Why I’m presenting at Limmud Oz 2017…writes Debbie Scholem

May 30, 2017 by Debbie Scholem
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There’s a huge looming issue in our Jewish homes, seldom discussed. It is how Jewish parents deal with their intermarried offspring.

Debbie Scholem

I’ve read and listened to thousands of words of statistical analysis, causes and preventative advice on intermarriage – I’m learning why it happens and how often it happens.

There is b’hatchila (before the fact) and b’deavad (after the fact). In my presentation at this year’s Limmud Oz I will discuss b’deavad, tell my own story and open up discussion to others with experiences of this growing phenomenon.

My session is titled ‘Intermarriage – the Parents’ Perspective’.  Every parent has their own feelings and reactions to a child marrying or partnering someone not of the tribe.

After a child has made such a choice come choices for the parent, including involvement in the couple’s wedding plans and in the wedding itself, expectations as to the type of ongoing contact we’ll have with the new in-laws, possible future grand-parenting and much more.

I believe that for every Jew who marries (or partners) with a non-Jew we Jews have an opportunity to share a religion of great value and also tremendous enjoyment. I’m not suggesting that the non-Jew always converts (even though that would smooth out many of the bumps along the road). I’m suggesting we Jews change our paradigm and search for opportunities to strengthen our individual Jewish practice and identity. And hopefully strengthen our people.

 

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