Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family

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A five-week program with interactive exercises, creative activities, suggesting for dealing with extended family, and strategies for connecting to local communities. Might be a useful resource to combine with Spiritual Playdate see below to start your own interfaith support community! An examination of trends in interfaith marriage in the United States based on a nationwide survey of 2, respondents, and in-depth interviews with couples, religious leaders and marriage counselors.

In-depth publications based on large scale surveys on a wide variety of topics related to religion. Todd Parr writes and illustrates wonderful books for young children that have direct, uplifting messages that reflect the values of the great religious and spiritual traditions of the world and promote inclusion. Illustrated by Tom Hopgood.

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One Love adapted by Cedella Marley. Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. I was one of those rabbis who was always told families should pick one religion or it will confuse the children. This book argues cogently maybe not. I serve an independent congregation with a high percentage of interfaith families depending on how you define interfaith. Some married a non-Jew where some converted. Some did not convert. Some have grandchildren in an interfaith family.

Some have grandparents in an interfaith family. We aim This book challenges me to think further outside the box. We aim to create a safe, non-judgmental space where all are welcome and we think deeply about all of these issues. We now have family memberships so that both partners are voting members and can serve on the board. We have an interfaith section of our cemetery. We have children enrolled in our Hebrew School where only one parent is Jewish.

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We are proud partners with InterfaithFamily. In fact, that is where this book was introduced to me. There is a beauty in what Susan Katz Miller has created and reported on.

Being Both by Susan Katz Miller

I am not sure my congregation will be willing to go the whole way with her--but the discussions will be important. It is clear she is pushing the envelope, even beyond what Reform Judaism did with its ruling on patrilineal descent. It is ironic that I read this book during a time period that included more debate about conversion in Israel and who is a Jew, more announcements from congregations like Bnai Jeshurun in New York that decided its clergy will perform interfaith weddings.

What this book does not do, nor does InterfaithFamily is to deal with the real trailblazers. Since beginning this book, I buried the Jewish partner of an interfaith family that had been married for 56 years. I blessed an interfaith couple on their 50th anniversary. When they got married they could not do so in either a church or synagogue. View 1 comment. Nov 12, J. Trent rated it it was amazing. I highly recommend this book for all partners seeking to bridge multiple religious, spiritual, or moral frameworks within one family.

Being Both includes an extensive list of resources as well as an index, making it an essential guidebook. Being Both explores the grassroots movement of interfaith communities and assesses the myths and benefits of raising children I highly recommend this book for all partners seeking to bridge multiple religious, spiritual, or moral frameworks within one family. Being Both explores the grassroots movement of interfaith communities and assesses the myths and benefits of raising children in two religions.

From testimonials of parents to children and clergy who "attest to the inspiring nature of working with interfaith families," Katz Miller has done her due diligence in exploring the interfaith family movement from all angles. After a thoughtful reading, I think most will agree that exploring the "being both" option far outweighs the historical anxieties that families of previous generations faced in making the hard-and-fast decision of choosing one religion over another.

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Mar 12, Molly rated it really liked it. Non-fiction book about raising children and creating interfaith families. May 20, Ashley rated it really liked it Shelves: faith. A great primer for interfaith couples making their way through building a holistic and authentic life together and all the decisions that come with it. I've researched a lot of literature on the subject, and unfortunately most are biased towards convincing you to re-think marriage to a partner of a different religion, or at least choose raising your child in one religion over the other.

This book is refreshing because it affirms that yes you can figure this out and be true to both of yourselves A great primer for interfaith couples making their way through building a holistic and authentic life together and all the decisions that come with it. Sadly the various rites within other religions are not covered, but there is a chapter dedicated to interfaith couples within different religions. This book is also very unique because the author has helped to form an interfaith community and children's religious ed program in the DC area.

Highly recommended! Dec 19, Carolyn Fitzpatrick rated it liked it Shelves: religious. The majority of the book consists of anecdotes about various Jewish and Christian blended families, and how their choice of religion works for them.


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The first chapter is very interesting as this is the story of the author's own family, and there is one other chapter that deals with interfaith families that are now Jewish and Christian. The main message of the book is that when two spouses come from different religious traditions, learning about both backgrounds actually helps children develop st The majority of the book consists of anecdotes about various Jewish and Christian blended families, and how their choice of religion works for them.

The main message of the book is that when two spouses come from different religious traditions, learning about both backgrounds actually helps children develop stronger faith. The author admits that this only works if both spouses come from a progressive religious background, that does not believe that a person goes to hell if they do not follow the "correct" religion, with utter devotion to every tenet and practice.

I will admit that I did not get more than a third of the way through the book because I got tired of hearing about just Jews and Christians all the time. But in the parts that I read I did not encounter any stories about people who were not able to make interfaith religion work for their family, and hypotheses about why it didn't work out for them.

Book Review – Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family

Or when happens when one spouse is very religious and the other is casual about their religion, or agnostic. In short, I was expecting more of a do's and don't's for various scenarios and situations, rather than just the positive stories resulting from one particular religious mix. Oct 07, Josiah rated it liked it Shelves: first-reads , nonfiction-american , philosophy-ethics , culture-ethnicity-race , currently-own , romance.

Just as a child comes from and is attached to both parents, a child can be influenced by and adhere to two or more religions at the same time. Susan Katz Miller - herself a child, wife, and mother in interfaith relationships - tackles with sensitivity and facts the taboo subject of whether it's possible for people from differen Plot: B Writing: A Vocabulary: B Level: Easy Rating: PG Worldview: It is possible to have a healthy interfaith relationship, and raise your children as interfaith as well.


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Susan Katz Miller - herself a child, wife, and mother in interfaith relationships - tackles with sensitivity and facts the taboo subject of whether it's possible for people from different faiths to successfully marry and raise children in both faiths. Although the book is full of studies, interviews and surveys, Katz Miller writes with an engaging style. Anecdotes by interfaith children are sprinkled throughout the book to give a first-person perspective of this uncomfortable topic.

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I highly recommend this book! This copy received for free thanks to Goodreads First Reads program, which in no way affected this review. Mar 23, Fshell rated it it was amazing. Being Both is an insightful, thought provoking book showing how interfaith families, after decades of being told no you can't, are demonstrating that yes, they absolutely can raise children dual-faith and do so in a way that is not at all detrimental. Susan Katz Miller's primary research, including surveys and extensive interviews of couples, children, young adults, and clergy, as well as sharing her own personal interfaith experiences result in rich, moving story.

As a spouse in an interfaith m Being Both is an insightful, thought provoking book showing how interfaith families, after decades of being told no you can't, are demonstrating that yes, they absolutely can raise children dual-faith and do so in a way that is not at all detrimental. As a spouse in an interfaith marriage raising dual-faith children, it was inspiring and comforting to read about others who are trying similar approaches and to know that obstacles can be overcome.

I hope that interfaith couples and families as well as their extended families and clergy will read this beautifully written book to enrich their understanding of interfaith relationships and expand their perspectives on what is possible. Disclosure: my husband and I are the founders of a Philadelphia-area interfaith group modeled after D. Oct 07, Lauren rated it liked it Shelves: historical , first-reads-received , adult , giveaways , read-books , nonfiction , biographies-memiors.

This was a very fascinating to read and so glad I got it from a Goodreads giveaway. From then on I always found it interesting and wondered how difficult it was for a child as well as the parents involved. Susan provided a great insight into this dynamic. Not only does it describe how the children are feeling, but what the benefits are for them to having both. It This was a very fascinating to read and so glad I got it from a Goodreads giveaway. It also seemed to me, that it could help those who would be entering this new frontier.

This would help those answer questions, ideas of how to handle it, and help children understand what they are feeling and experiencing. This opened my eyes to a whole new world and the struggles that one will encounter, but ultimately the benefits of having both in the same household. I'm glad I read this as I found this a new learning lesson that everyone can learn. Oct 23, Kate H rated it it was amazing. Thank you, Susan. This is an excellent book. Well written, well edited and best of all, not apologetic at all! I was so glad to read a book that is so clearly enthusiastic about the experience of raising children in more than one faith.

I found myself saying "amen" silently, in my head, since I was on the plane almost every page! I really hope that this book gets widely read and distributed. I feel that the interfaith communities where children are educated and families celebrate are still real Thank you, Susan. I feel that the interfaith communities where children are educated and families celebrate are still really hidden, so that when people do hear about them they act as if they are part of some crazy, untested theory rather than something that has been going on for years.

I was surprised at how old some of the "where are they now? I also want to thank you for your honesty in sharing your story. It's not easy. I totally understand the "sighs" you talk about. Good work. View all 3 comments.


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The ceremony itself is preceded by community service projects and is officiated by both a minister and a rabbi who draw from their respective traditions. Students are invited to address the community as part of the ritual; some choose to talk about their service project, others to make a statement of belief.

We see it as a lifelong process that all of us are in this spiritually flexible and fluid context informed by our complex religious heritages and we will make those decisions again and again throughout our lifetimes, as all people do, even if they come from a mono-faith background. The Family School in Chicago and the Interfaith Community in the New York area, as well as smaller groups elsewhere, share the philosophy of giving interfaith children an interfaith education. Hovemeyer reports that she receives phone calls from individuals across the country asking for help in creating such intentional interfaith communities.

Miller keeps a list of resources for interfaith families on her website which includes different groups in various locations serving different combinations of interfaith families.