The speakers were fantastic and voices of adults raised in interfaith families were HEARD. So goal accomplished.
*It was therapeutic. It was interesting to hear a variety of people’s experiences in a safe place. Usually there’s one person that tries to give explanations or invalidate others experiences but in this setting, people can state the facts and uplift each other.
*I found the panelists’ stories familiar and I felt empathy, camaraderie, and a wish to explore further with other people in the same boat (one Jewish parent).
*I was surprised to learn about the challenge of not knowing about Judaism and looking to learn, and knowing so little that you don’t feel comfortable in a Jewish environment.
*Heartfelt, informative, and no punches pulled. Really valuable.
*Found it interesting how many different people had their identity questioned just by appearance.
*It helped to hear what others in the room shared about their experiences. The need to really think about/work out how to raise kids. Belonging vs. fitting in.
*I felt that the people who grew up in a liberal synagogue had received nurturing but were not prepared for the rest of the Jewish world. Putting a face to the struggles that people who are plainly, if not halachically, Jewish, is very powerful.
*I appreciate your advocacy in giving adult children a voice. Especially when it has been an uphill battle. The afternoon brought together interesting and diverse perspectives and the panel was stunning. The depth and quality of their reflection was very moving.
*As a whole, the community is a large family and we all have an obligation to take care of one another.
*I very much appreciated Dawn Kepler’s call to action, for kind, respectful communication to and about the adult children of interfaith families.
I end with the quote about my message because I was truly surprised by how many people mentioned it to me. It seems so common sense – be polite – it’s what your parents, teachers, aunties, coaches, etc. always told you. But it’s clearly not happening. Three adults from interfaith families were in a circle with me in the parking lot – you know the phenomenon. One of them said, “We would have to get everyone to change the way they talk.” A second said, “That would be so huge.” I replied, “So we better get started right away.” They all smiled and immediately agreed. Now I am enlisting ALL of you:
You have a right to demand courteous treatment. You are obligated to give it.
Let’s get going! Contact me if you need help.