they enjoy the experience of being with other couples facing similar concerns, that they learn more about the issues they are facing and that they feel less alone in the process.
First, a shameless celebrity tidbit to boost this blog's Google rankings: the inter-engaged Natalie Portman (fiance is ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied) has reportedly named her new son Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. No consensus yet on whether they're spelling it Aleph or Alef. But if the Portman-Millepied family’s next child is a girl, will she be named Beth?