I have worked with InterfaithFamily as a blogger for 6 years. The organization works hard to push for a more inclusive Jewish community through advocacy and by serving as a resource for couples and families navigating life as a multi-faith family. They are well-respected and invaluable resource.
When my now husband and I knew that marriage was a real possibility for us, I began researching options for interfaith couples in my area. I will always be so grateful to have found IFF. We participated in a workshop with other interfaith couples, and through that process, we met the person who ultimately officiated our wedding. This person has been an incredible resource for us, and we will always be indebted to her for her kindness, candor and open-mindedness during the wedding planning process. I know that going forward IFF will always be a resource for our family as we navigate the unique challenges faced in an interfaith marriage. Whether it is a reassuring IFF blog post, a formal mentor partnership with a couple with similar backgrounds, an informal networking event or just having someone to reach out to with questions, IFF has shown us that we are not on this journey alone. For this, I am so thankful.
The Love and Religion workshop led by Rabbi Robyn Frisch and Interfaith Family exceeded my expectations! Not only did we have great conversations but we also now have friends for life with the other couples in the workshop. It was really important to me that we felt included in a community that understands the types of questions and experiences you get when being in an interfaith relationship. We are super excited for Rabbi Frisch to marry us later this year :-) She was a perfect fit for what my Fiance and I were looking for.
As the non-Jewish member, I found InterfaithFamily.com initially because we were looking for a rabbi for our interfaith wedding (I was raised Catholic). Robyn Frisch was extremely helpful and responsive, replying right away with a list of people to contact. We not only found a great rabbi who we are extremely fond of and excited for him to be part of our marriage, but also found a community of people which has helped us grapple with the challenges of two people coming together. We joined one of the Interfaith group sessions, Love and Religion, and not only met 3 other lovely couples, but also had the time and space to be able to have conversations that worked on our marriage (versus the conversations that focus on the wedding). This was by far one of the more fruitful and helpful things we have done in our journey and I highly recommend it to everyone in a relationship, no matter the stage. Furthermore, there are continuing activities in which you remain as part of the IFF community to whatever degree you are able. There really is no downside. Thank you Robyn and IFF!
My husband and I are newlyweds who had a wonderful wedding-planning experience thanks to InterfaithFamily. I was first introduced to Rabbi Robyn Frisch through a co-worker. My husband and I were in the process of looking for a Rabbi to officiate our Interfaith wedding ceremony and we knew after our first meeting with Rabbi Robyn that we wanted her to marry us. She answered all of our questions, took the time to get to know us and encouraged us to get involved with InterfaithFamily to learn more and build our relationship stronger as we moved toward marriage. Rabbi Robyn asked me to blog for InterfaithFamily to share my experiences as the Catholic half of an interfaith relationship which helped me explore what was truly important to me in terms of faith and love. It was also fun to share wedding planning tips with others through my blog posts! My husband and I participated in the Love & Religion workshops through InterfaithFamily which was such a positive experience to be able to meet other interfaith couples who we could relate to and discuss topics relating to extended families, holidays and even future children. I have learned so much through my experiences with InterfaithFamily and look forward to continuing involvement in the future!
My husband and I first got involved with IFF when we used their officiation request tool for our wedding. Then we took the Love and Religion workshop with Rabbi Robyn Frisch. That was a great experience because it allowed us to explore aspects of our interfaith future that we had not considered, and to further explore discussions we had already started. It was so helpful to discuss in partnership with other couples in an environment where there were no wrong answers. They continued to be a resource after the workshop was over, and their social events helped us to feel connected to other interfaith couples. I gained confidence through this program that allowed me to seek out and join a synagogue- something I had never done before. We found an interfaith-friendly synagogue in which we were both considered members as a couple, not just the Jewish individual. I would recommend IFF as a resource to anyone in an interfaith family. There are a variety of resources and ways to get involved.
I have felt nothing but acceptance and support from Interfaithfamily ever since the very first time I met the Philadelphia director, Robyn Frisch. Being in an interfaith relationship can be confusing and lonely at times and having this organization in our lives has really opened up the lines of communication for me and my partner when thinking about HUGE topics like how we view and feel about religion and spirituality in our lives on a personal level and as a couple. Interfaithfamily is helping us guide through these complex issues with compassion and experience. My partner and I participated in the "Love & Religion" workshop and have met other interfaith couples dealing with the same issues as us. We now we have a new network of peers to join us on our interfaith family journey! I feel a deep sense of security knowing that interfaithfamily is there for us at every stage of our relationship. Thank you!
When my now wife (Fernanda) and I met, I immediately knew that I had found 'the one,” but that being of different religions would add a challenge to our future that I was unsure we could overcome. Neither of us had ever considered choosing a partner or raising a family in a religion different from our own before we met each other. When we started dating, I felt as is if the butterflies of excitement in my stomach were simultaneously tying knots of worry. InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia was not only the first resource I found for helping us explore our budding interfaith relationship, it was by far the best. IFF’s Love and Religion workshop for interfaith couples helped us push beyond the fears and biases that had previously dominated our conversations and allowed us reach the depth that we needed to be able to build a truly solid foundation for a marriage and eventually a family. Initially I had naively hoped the IFF/Philadelphia Director Rabbi Robyn Frisch would just tell us the answers for how to make it work, and while I immediately learned that it could never be that simple, she and IFF did far more for us than I had ever hoped -- they taught us how to figure out those answers for ourselves. - Michael V
Good group of people working to help couples through relationship speed bumps with a focus on religious differences.
Rabbi Robyn Frisch and Interfaith Family love and religion workshop was the BEST thing my fiance Dan and I could have ever done for our relationship! Rabbi Robyn and the workshop gave us a healthier, honest, and more solid relationship then we ever even imagined.
Dan and I were together for 9 years. We always struggled with "the religion" thing. He is catholic and I am jewish. It was so painful for us that we broke up two times over it... they were very short break ups, but intensely emotional. So to say it was a sore topic was an understatement, not only between Dan and I but also with family. Well even though I often thought about this issue, I would convince myself that we will figure it out later...
well then Dan proposed... and I asked my mom to find us a rabbi. She was given Rabbi Robyn's name and when she forwarded me the email Rabbi Robyn sent her, there happened to be a link for this "Love and Religion Workshop". So I contacted Rabbi Robyn and asked her for more information. She sensed my hesitation and said why don't we pick a time to meet and we can discuss what its all about. Well... this meeting turned into more of a "therapy session" of sorts where Dan and I talked about our feelings towards religion. This short discussion meeting turned into almost 3 hours of talking between Dan and I and Rabbi Robyn, being the amazing person she is, didn't mind at all and gladly gave her time and expertise to "mediate" the interactions between Dan and I. We left that night feeling really good about the ability to communicate in that environment.
So after thinking about it and stewing over it for a couple of weeks...I signed us up for the workshop. I have to admit i was still a bit hesitant because I was worried other couples views might be counterproductive to things Dan and I had already agreed on. But this was not the case at all, in fact more often then not, someone articulated a feeling or thought that I didnt know how to put in words when talking with Dan which was very helpful. So we did the workshop nov-dec of 2016 with 3 other couples which coincidentally were all catholic and jewish faiths. Half way through the workshop, the topic/homework brought up christmas trees and decorations. This was a very difficult topic for us and in the workshop, Dan and I basically went at it, gloves off and everything. Rabbi Robyn had to stop us so she could continue with the discussion topics. And I actually found out later that Rabbi Robyn was going to suggest that we go to couples counseling based on how intensely we butted heads in the workshop... but that night, on our way home, we had a breakthrough!!! We actually sat in the driveway in the car till about 12:30 at night talking about it. We realized not only the issue with a tree, but the issues individually we had with religion and how for 9 years this approach didn't work and instead of thinking about it separately, we would try "doing" religion together. Well ever since then, we have been religiously unbreakable and we owe it to Rabbi Robyn and Interfaith Family!!!!
Now, expressing our feelings and thoughts towards religion and our future, which was once something we would avoid like the plague, we actually look forward and enjoy and get excited about.
I am the Jewish half of an interfaith couple. My now husband and I participated in an interfaith couples class sponsored by IFF led by Rabbi Robyn Frisch. The class was amazing and allowed us to determine how we could appreciate both aspects of our religions. When my then boyfriend proposed, Rabbi Robyn was our first choice to marry us. We had a relatively traditional jewish ceremony thatbwas performed both in hebrew and english, with the jewish traditions explained for my husbands family. We had such an amazing experience and as we hope to grow our family i look forward to the support of IFF
I wanted a traditional Jewish wedding but my partner didn't know what that meant. She isn't Jewish. It was my responsibility if I wanted to see it happen. I was overwhelmed with the choices of planning. I reached out to InterfaithFamily for guidance from a Rabbi. We set up a phone call, we went on a walk to talk about all of the options and books to read. Six months later I was circling my bride under a Chuppah.
I'm the non-Jewish part of an interfaith Jewish/Christian family, and also a parenting blogger on the site. I really appreciate reading the insights of other families choosing to raise their kids Jewishly, and finding different resources and ideas and approaches for doing this. I also appreciate that they are willing to include my voice on their blogs, through which I try to show my perspective on being a parent supportive of Jewish life and choices, even if I myself am not Jewish. Through this, I hope I can be of help to families and parents who are figuring out their own choices as well!
Interfaith Family has been a bright light for myself and for my family. It makes a space for different spiritual, cultural and religious beliefs and traditions to come together without feeling pressured or judged. They helped me with everything from finding a Rabbi for my daughter's baby naming to teaching me Christmas cookie recipes in the shape of menorahs. I have them to thank for my one year old daughter's inclusiveness into two faiths.
The first time I found the InterFaith Family web site, I stayed up until 2am reading the stories. I wish that I had found the site earlier when it would have been reassuring to hear about other families like mine with a non-Jewish parent raising Jewish children and about people like me who took decades to finally convert. It was good to feel that we weren't complete oddities. I thought how ironic it was that since I was finally in the process of converting, my family would soon cease to be "interfaith". And yet since converting, I visit the site as often as ever because it gives me a connection to a community of people who have had similar experiences or feelings, or whom I can help by offering my own experiences and thoughts. I found the IFF web site from a link on the web site of the synagogue to which I had sent my children to Hebrew school and which was led by the rabbi I was studying with for conversion. I clicked on a link to an IFF story because it sounded interesting, but I did not think the web site would pertain to my family because my household had always practiced only Judaism even though I was not Jewish myself. And since even before marrying my Jewish husband I had thought of myself as being on the path to conversion, just a very long, slow path, I did not think that my family was really "interfaith". But I forgot that once I converted, my own birth family would become "interfaith", and the web site has many stories and discussions about dealing with non-Jewish relatives. The IFF web site has inspiring and uplifting stories by people who have happy interfaith families. But it also has stories in which people share painful and difficult experiences. Some stories of people who acted in hurtful ways towards intermarried couples made me very grateful that most of the rabbis and lay-people I have met have been welcoming, accepting, and non-judgemental of me and my family. I like that I am able reassure people who write on the discussion boards about negative experiences on the discussion boards that not all of the Jewish community will necessarily be so negative. The stories about real people and situations and the postings on the discussion boards encourage people in interfaith families to "make Jewish choices", the goal of the site. For instance, recently a poster on the discussion board was convinced that it was "impossible" for a non-Jewish mother to raise Jewish children with strong Jewish identities. But articles and examples by other posters indicated that this is not necessarily true. That information may help parents to at least consider the option as a possibility and possibly to try it rather than to not try because they believe it can't work. I have contributed four articles that were "published" on the web site plus two others that I have submitted more recently. Writing the articles allowed me to think more deeply about my experiences and emotions as I gave form to feelings that I had kept to myself. And the articles generated both positive reader feedback and some criticism. For me, it was especially a relief to hear about other people who had taken decades to convert. Sometimes I had wondered if there was something wrong with me that I should take so long to work through the conversion process and that I should be hesitant and have doubts and fears even while wanting so much to convert. The Jews by Choice that I knew had mostly converted when they were in their early 20's and I certainly did not know anyone who had taken as long as I did to finally convert. I was very moved by the story by woman who converted after many years and so eloquently described the very same feelings I had myself both before and after I converted. I hope that my stories might similarly touch other people, both those who identify with the stories and those for whom my story might allow them to understand what might seem to be a contradictory situation: that Judaism has played such an important role in my life and for my family even though I was not Jewish for many years. The best thing about the IFF web site is definitely the way it enables readers to feel like they are part of a "community" of other people who share their experiences and concerns. Being able to be a full member of my close minyan community was a key factor in my decision to finally convert. But with only two other interfaith families in the minyan, both of which are interfaith in a different way than mine, my religious community cannot give me the type of support I find on the IFF website. I visit the site so frequently that I keep a tab open with the site in my Internet browser. I appreciate that the web site is well organized, has many features that other user sites lack, such as the ability to tag "spam" and the "Facebook"-like feature that allows users to create profiles and to communicate privately with other IFF users. The site is also closely monitored. The staff are there to jump in when a user is unreasonably nasty or giving bad information. And the staff also offers additional information. When there was an abuse of the system, the staff were on it so fast that I got the fake "friend invitation" at the same time as an email noting that it was due to web site abuse and that "user" had been blocked. The IFF web site is much better run and monitored than the vast majority of the web sites with a "forum" feature. The Interfaith Family website is a fantastic resource for so many people: people in interfaith relationships or interfaith families, or friends or relatives of interfaith families. With the high rate of Jewish intermarriage, this is indeed a very large number of people. With intermarried people and their families often scorned or rejected, it is so refreshing to see the positive approach taken by IFF. I am certain that it is effective in helping people to make Jewish choices.
The resources and services provided by interfaithfamily are of unique value for young couples who are new to the dynamics of interfeith families. Its contribution extends far beyond supporting the planning of an intefaith wedding: it is a precious guide for the spiritual growth of a family, and its support will continue to bear fruits for a life-time. I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude for the useful resources that interfaithfamily puts at disposal of interfaith couples and families like mine.
InterfaithFamily.com has been an invaluable resource to me since the beginning of my interfaith family life: my wedding to my non-Jewish husband. Yes, the site gave me referrals to clergy, and we were very happy with the rabbi we chose, who spent time with us and both sets of parents in his office prior to our engaging him for the Jewish ceremony. But even more valuable have been the extremely thorough and high-quality written materials about the ceremony and other holidays and rituals, which provide me with great reinforcement and provide my curious friends with excellent, easy-to-understand descriptions of our customs.
InterfaithFamily.com provides for me an excellent forum for learning all manner of significant things about Jewish life and about interfaith relationships and how partners and families work out or work through issues and needs. It also offers a myriad of interesting and valuable articles from people of many different backgrounds and histories, articles illuminating a wide variety of cultural, historical, and social phenomena and ideas. InterfaithFamily.com offers as well highly beneficial opportunities for people to connect in community and to share, exchange, and gather. Lastly, I looked to InterfaithFamily.com as a resource to seek out a rabbi willing to perform intermarriage wedding ceremonies, an immensely useful service.
I have had the pleasure and privilege of being both a content provider for, and consumer of, InterfaithFamily.com's esources and have found it to be tremendously helpful to me in my work as a congregation rabbi. It provides a wide array of perspectives on issues relevant to Jewish life and, especially, to the challenges and unique aspects of interfaith families. I frequently refer people to this site and consider it one of the more helpful Jewish resource websites available.
A wonderful website that is a priceless resource for interfaith families. Great features, very helpful and supportive advice and we presented stories and articles.