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!
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • 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.