Special Planning Issues for Interfaith Families

Interfaith families should ask the rabbi about synagogue policies and honestly examine both parents' attachments to Judaism.

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Honest answers will help each family know what level of participation is appropriate for this "coming-of-Jewish-age" ceremony for the child.

It is an extraordinary opportunity for learning and growing when interfaith families approach the time when children become bar/bat mitzvah. Asking a few questions--both of self and of synagogue--and sharing one's Jewish heritage in advance can make the event one of true celebration for every member of the family who attends.

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Rabbi Arthur Nemitoff

Rabbi Arthur Nemitoff, Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel, in Columbus, Ohio, has worked with interfaith families and on behalf of outreach for over 18 years.