Are interfaith relationships “hard”?

Are interfaith relationships “hard”?

You could reframe this question as, “Are relationships hard?” The answer is sure. Some are easier than others, but sharing your life with another complete human is hard. You have to share, you have to give some things up, you have to take on things that don’t thrill you. In an interfaith relationship there are just an additional bunch of things to sort through.

If your partner comes from a vegetarian family, she may want to raise your children as vegetarians. This may involve you having meat just for you, or you eating meat outside the home. It means coming up with an explanation to the kids as to why YOU eat meat but they don’t. They may want a taste and your partner doesn’t want them to.

If you were raised in a family of sports enthusiasts and every season meant a sports team to follow avidly, you may be looking forward to taking your kids to a basketball, getting season tickets for your baseball team, signing your kids up for every sport possible. But your partner may have zero interest in sports and think they are a huge waste of time and money. He may resist even having you be focused on sports to the extent that your family found normal.

Religion and culture are simply another aspect of your life – and your identity – that will need to be negotiated. Let’s face it, negotiation is hard because it usually involves giving something up. Don’t look at religion differences as horrific divides that you should disguise and something else. Don’t bury them under false assumptions and hope they will not be there the next time you look. Jump in! Knowing what your differences are is the first step.  Then you need to talk them through. Remember that I’m here if you need some help with how to keep the conversation rational and moving forward.

But don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t have any issues; that’s simply not real life.


First Friday Shabbat in the Round (Oakland)
Shabbat Mishpacha (Oakland)
Benefit Concert for Faith in Action (San Francisco)
How to Take Care of your Child, Family, and Yourself (Berkeley)
Shabbat Unplugged (Los Alto Hills)
Purim ETZtravaganza (Palo Alto)
Family Shabbat Service and Dinner (Burlingame)
Joshua Nelson & The Kosher Gospel Singers (San Rafael)
Purim Like It’s 5779! (Berkeley)
Epic Purim Party (Walnut Creek)
Immigration Day of Learning (Lafayette)


First Friday Shabbat in the Round
This month join Rabbi Mates-Muchin, Cantor Keys, song leader Isaac Zones, and the First Friday Players to welcome Shabbat with a new song-filled worship service celebrating the richness of Kabbalat Shabbat and the spirit of community.

Date:   Friday, March 1
Time:   6:30pm
Place:   Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St., Oakland

Shabbat Mishpacha (Family Shabbat)
It’s time for our monthly youth services.  If you have a pre-school child or younger, come and join our Shabbat Mishpacha service starting at 10:15am.  This service is not only great for your child, but also a great opportunity for you meet some lovely families.  There will be singing and dancing and a little nosh at the end of the service.  Then let your child play with others while you join the adult service in the sanctuary and stay for lunch.

If your child is in Kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grades, we’d love to have you join us in T’fillat Y’ladim (children’s service).  This month’s service is brought to you by the letter Hay so we’ll be search through our siddur and in the real Torah for that letter.  This service meets in the Chapel and will be led this month by Rabbi Natasha.  Come and sing and dance and search for the letter Hay.  Then stay for lunch and schmooze with old and new friends.

If you haven’t gone to Beth Abraham before email Susan so she can be sure you meet fun people. Her email is

Date:   Saturday, March 2
Time:   10:15am
Place:   Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland

Benefit Concert for Faith in Action
Solstice: A Female Vocal Ensemble
Join the award-winning female vocal ensemble Solstice in supporting Faith in Action’s work to defend immigrant families.
Founded in the Bay Area in 1996, Solstice has enthralled audiences with a dynamic repertoire of music for women’s voices from around the world and through the ages, precisely and lovingly performed.

Date:   Saturday, March 2
Time:   8 pm
Place:   Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California St, San Francisco
Info here

(Faith in Action unites us in a network of congregations/communities working to create social justice for all people. We share the vision of a world where everyone enjoys the dignity, respect, and opportunity they deserve)


Cultivating Kavod: How to Take Care of your Child, Family, and Yourself
Mindful Parenting with Rabbi Margie Jacobs
In this workshop, we will explore tools to care for ourselves as we care for our children. We will draw from our ancient texts and utilize practical techniques to cultivate relaxation, connection, and joy within our families and to reduce stress in our busy lives.

Date:   Wed, March 6
Time:   6:30-8pm
Place:   Beth El: 1301 Oxford St, Berkeley
Sponsored with JCC East. All are welcome.
Seminars are FREE to attend – Registration REQUIRED | Childcare (2+): $10 per child
Save your spot here.

Shabbat Unplugged
Take a techno-break this weekend and engage in a 5,779-year-old tradition. Beth Am is once again partnering with Reboot to encourage us to ease up on the frantic pace and hyper-connectivity that governs our daily lives, by experiencing Shabbat. The idea is to slow down, reap the benefits and make time for what really matters. After the service, we’ll enjoy a community potluck dinner and have the chance to talk with others about what we’d like to unplug from, or plug into.

Please sign up for the community potluck dinner by Wednesday, March 6 using online form.

Date:   Friday, March 8
Time:   6:15 pm, potluck dinner at 7:30pm
Place:   Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills
More info here.


Purim ETZtravaganza
Ride a horse like Mordechai! Visit Queen Esther in her palace. Feast with King Ahashuerus. Bake hamantaschen in the Shushan Bakery. And so much more! Free and open to all! A perfect Purim plan for children 12 and under. Six and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Date:   Sunday, March 17
Place:   9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Place:   Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma, Palo Alto

Family Shabbat Service and Dinner
Join the friendly members of Peninsula Temple Sholom and Rabbi Molly for a Dr. Seuss-themed service. Followed by a delicious Shabbat meal, dessert, and a project!

Date:   March 15
Time:   6:30 pm – 7:15 pm
Place:   Peninsula Temple Sholom, 1655 Sebastian Drive, Burlingame
Cost for dinner is $5/child and $10/adult. Sign up here.


Joshua Nelson & The Kosher Gospel Singers
The Prince of Kosher Gospel returns to the JCC for another high-energy captivating performance. Joshua brings his extraordinary message of hope, unity and spirituality through kosher gospel, a marriage of Jewish religious lyrics and meanings with the soulful sounds of American gospel music.

Date:   Sat, March 16
Time:   8:00 pm
Place:   Osher Marin JCC, 200 North San Pedro Rd., San Rafael
Cost:    $25 members /$30 public /$35 day of.
Details here.

Purim Like It’s 5779!
Our famous Purim costume party is back! Come early for a family-friendly Purim Shpiel followed by a theatrical Megillah reading. Then we’ll slip on our dancing shoes for a concert and dance party with Shamati. You don’t want to miss this epic night!

Date:   Wed, March 20
Time:   6 – 10:30 pm
Place:   Urban Adamah, 1151 Sixth Street, Berkeley
Cost:    $5 to $15. Early bird ticket price ends March 1st. Find tickets here.
Cosponsored by Chochmat Halev, Kehilla & Moishe House

Epic Purim Party
Featuring drinks and dancing, B’nai Tikvah and B’nai Shalom clergy, a remixed Megilah and surprise special guests. Come in your favorite costume for an interactive party and fun for the whole family!  Drinks at 6pm, Maariv (evening service) at 6:15, Purim Party at 6:30. Free and open to the public!

Date:   Wednesday, March 20
Time:   6 to 9pm
Place:   B’nai Tikvah, 25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek
Free! Everyone is welcome!
Call B’nai Tikvah at (925) 933-5397 if you have questions.

Immigration Day of Learning
An Afternoon of Learning & Commitment to the Establishment of Humane Immigration Policies
For Jews, the issue of immigration reminds of us of our history seeking refuge as a wandering and oppressed people. The most commonly repeated commandment in the entire Torah is to love the stranger because we were strangers in the land of Egypt. For more information,

Date:   Sunday, March 24
Time:   1:30 – 5 pm
Place:   Temple Isaiah in the Social Hall, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette
Cosponsored by RAC-CA, JCRC, JFCS, Stand Together! and Under One Tent