Couples are marrying with or without us. Let’s help.

Posted on July 9th, 2017

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily 

by Rabbi Keara Stein

The debate in Jewish communities about interfaith marriage is heating up. Rabbis and Jewish professionals are arguing both sides and predicting the future of Judaism based on whether or not they will officiate at interfaith marriages. I’ve seen articles that talk about “caving on intermarriage” and “coming to terms with it” and “addressing the problem.” This kind of language infuriates me because it makes interfaith marriage about the rabbis, and not about the people getting married.

It’s not about caving on interfaith marriage.
It’s not about settling or coming to terms with it.
It’s not an issue.
It’s not a problem.

By telling someone we will not marry them, we are not stopping them from marrying someone of another faith background. What we’re stopping them from (and I have heard this time and time again) is engaging in Judaism and being part of the Jewish community.

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This Jewish-Raised Hindu Musician Sings About Islam

Posted on July 2nd, 2017
BY AVISHAY ARTSY for Jewniverse

The Australian-born singer-songwriter Ben Lee has been on a lifelong spiritual quest. He was raised Jewish, studied Taoism, and was married in a Hindu ceremony. Now he’s released an album called Ben Lee Sings About Islam For The Whole Family.

The songs are sunny and uplifting, with lyrics drawing from Islamic folk tales, Sufi poetry and the Koran. Lee told Jewniverse he wrote the album “to express my love for philosophy and…the ancient quest for truth.”

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Finding Co-Officiants: A Multi-Step Process

Posted on June 25th, 2017

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily 

By Laura Free

Our first hurdle in planning an interfaith wedding (other than the insanity of touring and booking a venue) was finding an officiant and creating a ceremony that reflected both of us. The day after we got engaged, I began fumbling around for some guidance. I knew what a Catholic wedding looked like, but I had no idea what was important in a Jewish ceremony, much less what we could do if we wanted to combine them.

As the daughter of a lifelong librarian, I put my research skills to the test. Surprisingly, my local library had exactly what I was looking for. A quick search in the card catalog for “interfaith marriage” turned up a fabulous book by Rabbi Devon A. Lerner: Celebrating Interfaith Marriages: Creating Your Jewish/Christian Ceremony. Yes! Exactly what I was looking for! It’s like someone has done this already…

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Jewish, Muslim Manchester Mourners Have Been Friends For 10 Years

Posted on June 18th, 2017
By JTA in The Forward

The elderly Jewish woman and Muslim man whose photo mourning together at a memorial to the victims of the Manchester attack went viral on social media say they have been good friends for over 10 years.

Renee Black, 93, and Sadiq Patel, 46, from Blackburn, Lancashire, one of the most deprived and racially segregated areas in Britain, are both members of The Interfaith Forum, a voluntary group devoted to promoting harmony between different faiths and ethnic communities, the Daily Mail reported.

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From heartbreak to hope: renewing a legacy of Muslim-Jewish solidarity

Posted on June 11th, 2017
Remona Aly for Woolf Institute

I can never forget the first moment I felt my heart breaking. I was at school, reading through a textbook when I turned the page to a small grey and white image. It captured a moment that will stay with me forever: of Jewish children being humiliated in front of their classmates because of their faith.

The lessons of history remind us of a pain we must never forget, but it was outside of the classroom, many years later that history also gave me a crucial legacy of hope.

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