Building Jewish Bridges events explore Jewish life from three major vantage points.
How-to do it – If you were not raised Jewish and you are embarking on living in a Jewish family, there’s a lot to learn. Being born Jewish doesn’t guarantee that you know as much about Judaism as you’d like. Hands-on workshops provide information on home rituals, holiday customs and synagogue-based celebrations. From the basic blessings for Shabbat dinner (Friday night) to the bedtime Shema prayer to how to make bagels, our workshops are fun and informative. We offer some that include the kids!
What’s the spiritual connection – Don’t we all believe in the same God? Aren’t there Universal Values that are shared by all faith traditions? Yes and no. There are theological and cultural differences that may be hard to explain to your partner. We’ll sort them out. How do Jews see God differently than Christians or Muslims? Who believes in an afterlife? Do we even agree on what makes up the Ten Commandments?
A couple can develop a way of observing faith as something “bigger than ourselves” in a way that is comfortable for both partners. It can be a bonding experience for the couple.
Social engagement makes it more fun – A Jewish wife once told me that her Muslim husband would not come to any event at the synagogue until one day he expressed interest and intent in going to an Israeli Folk Dance Night. She asked her husband,“Why are you willing to go?” “It’s just a social event,” he replied, “no religion is involved.” This was a powerful reminder that interfaith couples need social events to relax, get to know each other and just have a good time in community.
We do things like go to the Jewish Film Festival, out to dinner, have a Lag B’omer marshmallow roast or go to a local play.