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

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Kindle, March 30, 2004
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Length: 256 pages

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Editorial Reviews

Review

.,."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.


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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By K. Hughes on July 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "joyciegee" on April 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By veracheck on May 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laura Butterfield on February 18, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite of the many books I read about interfaith families before marrying my husband. It was the only book I found that was a collection of first-hand experiences. The couples shared the actual issues that come up as families tackle things beyond the holidays, like discussions about death and heaven to name a couple. I found the book informative and touching.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an amazingly well presented collection of interviews that were conducted with people that were involved in an interfaith marriage. The author breaks down the interviews into those who are raising children Jewish; raising them Christian; raising them with both religions; other alternatives; and lastly, those marriages where one spouse converts to the religion of the other.
Although each interview ranges from a few pages to about 8, the full range of emotions come out which show the hurt from the family of the spouse; sometimes the hurt from the spouse; and the frustration at trying to be even-handed and finding out how difficult it really is.
Although I am of the camp that feels that interfaith marriage can't work, I would consider this required reading if only for the range of situations that are covered and how each couple handles them.
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