An article and My Comments

 

http://www.interfaithfamily.com/blog/iff/outreach/how-to-teach-and-reach-interfaith-children-in-hebrew-school/

I read this blog today (5/2/14) and I have some followups I want to make, being from an interfaith family myself.

First: Good Job! I have grown up with the occasional “Oh, you’re half Christian” kind of comment and with my parents coming home with me after Hebrew School complaining about the latest accidentally offensive statement, so to see someone address it is excellent.

Secondly: I want to address some of the things in this post.

I don’t think you should give more attention to the interfaith kids. It brings attention to it and I find it awkward unless you have a chatty teacher. Kids bring attention to it as a difference and then it gets teased, I have found. However, it should not be a conversation ender because that says “Don’t bring attention to your interfaith family or no one will want to talk to you.”

I think that it is not religious school that is the thorny part or even synagogue but rather regular school. I have had kids ask about my family’s religion and then say “Oh, so you’re only half Jewish.” or a similar comment. I usually reply “I am all Jewish, but I do come from an interfaith family.” I have found that people see religion as a matter of parents, not as a thing they can get close to. That is something I find quite sad. That they go to religious school because their parents “make them,” go to services because they “have to,” and they cannot connect to G-d because they are so focused on that they “don’t want to” and that it’s “a parent thing that they make them do.” Like Papa says: “going to shul once is a burden, but if you go every week,it gets fun because you know the people there and the tunes they use.” But I digress.

So all in all, I think this is wonderful, necessary advice… And that next week they should fix that darn Interfaith program for grownups, which my parents (especially Mama, who is Christian) find so disappointing.

By me, with help from Papa (finding the website) and G-d.

 

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2 Comments

  1. some kids don’t want to go to any sort of religious thing/lesson because they don’t like the people there or think it is a waste of time. I for one, don’t mind going to church, but I hate Sunday school because I don’t have any friends there, and the teacher treats us like we are all five.

  2. Of course, to some degree, it is useful to draw attention to it. You have a better view of what works in meshing traditions, for instance, than many of your peers. You are living proof that you can have a Christian parent and still be a devoted Jew. On some level, the world needs to see that to be able to argue the larger positions of national politics. I don’t think anyone would say that it’s a comfortable position to be in. And no one wants to be the only example on display. But not forgetting that it can be a powerful position to be an exception so that you CAN occasionally speak up is something I would hope you could do. (It is precisely because I am a believing Christian and not an agnostic or atheist that I feel it is important that I go to our synagogue’s interfaith group, even when it is less than personally comfortable.)

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