Sisterhood Blog

Seeking Essays From Women in Interfaith Relationships

By Hila Ratzabi

  • Print
  • Share Share

When the Forward published my essay on being in an interfaith relationship last year, I could never have predicted that I would eventually decide to put together an entire anthology of essays by women in Jewish interfaith relationships. Before I wrote my essay, I had carried ideas for it in my head for a long time, and I imagine, many other women carry around such narratives, too. When my relationship began, more than a year ago, I was flooded with all kinds of emotions, typical of any new relationship. But there was also another layer of pure bewilderment. After all, I had never before been in an interfaith relationship; I had never planned to be in one; I was specifically trying not to be in one.

In recent months, I’ve drawn on the support of women who also happened to be writers and who were also in interfaith relationships or marriage; and I’ve drawn on the rich content on sites like interfaithfamily.com and on Julie Weiner’s excellent “In the Mix” blog, based on her column of the same name. Books like “Still Jewish” (NYU Press) by Keren McGinity, and “Double or Nothing” (Brandeis University Press) by Sylvia Barack Fishman provided a sociological and historical perspective.

The idea for an anthology slowly brewed over time. Ultimately, I felt strongly that there should be a book of essays by women in Jewish interfaith relationships. The next, immediate thought was: it probably already exists. The closest collection published is called “Half/Life: Jew-ish Tales from Inter-faith Homes” (Soft Skull Press) edited by Laurel Snyder, which features beautifully written personal stories by adult children of intermarriage. In addition, there are memoirs on the topic, along with plenty of guides to plan your interfaith wedding or to learn how to be a grandparent to interfaith grandchildren. These all serve their purpose and contribute to the widening of the conversation; but I feel that women, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who are or have been involved with interfaith relationships, need to have their voices heard on this topic.

I have already collected a wide range of incredible essays — including one from a lesbian mom examining the paradox of applying the matrilineal principle in a same-sex intermarriage; another from an African-American woman who ruminates on a racist incident that occurred among her Jewish in-laws, and another still from an intermarried rabbinical student who takes the lead in transmitting Jewish culture in her family.

But I’m looking to bring more stories into the mix, and invite you to submit your essays to me. Guidelines for submission can be found here, and you can email me your essays at interfaithessay@gmail.com by July 1, 2010.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Anthology, Essays, Interfaith, Intermarriage, Keren McGinty, Sylvia Barak Fishman

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.