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New Group for Children of Intermarriage

Do you live on the west coast and are an adult child, grandchild, or descendent of an intermarried couple? If so, and if you are looking for a venue to socialize and share experiences regarding identity, culture, food, parenting, books, spiritual and secular practices, fun stuff, and what’s unique about being “half-Jewish,” there is a new place to turn.

Through the website Meetup.com, Sara Davies has initiated a group to provide a social and networking space for “half-Jewish” folks of all backgrounds to share their experiences. Simply called “Seattle Half-Jewish Meetup,” it’s the first group of its kind on the west coast. Davies wants to take advantage of the opportunity to attract and engage the growing population of children of intermarriage.

If you live in the area and identify as “half-Jewish,” you can visit the group online to learn more and find out how to get involved. We think the more options for those interested in exploring their Jewish heritage the better, especially when they are as low barrier as Davies Meetup group.

Adult children of intermarriage – a group we call the “coming majority” – often face challenges to their status as Jews because of their background, especially in issues of matrilineal versus patrilineal descent. Instead of questioning their credentials, we need to provide them with more opportunities to explore and deepen their Jewish connections. If they are the future, let’s make sure we’re meeting their needs and giving them the proper support. Hopefully Davies’ group and other additional local points of entry will attract these folks and let them know they are a welcome part of the worldwide Jewish community.



4 Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this.

    The perception that matrilineals face fewer challenges to acceptance than patrilineals may not be accurate. What appears to matter most is how someone was raised, regardless of denomination.

    We believe anyone can benefit from Jewish ideas, and are happy to help interested members find educational resources. Halfies may be secular, Christian, or belong to another faith. Some practice Judaism. Some are multi-racial or members of the GLBTQ community. Most of us want to talk about our family histories and the challenges of straddling two or more cultures/religions. Our group offers an accepting place to have those conversations. We welcome diversity.

    Comment by Sara Davies — August 24, 2009 @ 12:41 am

  2. My former wife is Jewish (aethiest/agnostic) from a moderately observant Jewish Family. I am a “convert-in-progress” and wish to bring our 9-year old adopted daughter up within the Jewish faith. I would like to join your group so that I may understand and help my daughter with some of the issues she may face.

    Comment by Derek Dyson — September 20, 2009 @ 12:42 pm

  3. I’m surprised that the JOI is using the term “half-Jewish.” It’s actually quite offensive to those of interfaith upbringings and to children of interfaith partnerships. It is not an inclusive term.

    Comment by Adva — October 9, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

  4. Hi Adva,
    We don’t want to offend, but we do want to allow people to self-identify as they wish. That’s why we are not using the term, we’re quoting it. They are labeling themselves half-Jewish and we are respecting their right to self-identify as such.
    Thanks,
    Paul

    Comment by Paul Golin — October 22, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

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