This is a guest post by Barbara Rudnick, the Family Life Education Program Manager at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis.
With Passover and Easter just around the corner, many interfaith couples and families might be participating in new holiday celebrations. Here are 1o suggestions for interfaith families to have successful celebrations together:
- This is not necessarily a good time for a first meeting. Celebrations and life-cycle events can be stressful. They can bring out the best and worst in people. Try to arrange a time before the event to meet each other.
- Talk before the celebration. Ask what you can do to make this a comfortable situation.
- Appropriate humor can be a wonderful tension-breaker; however, religious and/or ethnic jokes would not be a good idea.
- Educate yourself about the event. Know what to expect and what will be happening. Understand the significance of the celebration. And dress appropriately!
- If you are the host, be supportive, warm and welcoming. Ask about dietary restrictions, etc.
- If you are the guest, be positive and let your host know how happy you are to be part of this special time. Inform your host about dietary restrictions, etc.
- Make sure that things read or said in a foreign language are written in transliteration and translated so all attending can understand and feel included.
- This is a wonderful opportunity to share parts of your religion or culture and learn about practices and customs of others. This is not a time to discus conversion and other sensitive religious issues.
- Arrange a time to talk after the event.
- Respect the beliefs of others! Keep an open mind.
Do you have any tips? Add them in the comments. And remember to write to AskBarbara ([email protected]) with any questions you have about interfaith relationships!
These are great suggestions for extending and accepting hospitality, while also supporting a meaningful holiday observance. Thanks, Barbara!
The funniest interfaith TV moment I ever saw was on “Anything but Love”. The 21st (of 22) episode of Season 2 “Days of Whine and Haroses” is a cult classic. Find someone with the DVD. You’ll never think of a Seder the same way any more.
Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis star as Hannah Miller and Marty Gold, best friends and co-workers who suppress their smoldering desires, not wanting to spoil their friendship. Once they do take the plunge, though, they quickly discover that falling in love is the easy part! Together, they face some of life’s biggest challenges– love, work, love at work, and working at love–with humor, sophistication, and feeling in this unforgettable TV classic.