Rebecca Gross, the national coordinator for our Grandparents Circle program (for Jewish grandparents with interfaith grandchildren), posed an interesting question on the Grandparents Circle listserve (email discussion group) that I would like to share:
Having new grandchildren can sometimes bring up family and relationship issues. In many Jewish households, a baby boy is ritually circumcised on the 8th day after his birth in a ceremony called a brit milah (or “bris”). In traditional Jewish contexts, baby girls have naming ceremonies on the Shabbat following their birth, while in liberal circles, the timeframe is far more flexible.
I recently spoke to a grandmother whose new grandson did not have a brit milah. She was both hurt and disappointed by that, and said she felt like her son was rejecting her traditions. She also wondered what this first step meant for the future Jewish identity of her grandson.
Would you feel similar? Or have you also encountered this situation with your own children? If so, what steps would you or have you used to broach discussing these topics with them?
We would love to hear your thoughts. And if you are Jewish with intermarried adult children and would like to sign up and engage in all the discussions these grandparents are having, please contact Rebecca Gross at BGross@JOI.org to join the listserve.
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