Matzah And Mass: Interfaith Families Tackle Their Passover-Easter Dilemma

March 18, 2010

Author: Amanda Pazornik

Source: San Francisco Jewish Community Publications

When Cathy Polinsky and Russell Belfer host a seder at their San Mateo home, the Haggadah at everyone’s place is, in a way, a reflection of the group assembled around the table. 

“We’ve cobbled together different prayers and spent a long time trying to figure out the best Haggadah that was supportive of interfaith families,” Polinsky says.

The couple — he’s Jewish, she’s Catholic — have no family nearby (they’re all on the East Coast). For the past six years or so, Polinsky and Belfer have celebrated Passover with close friends — also an interfaith family — along with “various other friends,” some Jewish and some not.

Religion is “pretty important” to both Polinsky and Belfer, she says, adding, “We share a lot of values and traditions in our respective religions that both of us grew up with. Our home is very supportive of that.”  

Married for six years, the couple is giving their 3-year-old daughter, Josie, a grounding in both religions. So when Passover and Easter come round, “a lot is going on,” Polinsky says. “We’re making matzah brei and dying Easter eggs,” going to a seder and attending Mass.