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Interfaith Families: Personal Stories of Jewish-Christian Intermarriage [Kindle Edition]

Jane Kaplan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Christmas or Hanukkah? Bris or baptism? Church or synagogue? As the number of Jewish-Christian marriages in America continues to rise, couples find themselves searching for ways to navigate the choppy waters of interfaith families. Children, extended family, and communities can all contribute to the strain a marriage might feel when religion is an issue. Should the children be raised in one faith and not the other? Who should decide which holidays to celebrate and how? How can couples deal with extended family members who may not understand or accept the interfaith marriage? Here, couples in Jewish-Christian marriages describe their experiences and reveal intimate details of their lives as members of these unique families. Without being prescriptive, this book offers examples of the successes and failures, struggles and triumphs of such religiously mixed families, shedding light on new ways to approach everyday situations and major life decisions.

The couples whose stories are found in these pages describe how they tackled these topics. Many decided to maintain a Jewish household, while others decided on a Christian family life. Still others found ways to incorporate both religions, and in some cases one partner converted to the other's faith. In all situations, the couples describe their sacrifices, feelings, frustrations, and religious behaviors and practices. Readers will find an array of reactions and approaches in these pages, and will come away with fresh insight into interfaith families in general and Jewish-Christian marriage in particular.

Editorial Reviews


.,."I have used Jane Kaplan's book to bring real people's stories into the room while helping couples and families in the process of understanding and making interfaith decisions. The book helps folks hear struggles, thoughts, feelings, conflicts, and joys of others in similar positions. Hearing these stories creates a support group for each and every person. In the book, there is always someone in which to identify. There is always some alternative that is new and creative. There is always one story to help soothe a struggle...."-Mary Jo Barrett, Director of Training Center for Contextual Change University of Chicago

Book Description

Couples in Jewish-Christian marriages describe their experiences and reveal intimate details of their lives as members of these unique families.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2902 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (March 30, 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000PC6CQE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,011,853 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative July 27, 2008
A very insightful book. I'm currently in an interfaith relationship which has the possibility of someday becoming serious. I read this to learn what I was getting into and for some insight on the choices I may have to make someday.

The book confirmed what me and my boyfriend felt all along and warned us of some obstacles we may have to overcome in the future.

Basically, its made up of first person stories and reflections. These stories are broken into sections based on the approach the family took.

First was families who kept Jewish homes and raised their children to identify as Jews. Most of these families had a positive experience. Some obstacles were that the Jewish partner wasn't that observant and actually left it up to the Christian partner to teach the children about Judaism, and to keep a kosher home and do all the holiday work. My reaction to this section was that it convinced me this was a positive and practicial way to go.

Second was families who have Christian homes and raised their children as Christians. This typically only happened if the Jewish partner themselves was from a mixed family (had a Christian parent). The Jewish partners in this section were not only non-observant, but also semi observant of Christian holidays. These families seemed happy, but my reaction was that unless the Jewish partner came from a mixed home, this is a very unlikely approach.

Third was families which attempted to raise their children both Jewish and Christian. In most cases this was a disaster. Identity confusion, hostility between partners and regret was common. After reading this section, its not an approach I would consider.

Fourth was families who "tried something else.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reading April 12, 2004
This is an excellent book. Although written about a serious subject, it is extremely easy to read and hard to put down. I would recommend this book to anyone who is in, contemplating to be in, or just interested in Interfaith Marriages or relationships. Opens eyes to both sides of the story from very different personal views. It's non-judgemental, although factual and it some of the feelings expressed will surely hit home for many people. I also would recommend this book to anyone who is in the "counseling" field.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful May 6, 2004
I read this book and thought it was wonderful. I hated to put it down and wanted to know how the next couple handled the situation. Each story came through with honesty and integrity. This book is a must for couples that are in or going into an interfaith marriage. It shows the different solutions chosen by couples in a very personal manner.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Revealing April 21, 2014
By Romina
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very good example of the life story method used outside the boundaries of the academic world (I think). The testimonies are very well presented, they give the reader the feeling that there was no interviewer or editor, which is great.
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