Interfaith or Interracial or Inter-ethnic: Jewish Families All

From left to right: Jack, Debbie, Wendy, John

John Citron opened his presentation with, “My wife, Felicia, and I have been on a number of Dawn’s panels – interfaith and interracial and now both.” He went on to describe how they have raised their kids as Jews with an understanding of their Chinese heritage.

Debbie, wife and mother in a Jewish Filipino home described her activities learning how to make Filipino foods in order to support her daughters’ cultural competency. She shared her concern with whether her kids were the only biracial kids in Hebrew school – one has few mixed kids in her class while the other has many. But she noted, “my kids don’t notice and don’t care.”

Wendy talked about her conscious work to be sure her Jewish African American children felt confident as Jews and as Blacks. Wendy has a take-no-prisoners attitude and exudes a certainly we could all emulate.

Jack spoke of the daunting social obstacles that he, as a Jew, and his wife, a Chinese woman who converted to Judaism, faced in the 1960s. The world has changed but Jack’s advice stands. Give your children a clear message that they are Jewish and Chinese and anyone who has a problem with that, has a problem. He taught his children, you don’t owe anyone an explanation.

I hope to have the panel program available on DVD in the near future. Email me at if you are interested in seeing it.