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Interfaith Families: Personal Stories of Jewish-Christian Intermarriage by [Kaplan, Jane]
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Interfaith Families: Personal Stories of Jewish-Christian Intermarriage Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Kindle, March 30, 2004
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Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[I]t is the candor of the stories that makes this an important resource for discussing intermarriage and conversion issues. This is not a book put together to show us how well things worked out once a decision was made to convert to Judaism or to create a Jewish household. It is obvious that conflicts often arise in interfaith marriages, even when one or both partners define themselves as "non-religious." It is also obvious that the pressure put on couples in these situations by their own families and clergy can be hurtful. Though in most cases the extended families came to accept the choices made by the couples involved, harm was done. This book makes us consider exactly what it is we mean when we talk about creating welcoming communities for interfaith families....Kaplan has helped us to see alternative, and, it is hoped more effective and more welcoming ways of responding to the challenges of intermarriage."-The Reconstructionist

"These stories make clear that there are numerous challenges to maintaining a two-faith family."-Chicago Tribune

"[T]his book works like a support group, The reader doesn't get answers, but discovers many possibilities."-The Dallas Morning News/Connecticut Post/DallasNews.com

"Couples in Jewish-Christian marriages describe their experiences. The book offers examples of the successes and failures, struggles and triumphs of such religiously mixed families."-Shofar

"[I]nterfaith Families is a readable and useful reference tool for couples, their families and congregational support groups....[t]his is a worthwhile addition to any congregational library."-Church and Synagogue Library Association

"What this book illustrates is that there are indeed problems in intermarriage, but that most couples come to an accomodation that satisfies both parties, and that Jews are not going to disappear from American life very soon."-Multicultural Review

"[B]rings to life the subtleties and the process of ongoing familial negotiations behind dry intermarriage statistics....puts to rest the notion that intermarriage means the doubling of the Jewish community, rather than its destruction."-Jerusalem Post

"She goes beyond the statistics to provide a picture of how their religious identity evolved over the course of marrige.In the process, she ends up describing an enormous hybrid sub-culture of North American Judeo-Christian families, that differs "strickingly" from all other American Jews."-JPOST.COM

"Interfaith Families: Personal Stories of Jewish-Christian Intermarriage is not a guide. Indeed, Kaplan specifically avoids offering any advice. Rather, she presents the interviews in a readable way, and makes initial observations only in her Introduction....Her observations are fascinating."-interfaithfamily.com

"[U]seful for intermarried couple and their parents is Kaplan's Interfaith Families; the author delivers more than 50 portraits of individuals and couples touched by intermarriage, and then steps out of the picture. "There were no experts who stepped in to comment on the material or to offer their interpretations," she writes....Kaplan's work provides a welcome opportunity to learn "the kinds of details only someone experiencing a situation firsthand could know."-Lilith

"ÝT¨his book works like a support group, The reader doesn't get answers, but discovers many possibilities."-The Dallas Morning News/Connecticut Post/DallasNews.com

"ÝI¨nterfaith Families is a readable and useful reference tool for couples, their families and congregational support groups....Ýt¨his is a worthwhile addition to any congregational library."-Church and Synagogue Library Association

"ÝB¨rings to life the subtleties and the process of ongoing familial negotiations behind dry intermarriage statistics....puts to rest the notion that intermarriage means the doubling of the Jewish community, rather than its destruction."-Jerusalem Post

"ÝU¨seful for intermarried couple and their parents is Kaplan's Interfaith Families; the author delivers more than 50 portraits of individuals and couples touched by intermarriage, and then steps out of the picture. "There were no experts who stepped in to comment on the material or to offer their interpretations," she writes....Kaplan's work provides a welcome opportunity to learn "the kinds of details only someone experiencing a situation firsthand could know."-Lilith

"ÝI¨t is the candor of the stories that makes this an important resource for discussing intermarriage and conversion issues. This is not a book put together to show us how well things worked out once a decision was made to convert to Judaism or to create a Jewish household. It is obvious that conflicts often arise in interfaith marriages, even when one or both partners define themselves as "non-religious." It is also obvious that the pressure put on couples in these situations by their own families and clergy can be hurtful. Though in most cases the extended families came to accept the choices made by the couples involved, harm was done. This book makes us consider exactly what it is we mean when we talk about creating welcoming communities for interfaith families....Kaplan has helped us to see alternative, and, it is hoped more effective and more welcoming ways of responding to the challenges of intermarriage."-The Reconstructionist

?These stories make clear that there are numerous challenges to maintaining a two-faith family.?-Chicago Tribune

?[T]his book works like a support group, The reader doesn't get answers, but discovers many possibilities.?-The Dallas Morning News/Connecticut Post/DallasNews.com

?Couples in Jewish-Christian marriages describe their experiences. The book offers examples of the successes and failures, struggles and triumphs of such religiously mixed families.?-Shofar

?[I]nterfaith Families is a readable and useful reference tool for couples, their families and congregational support groups....[t]his is a worthwhile addition to any congregational library.?-Church and Synagogue Library Association

?What this book illustrates is that there are indeed problems in intermarriage, but that most couples come to an accomodation that satisfies both parties, and that Jews are not going to disappear from American life very soon.?-Multicultural Review

?[B]rings to life the subtleties and the process of ongoing familial negotiations behind dry intermarriage statistics....puts to rest the notion that intermarriage means the doubling of the Jewish community, rather than its destruction.?-Jerusalem Post

?She goes beyond the statistics to provide a picture of how their religious identity evolved over the course of marrige.In the process, she ends up describing an enormous hybrid sub-culture of North American Judeo-Christian families, that differs "strickingly" from all other American Jews.?-JPOST.COM

?Interfaith Families: Personal Stories of Jewish-Christian Intermarriage is not a guide. Indeed, Kaplan specifically avoids offering any advice. Rather, she presents the interviews in a readable way, and makes initial observations only in her Introduction....Her observations are fascinating.?-interfaithfamily.com

?[U]seful for intermarried couple and their parents is Kaplan's Interfaith Families; the author delivers more than 50 portraits of individuals and couples touched by intermarriage, and then steps out of the picture. "There were no experts who stepped in to comment on the material or to offer their interpretations," she writes....Kaplan's work provides a welcome opportunity to learn "the kinds of details only someone experiencing a situation firsthand could know.?-Lilith

?Jane Kaplan's nuanced interviews suggest that interfaith relationships can be tricky terrain for couples, whether both partners are religiously observant or secular in orientation....[t]his is an interesting and useful book, although not a "book" in the traditional sense. Certainly couples concerned with Jewish-Christian interfaith relationships will find this volume valuable. The interviews offer some good starting points for discussion among a broader audience or students of Sociology of Religion. Interfaith relationships can work, but couples have to have clear (and honest) communication about their religious beliefs and feelings. Nor should they expect a resolution that looks like their neighbour's. The interpretation of religious practice and belief are unique to the couples who struggle with achieving a satisfactory solution to the issues of faith and practice.?-Journal of Comparative Family Studies

?[I]t is the candor of the stories that makes this an important resource for discussing intermarriage and conversion issues. This is not a book put together to show us how well things worked out once a decision was made to convert to Judaism or to create a Jewish household. It is obvious that conflicts often arise in interfaith marriages, even when one or both partners define themselves as "non-religious." It is also obvious that the pressure put on couples in these situations by their own families and clergy can be hurtful. Though in most cases the extended families came to accept the choices made by the couples involved, harm was done. This book makes us consider exactly what it is we mean when we talk about creating welcoming communities for interfaith families....Kaplan has helped us to see alternative, and, it is hoped more effective and more welcoming ways of responding to the challenges of intermarriage.?-The Reconstructionist

"Jane Kaplan's nuanced interviews suggest that interfaith relationships can be tricky terrain for couples, whether both partners are religiously observant or secular in orientation....[t]his is an interesting and useful book, although not a "book" in the traditional sense. Certainly couples concerned with Jewish-Christian interfaith relationships will find this volume valuable. The interviews offer some good starting points for discussion among a broader audience or students of Sociology of Religion. Interfaith relationships can work, but couples have to have clear (and honest) communication about their religious beliefs and feelings. Nor should they expect a resolution that looks like their neighbour's. The interpretation of religious practice and belief are unique to the couples who struggle with achieving a satisfactory solution to the issues of faith and practice."-Journal of Comparative Family Studies

"Puts flesh on the bare bones of the statistics about Jewish/Christian intermarriage. Jane Kaplan has chosen people with a variety of approaches to the subject, and shaped their narratives deftly and unobtrusively into an engrossing and useful book."-Mary Helene Rosenbaum Director, Dovetail Institute for Interfaith Family Resources

"This book puts a human face on the challenges of being a dual-faith family. Reading it, couples will gain insight and comfort, and clergy will learn of their pain and conflicts. Its sensitive portrayals of couples--often isolated and struggling on their own--suggests the need for new institutions to support these uncharted journeys."-Sheila C. Gordon, Ph.D. President, Interfaith Community Inc.

.,."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)
  • Publication Date: March 30, 2004
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000PC6CQE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,784,284 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
Read more ›
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By A Customer 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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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: 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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It is a good book for those of us interested in interfaith marriages/family, the stories people share are quite illustrative and are very relatable. In the end just humans trying to make their marriage and family work. If there is something this book taught me is that what works for some, might not work for all, every couple must find its own way.
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