What Do Jews Do on Christmas?

Posted on December 17th, 2018
From Jewfaq.org


Christmas is not a Jewish holiday. Many Christians think of Christmas as an American holiday, a secular holiday or a cultural holiday, but most Jews today do not think of Christmas that way. According to the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey, 82% of Jewish households never have a Christmas tree (and the idea of a "Chanukkah bush" is mostly a joke, not anything anybody takes seriously). A 2013 Pew survey found that less than a third of Jews have a Christmas tree, and most of those are intermarried. Even among those who are intermarried, only 71% had a Christmas tree, far less than the 92% of Americans who celebrate Christmas. A 2007 survey by InterfaithFamily.com found that only 37% of interfaith families that have decided to raise the children Jewish have a tree in the home. 

Continue reading.

Jews and Christmas

Posted on December 10th, 2018
BY RABBI JOSHUA E. PLAUT on MyJewishLearning


What attitudes toward Christmas tell us about modern Jewish identity.


For the majority of Americans, December 25 is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but for Jews it is a time to consider ones relationship to the wider society. Some Jews have chosen to adopt the Yuletide festivities. Some have emphatically rejected the rituals and symbols of Christmas. Still others have sought ways to meld Christmas and Hanukkah.

 

Continue reading.

What is Hanukkah?

Posted on December 3rd, 2018

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com 


Hanukkah is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish recapture and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE. It’s celebrated for eight days and usually falls in December. The traditional observances of Hanukkah are lighting a menorah, or ceremonial candelabra, spinning a top called a dreidel and eating fried foods. Though it is religiously minor, Hanukkah is a popular holiday. It’s a happy festival in the winter, so it provides what seems to be a universally needed break from the dark and cold. It’s a holiday about Jews winning a war, which is not the usual subject for a Jewish holiday. The third reason is obvious: for Jews in Christian culture, Hanukkah is the closest Jewish holiday to Christmas.

View a PDF of IFF's Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families 

For more resources, continue here.

December Holiday Tips for Interfaith Parents

Posted on November 26th, 2018
BY DR. JUNE A HOROWITZ, MyJewishLearning

 

This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Hanukkah Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 
 

Interfaith families struggle to be true to the religions of both parents during the winter holiday season. 

 

 

It’s difficult to go about “business as usual” during the December holiday season. While the whole country appears to be celebrating, non-Christians often feel either trapped and marginalized if they don’t join the merriment, or they may feel disingenuous and even guilty if they choose to participate in Christmas observances.

Continue reading.

Celebrating Two Faiths Without My Parents’ Blessing

Posted on November 19th, 2018

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com

 

By Sheri Kupres


Thirteen years ago I married a Catholic man from Chicago. I was raised as a Conservative Jew north of Boston. We met through mutual friends when I moved to Chicago. Prior to getting married, my husband and I agreed that we would pass along both of our religious beliefs to our children; we both had strong ties to our religious traditions and wanted to share these with our family. We had joined an interfaith couples group, based in Chicago, to help us discuss and navigate issues that come along with building a dual-faith family. We weren’t sure how this would all turn out but we were committed to this plan.

While we have achieved a lot over the past 13 years, it has been a long road filled with challenges, doubt, guilt as well as learning, joy and celebrations.

Continue reading.

Pages