A number of parent/grandparent groups have developed in the bay area. These groups are for individuals and couples whose children have married non-Jewish partners. That is YOUR parents.
Our parents may feel guilty – “I should have done more Jewish things at home; sent the kids to Jewish summer camp, etc. and then my child would have married a Jew.” Or, “I love my new son or daughter in law, but I didn’t realize I would be upset that they aren’t Jewish. Am I a bad father/mother in law?” They wonder about how to act with the other in-laws, “Should I invite them to seder?”
When children (grandchildren) arrive the picture gets more complicated. They want to know, “Are you raising the kids Jewish?” “I’ll pay for Hebrew school, why won’t you take the money?” “Are the other grandparents taking them to church?”
These questions arise out of love for you. But they can be hard on you, the couple. Suggest that your parents join others in the same life experience to discuss positive choices for themselves and their family.
I am always happy to talk to parents too if they want to discuss whether the group is for them or if they want to talk privately before going to a group. I had one set of in-laws (the non-Jewish, Asian parents) who just did not believe in speaking publicly about any family concern. Be sensitive to your parents. You may understand them better than they understand themselves. And remember that your children, will be the same way with you. Role model the love of parents that you hope to instill in your children. Respect their differences and send them information on the groups so they can do the same for you.
Are you a grandparent whose grandchildren are being raised in an interfaith family? Do you wonder how you can cultivate your grandchild’s Jewish identity while respecting your adult child’s choices?
Join us for an education and support program for Jewish grandparents whose adult children have intermarried. This five session course, taught by Beth Am member Louise Stirpe-Gill, offers grandparents the skills and techniques to nurture their grandchildren’s Jewish identities while sharing Judaism in a fun way with their adult children and grandchildren.
Dates: March 21, April 4, 18, May 2 and 16
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Place: Congregation Beth Am, Conference Room, Upper Campus.
Free and open to the community
Please RSVP by March 15th to secure a space. We’ll send you the details. Contact Pam Lerner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-625-8725