Interfaith Marriages Challenge Passover Rituals

April 6, 2004

Source: The Standard Times

On April 6, 2004 The Standard Times reported, "For Jewish families, it is a time of family gatherings and lavish meals called seders. And with its special foods, songs and customs, the seder is the focal point of the Passover observance. But the increase in interfaith marriages can present challenges for modern families... According to Roger Fritts at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Md., the percentage of Jews marrying non-Jews in the United States has risen from about 6 percent in 1960 to more than 60 percent in the late 1990s. Surveys suggest that in more than one-third of interfaith marriages, there is strong opposition by at least one set of parents. 'For us, it hasn't been a problem,' said Ruth Gross, a Protestant Episcopalian. 'We don't have the conflicts other people have. But other people do have problems. We do celebrate Christmas and Easter, but in a nonsecular way. Our celebrations are usually relegated to going out to friends' houses and our children come along with us. And every Christmas, we go down to the Tifereth Israel Congregation that helps serve lunch to senior citizens. 'It's a celebration of freedom from slavery and certainly doesn't conflict with any views I have.'"