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Jewish-Muslim Interfaith Film

Most of the time when we speak of interfaith marriages in this country, it is between Jews and Christians—or lapsed Christians. Infrequently do we speak of the marriages between Jews and those of other faiths such as Islam or Hinduism. We may speak of them as multicultural and focus on their ethnic background rather than their religious background. Perhaps it is time for that to change.

When we screened Forbidden Marriages in the Holy Land during a JOI training conference about five years ago, it was rather controversial. The community was struggling enough with the growing numbers of interfaith marriage in the United States. But few were ready to discuss the challenge of Israeli Jews marrying Israeli Arabs who were Muslim. While the numbers of intermarriage are not as significant in Israel as they are in the United States, there is no reason to believe that such numbers will not increase.

Recently, a new film has been released which has already received more negative publicity than did Forbidden Marriages. This one is called Marock and is reflective of the director’s own life as a Muslim married to a Sephardic Jew in Morocco. The government has claimed that the film actually breaks Moroccan law which “forbids offense to Islam,” although the country is religiously tolerant in general, especially to its very old Jewish community. Perhaps that is why a year after its release at the Cannes Film Festival, it is only now getting some general play in theaters. Whatever the reason, it is clear that the controversy of Jewish-Muslim marriage is a reality, best dealt with openly and honestly, just like all other forms of intermarriage.



55 Comments

  1. I am a Muslim woman in the US and have been in a relationship with my conservative Jewish boyfriend for 18 months. We love each other and want o build a future together. However we find it extremely difficult to find support and help for our particular dilemma. Our families are vehemently against our union. We are unable to find an Immam or a Rabbi who would guide us.

    I refuse to believe that we are the only ones out there going though this struggle. However the topic of Jewish Muslim unions is soo taboo that we feel all alone.

    It would be really helpful if spiritual and cultural leaders from both communities would acknowledge the existence of such unions and try and help the young people going through the struggle of such relations.

    If anyone out there reads this and can offer some advice or help, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Comment by Sana — October 1, 2007 @ 5:11 pm

  2. Let me begin by first welcoming you both into the Jewish community. And I would be happy to help you in whatever way that I can–or that we can at JOI. There are others in the community, for sure, and I would hope that your comment would encourage them to come forward. We acknowledge such unions and understand that they are part of the Big Tent Jewish community we are trying to foster.

    Comment by Kerry Olitzky — October 1, 2007 @ 5:19 pm

  3. I am also a Muslim woman in the US and have been in a serious relationship with my Israeli Jewish fiance over a year now. We are very much in love with each other and plan to get married soon. Unfortunately, we have a dilemma about where and how our spiritual union, will take place since we have different ways of life (religions). I believe that as long as we both believe in one God and do not associate partners with God, then we can unite as one, in a spiritual union.

    His Jewish family does not agree with our union, but I don’t care. The only thing that I can do is respect them and love them from a distance.

    My advice to SANA is to stay strong-hearted and firm in your beliefs. Don’t let anyone come between you and your love for him. Don’t feel alone in your endeavors because there are a lot of people in our situation, but they are too afraid to come forward. There are also many people that are disciples of their families thinking and traditional ways, so they continue to live in unhappy relationships because of the fear of being abandoned by their families.

    Good luck SANA

    Comment by Haniyyah — November 8, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

  4. I have been in a relationship with an Israeli Jew for 6years. I come from a Muslim family from West Africa. His family hates me because am black and a Muslim. They were ok with us for the first year but once they realized that we were serious about each other they have made his life horrible. We’ve gone through so much and we really really love each other and want to get married. He is afraid because he doesn’t want them to hurt me.
    I am conflicted, I love him so much and I don’t want anything bad to happen to him. I don’t want his parents to hurt him. Should I let him go? Or is there someone in the Jewish culture that we can talk to that might be willing to intervene on our behalf.

    If anyone out there is in a similar situation and can offer some advice or help, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Comment by Amerat — April 22, 2008 @ 8:58 am

  5. while I am sure that there are readers that can be of help, I would be happy to speak to both of you. Please call me at my office 212.760.1440 and we can set up an appt or write me directly at KOlitzky@joi.org
    Rabbi Kerry Olitzky,
    Executive Director
    Jewish Outreach Institute

    Comment by Kerry Olitzky — April 22, 2008 @ 9:03 am

  6. hi,
    if it is any consolation, you are not alone,
    i am israeli and my boyfriend is pakistani, and after 3 years together, we are starting to let go of what others think, and the `dangers`of our union.
    it sounds like a cliché, but we try to celebrate our diversity, our free-spirited nature and our love.
    it is when we got comfortable and dealth with our issues, that our families became comfortable with the other.
    it takes time to understand ourselves, to reconcile our identity, and the couple entity. moreover, we chose or accepte this union and get the benefits out of it, so imagine the families who don’t have a say in it must probably feel powerless.
    also, i don’t know if it would apply to you, but i notice that parents are always going to have an issue with the one you choose, and sometimes they get stuck on the religion or color issue, help them move beyond that and get to know you and your partner from different angles - but don’t force it. that is not your job. you can’t be anything else other than who you are, and you should be proud of that.
    best of luck

    Comment by liat — June 5, 2008 @ 6:30 pm

  7. Would any of you be available to take a call on Irish radio this Monday morning July 14, 9am Irish time?

    Comment by Yvonne Judge — July 11, 2008 @ 7:55 am

  8. As much as I would like to do so, my day is filled already. Might we do it another time — so that i can plan accordingly?

    Comment by Kerry Olitzky — July 11, 2008 @ 8:06 am

  9. I am a muslim arab and I am in a relationship with an Israeli Jew. We have been secretly together for a year now and we feel that this might be serious and that we might want to spend the rest of our life together. The problem is that my parents will never accept such a union nor will the societies we live in. I consider myself an open-minded woman and I would hate myself if I let him go on the basis of religion and nationality. In order to find consolation, I have been trying to research and see if there are any couples in a similar situation and if there is an association or institution that targets such problems. I think that it would be great if we could get together and talk about how we are dealing with our situations.

    Hope to hear some feedback soon.

    Comment by Diana — July 17, 2008 @ 5:36 pm

  10. We understand and would be glad to help. Please be in touch. If you are in the New York area, we can meet. If not, then we can suggest someone in your area who can be helpful.
    Rabbi Kerry Olitzky
    Jewish Outreach Institute

    Comment by Kerry Olitzky — July 17, 2008 @ 5:40 pm

  11. Hello Diana, I’d love to hear back on any updates in your situation as I am currently facing the exact same problem. Confusion and depression has become a part of my daily routine and I feel I lose a part of me more and more everyday. I wish there was someone who could guide me and help me with this situation. The most difficult is working through these issues in times like now with invasions and war escalations. any advise?

    Comment by lola — March 31, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

  12. Dear Haniyyah,

    I would like to know from which West-African country u are from, since I have found myself in a similair situation.

    Salaam

    Comment by Fouziya — April 6, 2009 @ 10:07 am

  13. I was raised in Canada by my Canadian mother (Protestant) with almost no ties to my Berber Moroccan and Muslim father. My Jewish boyfriend was born in Israel, his parents in Morocco. I have been with my boyfriend for 2.5 years now and still have a hard time dealing with the fact that his family won’t accept my existence.

    When we first started dating they were so excited to meet me, knowing I wasn’t Jewish. They must have realised it might be serious, because 4 months in they changed their attitudes and I haven’t seen any of them for 2 years now. They told him I’d have to convert if we were ever to get married. I am not Muslim, my mother raised me saying I could decide what faith to follow when I grew up. I’m not christian either, although I grew up celebrating Christmas and Easter with my mother’s side. When people ask, I am not anything. Still because my father is Muslim they automatically label me so.

    I believe my mixed heritage makes me who I am, I could never convert without losing a part of me. I see so many people converting to be with their Jewish partners and wish it could be an easy choice for me. But it doesn’t reflect in any way how much I love him.

    Now our relationship is under strain because this issue bothers me on a day to day basis and I find myself arguing over other problems when I’m really hurt and angry about this. He avoids it entirely never mentioning me to his family anymore. They don’t even know if we’re still together now. On the other hand my family has accepted him with open arms, they all love him.

    I just wish I could feel that way…

    P.S. This article mentions the movie Marock. I was so hopeful in watching this movie that they would come up with one example of how to solve our problem. It really let me down to find that their answer to it was killing off the Jewish guy. Still no solution…

    Comment by Baka — April 10, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

  14. I am israeli/american jewish and I met my Muslim husband about five or six years ago. We are in love and we live peacefully. However I find myself with no social or religious support. I find it difficult to mix with other Jews where I am in europe. One of the reasons is that when I came to the main rabbi for advice he suggested adultery although he was married. I tried contacting another rabbi but he does not reply. Another reason is that a conversation seems to be over between me and other Jews when they find my husband is Muslim. In spite of this, I find it difficult to keep such an important part of my life a secret.

    Mainly I have two questions
    1. Is it possible to have a ketuba in my case?

    2. My husband, who is observant of his religion and knowledgable of the Qur’an, says it is against Islam to convert out of Judaism (even if the jewish wife of Mohammad converted, it is not necessarily the path I must to follow). Acceptance of the Torah is part of Islam cited in the Quran (for me, it means to keep holidays). In some places the Qur’an adresses b’nei israel. In addition, the Jewish holidays are meaningful to me.

    I feel that the Qur’an comes from the same God of the Torah and have no problem with accepting Mohammad as a messenger of God. I feel I can not be a good muslim if I don’t keep my jewish holidays.

    Should I leave Judaism altogether, although it is so deep and meaningful to me, the jewish communities do not seem to accept it at all.

    Does Islamic Judaism or Jewish Islam exist, or am I alone?

    Comment by ilat — April 20, 2009 @ 3:48 am

  15. Please consider the Jewish Outreach Institute, the organizations with which we work, and the people with whom we work–especially those who support the notion of Big Tent Judaism–as part of your support network. We will be happy to work with you to find a rabbi who might be more supportive and understanding–and close to you geographically.

    As for your questions, here are two basic answers.
    1. If your question is about a traditional ketuba, then that is not possible. But many people use a nontraditional ketubah, that is, one that has been edited to reflect their station in life.

    2. I am not sure of your question about the existence of Islamic Judaism or Jewish Islam? But conversion requires the move from one religion into another–so you would not be encouraged to convert to Islam and observe Jewish

    Is your husband encouraging your conversion? or are you just finding it difficult to find a social network?

    We are here to help.

    Comment by Rabbi Kerry Olitzky — April 20, 2009 @ 10:33 am

  16. I would like to get information about jewish women marrying muslim man, I am in a relationship with who I would considere a WONDERFUL person beyond stereotypes or labels and we are considreing the idea of getting married, I want to be inform. Please refer me to the right direction. Thank you!!

    Comment by yael simchit — July 26, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

  17. To the best of our knowledge those materials are not yet available. But we would like to work on them since the numbers are clearly growing. And we want to be of help.

    Comment by Rabbi Kerry Olitzky — July 27, 2009 @ 6:56 am

  18. I’m an American Jew living in Indonesia, my wife is an Indonesian Muslim. I did a one day conversion to Islam for our marriage certificate and wedding and to keep her family happy and stay within Indonesian law. We just had a baby and will let him decide later in life what religion, if any, he wants to follow. If your in love with someone, you shouldn’t let religion or family stand in the way.

    Comment by Dl — September 10, 2009 @ 9:59 pm

  19. It is a relief to find there are other women in my situation (jewish woman with a muslim man). We are very happy and things have gone really well. We are engaged and my family is truly accepting of him and love him, and his family has truly accepted me into their family very warmly and genuinely. I feel blessed. But at the same time there can still be times of mixed emotions and it’s i think we sometimes become more sensitive and emotional around the holidays (of course) for example…around rosh hashanah and eid. (i.e. now) I guess the hardest part for me usually is feeling that i have noone to talk to about this who can truly understand and get what it’s like. My friends and family are supportive and wonderful, but there are times when I need to talk about the unique aspects and conflicts and weirdnesses and i don’t feel anyone other than someone who is also in a jewish-muslim relationship could understand…and i tend to feel very isolated and the problems can kind of grow out of proportion in my mind. It’s a relief to find here that there are other women in similar relationships. :) I agree with the woman who mentioned the similarities of judaism and islam. i find that there is so much that is similar…most importantly that we pray to the same god, that i am much more comfortable with it than i ever thought i would be. (based on the news headlines alone, one would never know how much tradition, values, spirituality, beliefs we share….)

    Comment by MA — September 17, 2009 @ 2:11 am

  20. im a palestinian muslim woman in relationship with an israeli jewish boyfriend. we dated almost 3 years secretely then my parents came to know about our relation as we had a baby. i’m from a religious background so my parents and brothers got angry and tried to cut between us, then me and my jewish boyfriend decided to live together and now i’ve been with him for 5 years and we have 3 cute childern. i never really insisted him to become a muslim but i keep on telling him about my religion, and he see me praying and fasting at home and covering myself when going out.He also allows me to teach Islam to my kids i want him to convert not by insisiting him but by demonstrating and love.i believe muslim women who r married or in relationship with their jewish husbands/lovers can be a medium for making them attracted to islam.

    Comment by laila — October 13, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

  21. I am a muslim man married to a Jewish lady, we have 2 beautiful
    Children, it was difficult at first becuase of her parents who wanted her to marry someone Jewish, they came around in the end (after 2 years) and now i have a great relationship with her parents and wider family i have been with my partner for 7 years now, i am normally invited over for sabbas and yom kippur and rosh hashannah etc,and they will come over for all the main Muslim festivels.I am British Muslim and she is Canadian Jewish.

    Comment by Jamal — November 15, 2009 @ 1:35 am

  22. IM A RUSSIAN JEW AND IS IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH GIRL WHO IS A MISLIM FROM TIRKEY. WE HAVE BEEN LEAVING TOGETHER FOR ABOUT A YEAR AND IM ABOUT TO PROPOSE TO HER. IM THANKFULL FOR MY MY FAMILY WHO SUPPORTS ME IN DOING SO. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS THERE IS A WAY TO GET MARRIED BY AND INCLUDE BOTH JEWISH AND MUSLIM RELIGIONS.

    Comment by DAVID ATANELOV — January 10, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

  23. Eu sou judeu dedicado e estou apaixonado por uma mulçumana residente em U.S. Ela quer que eu me converta ao Islam para podermos nos casar(Me disseram que posso me converter na embaixada (so no papel) para poder casar com ela)e continuar a minha vida judaica sem que o gorverno islamico o saiba. Pelo que li ate agora, uma mulher muslemita nao pode casar com outra pessoa de outra religiao. Eu a amo e a respeito, porem acredito que a pessoa, nao importa qual a religiao so deve se converter por ela mesmo e nao por outro motivo. Acredito que o amor nao se deve misturar a cor, a raca e a religiao, esse e o verdadeiro amor. o importante e respeitar o parceiro (a) e se tiver filhos ensinar as ambas religioes e tradicoes e qdo forem maiores eles poderam optar por ser judeus ou islamicos.

    Comment by Danny Israel — February 4, 2010 @ 5:41 am

  24. I am in the same situation as everyone here and I have been wondering if anyone else is in this situation! I am a Jewish American Woman and I met and fell in love with a Libyan Muslim man and we have fallen in love. No one in my family likes that I am dating him and I am constantly feeling guilty and sad because I can’t talk about this with my family or jewish friends. I feel better knowing someone else out there has the same struggle. It is a sad world that people can’t just accept people for who they are and love someone for who they are instead of for what their religion is.

    Comment by sophie — March 7, 2010 @ 1:39 am

  25. I am a muslim arab-pakistani woman who is married to a catholic man. We had both ceremonies and I was able to find an Imam who was educated enough to acknowledge interfaith marraiges and worked with us under the holy scarement. I understand how tough marriage is , but to be married to someone you truly do not love and appreciate is horrific. I chose to marry a Catholic man without coercing him to convert. I am truly happy and content in my decision to enter into an interfaith marraige. Marriage between Muslim women and Jewish or Christian men is traditionally not allowed. however after much research I found that it was a general consensus and not a religious ruling. I am sure many priests and rabbi’s like the Imam we had are humanists and understand people’s circumstances. Good luck to you all.

    Comment by sadia — March 15, 2010 @ 11:19 am

  26. I am an ethnically Jewish American woman who believes that Jesus is the Messiah (some may call us Messianic Jews) in love with an American Pakistani Muslim man. We are young and we decided to take the risk because of how we felt for each other. He told me from the beginning his family would not only disapprove but cut him off if he “came out” with our relationship. We have been together for over a year and his family does not know about me. I find this frustrating and wonder if he will ever find the strength and courage to be with me at the expense of the love and support of a family he cherishes. It took me a few months to tell my family and it was difficult at first, but they now like him very much. I wish his traditional Pakistani family would just meet me and see I am a good person who loves their son and at least give me a chance.

    Comment by Li — April 12, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

  27. Iam jewish woman and i am in love with a muslim man.

    Comment by pat — April 23, 2010 @ 5:13 am

  28. Bonjour;
    Je suis musulman.Je peux comprendre qu’on peux aimer une personne d’une autre religion.Mais l’amour ne suffit pas,l’hamonie des âmes et aussi essentielle.tôt ou tard surgissent des problèmes ,notament liées aux enfants et à leur éducations,au fur et à mesure le temps passe ,d’autres difficultés surgissent.Il est donc plus simple et naturel pour les parents et leur enfants,que l’homme et la femme soient de la meme religion.Dieu seul sait.Merci

    Comment by abdelouahed — June 1, 2010 @ 11:22 am

  29. first i m a Muslim man who is married to an American jewish woman and we r in deep love from the first time we met…….. but i wanna tell the girls or the ladies who r in love with male jews that Islam forbids that kind of relation becos Muslim woman must b a wife for a Muslim man no more…. and I’m Sure Allah chose that not only for the benifit of the Muslim lady but for the jewish man too . so let religion be the first guide and no need for that …. I hope Allah will guide us alllllll and we all have the best life.

    Comment by Medo — June 21, 2010 @ 11:21 am

  30. I forgot to say that my wife ” Habibti” is the best wife in this world.
    Thank u
    and once when i have a daughter she will b only married to a good Muslim man though i m in deep love with my wife and b sure if we follow our religion , Allah will guide us to the true path.

    Allah ( S W T ) allowed Muslim man to marry like that way to a non-Muslim woman but not allowed a woman to amrry a non-Muslim man.

    Alhamdou Lellah
    He alone will guide us corectly.

    Comment by Medo — June 21, 2010 @ 11:26 am

  31. Hi all.

    This message goes to Liat. I was touched by you comment, and i am curious to know how you dealt with this situation from nationality point of view. What are the laws concerning you getting married to a Pakistani man? I heard that it would be hard for him to go back to his country and you to yours…
    I am currently doing research on interracial weddings for a paper for University. It would be very helpful if I could get some more information about your situation.

    Thank you in advance and i am looking forward to hearing from you
    Regards Andrea

    Comment by Andrea — July 4, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

  32. hi, iam a muslim man in the uk and out of all the people have managed to fall in love with an orthodox jew. me and my girlfriend love each other dearly, we knew we were attracted yet tried not to act on it cos of religon, however it simply happened naturaly. i love her with all my heart and she is everything i could ever want, we are so happy together it just feels right. but she is too scared of the disaporoval of her parents and so it breaks both our hearts but we can’t be togtehr, it kills me to think that religon is keeping us apart even though we are truely in love. we couldn’t hepl falling in love. is there anything i can do or anyone have any advice, cos its tearing me apart having to see her everyday but not be with her and the fact i know it breaks her heart sadenns me. i feel helpless as nothing i can do or say…but we both still love each other and want to be together,but for her parents disoproval. is there anything we can do?

    Comment by mohammed — November 23, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

  33. dear friends, i’m really happy to have read this string of comments. I’m in a similar situation, only I fear that I have ruined a potentially good relationship over the barriers of religion. I am a very spiritual american muslim girl, someone who went to traditional catholic schools and have very conservative but open minded parents. I went to hajj, led catholic prayers, taught Rumi’s poetry and happen to be a scientist learning about the origins of humanity. Out of all of my relationships none of them have been with a devout Muslim mainly because God never made one cross my path. Instead, I recently found myself resisting the amourous fall for an orthodox Jewish man who is american, and under any other circumstance would probably be the most similar person to me that I have ever met. The problem is that I pushed him away. I pushed because of the religious issues, family issues, and I have hurt him with my actions even though I know I am only human. I expressed great attraction and interest in him, and then would completely disappear. I couldn’t resolve in my mind how something like this could work. We are now “broken” up and I am not sure if I should let it be, or give it the chance that I should have given it. I just don’t know, I am very confused and have no one to talk to. Not even him now. I appreciate any guidance.

    Comment by elle — December 12, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

  34. I’m happily involved in a relationship with a liberal American Ashkenazi Jew. I care about him very much, and occasionally we bring up the topic of marriage & how/where it would take place because neither one of us is willing to convert. For him, being Jewish is a part of who he is, his identity and i would never want him to take that down, after all I’m falling in love with who he is. Unfortunately, we discuss all the religious passages a Jewish boy and girl would go through, and i share with him that i wouldn’t want that because i want to raise our children Muslim. at times i wish that i would have stopped my self in the beginning when we first met, because I KNEW all of this would be coming. Today, when I’m with him, i only think for the moment and live for the moment. i don’t ever look into what kind of a future we will have. I, me, the person who dreamed everyday of what my wedding day would be like, has some how learned to never even think that far. it hurts, but it’s what makes me go on each day without thinking our relations should end. I love Islam and I respect Judaism, but neither one of us should have to leave our religions to be together, and sadly Islam does not recognize that for it’s women.

    Comment by Sami — February 18, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

  35. Sami, how long have you been together??

    Comment by elle — March 19, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  36. I am an american jew who moved from new york to israel in 2009. I started university here in aug of 2010 and met the most amazing young man, and he is a muslim arab. we have been together 10 months now, and i am so in love with him, as he is with me. but everything is so hard. all of my israeli and american friends and even my family back in new york know that we are together and that he is muslim, and they pretty much accept it even if they dont fully agree. but in terms of his friends and family, no one even knows i exist. he lies to his roomates when he comes to visit me or sleep over, he has to whisper when he talks to me on the phone so that no one around him will hear, he deletes all of the text messages i send him and even de-friended me on facebook. lately we have been having such a hard time becuase things are starting to get serious, like we are thinking about a future together and i see a way for that to happen, but he doesnt. i have tried to suggest every option possible to him but none of them are ever acceptable. when it comes down to it, he feels that he could never tell his parents that he is in love with and would want to marry a jew. and even if he did, his father built him a house in his village to live in when he settles down, and he could never tell his dad that he wants to live somewhere else, in a bigger city like tel aviv or even haifa. i would have to convert if i wanted to live with him in his village, and our kids would not know anything about judaism because they would be brought up muslim, something that i dont think i would ever be able to do. i can see spending the rest of my life with this person, and i am willing to make sacrifices and compromise, but if he cant do the same, and tell his parents that we want to be together and live in a city instead of his village i dont see how thats possible. i feel that i am in a situation where either i lose everything, my religion, maybe even my family, or he gets thrown out from his home and his own mother and father will abandon him. i dont know what to do. living this lie is becoming harder and harder for him, and seeing him so miserable is becoming unbearable for me. i love him more than anything, but i dont want to lose him, and as of right now that seems like my only option and i dont know what to do. is there someone i can speak to that can help or has any suggestions or ideas?

    Comment by sophie — May 21, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  37. I am an American Jew living in the DC region, and for the past several years I have been dating a Muslim woman.
    I just purchased an engagement ring, though I have not yet asked her father for permission to propose (he was born in Pakistan, and is certainly traditional enough that I am expected to get his blessing– I did have to ask permission to date her, which he consented to, though less than enthusiastically. As a side note, we get along very well at this point; he particularly enjoys talking about our religions). Though we, and our relationship have been excepted by both families at this point, I still worry that when the actual talk of marriage comes up, there will be some resistance. If not from our parents, from our respective communities.
    Finding a Rabbi to do a wedding would be no big deal, but according to my girlfriend, finding an Imam that will do a traditional wedding might be more difficult. I am not particularly religious, and see no outstanding conflict between our religions. I will say the Shahada without any feeling of betraying my heritage, but it would not be an honest conversion for me, since I would not be giving up my faith. I will still consider myself a Jew, and, though I respect Islam, feel no overwhelming attachment to the religion over my own.
    All this has been excepted by our families (though I suspect her parents hold out hope that continuous exposure to Islam will eventually lead to a real conversion). We will raise our children with Islam (since religion traditionally follows the mother), but also teach them about their father’s heritage.
    I would love to speak with people in similar circumstances; get a better sense of the challenges of raising children between the two traditions. Also if anyone knows of a liberal Imam that would be more open to our union, I would love to talk to him.

    Comment by JWS — June 1, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

  38. @Sami — It seems our circumstances are similar; things would be relatively easier if the female were Jewish and male Muslim, rather than vice versa.
    As far as raising the children goes, you might want to remind him that religion in Judaism traditionally passes with the mother. Hence why I have agreed to raise any children (G-d willing) as Muslims (without, of course failing to at least educate the children about my own heritage– I figure it will not be too confusing since neither religion has any real ideological conflict with each other– other than moving the Temple to Mecca and adding a couple of prophets).
    Side-stepping the prohibition in Islam against a woman marrying a man of another faith (even if they are People of the Book) seems to be the greater challenge. Hopefully we can find a liberal Imam, or one that does not try to question my commitment too strongly.
    Ultimately, I think it is necessary to remember that any objection to our union is not levied for OUR benefit as a couple, or our happiness, but because it is something that other people cannot reconcile in their own minds.
    I cannot imagine G-d would give me this love, and then rip it away on a technical fault, especially one that applies to women and not men.

    Comment by JWS — June 1, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  39. i am an israeli/american in ny and still in love with my first love which is egyptian muslim. for 7 years i could not see myself with anyone else. he is my other half in many ways. his family is ok with me but mine are totally against us together. we broke up because of this but now recently talking and considering future plans. i am worried my family will disown me. he is even willing to convert but i believe it will not change their minds. i enjoyed reading these comments bc i didnt know that there are so many people in the same situation as i. i just had to share mine as well.

    Comment by melody — June 21, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  40. I am a British Muslim woman in a serious relationship with a Jewish man (also British.) We are very open and honest with our families about our relationship and everyone seems to be happy so far.

    However, I am a little confused about how we might get married. We’d very much like to in the next two years or so and I am very keen to have a religious ceremony of some kind that acknowledges God (and both religious beliefs if possible.)

    However, the dilemma lies in the fact that there is such little precedent in this area that we are just rather flummoxed and overwhelmed by the whole thing.

    Does anyone have any advice on Muslim/Jewish marriage ceremonies, or even personal experience in this area?

    We just feel that, seeing as we both come from faiths with such a wealth of tradition and heritage, it would be a shame to settle for a basic legal registry office wedding and not represent God/our religions at all.

    Comment by Anon — September 16, 2011 @ 11:42 pm

  41. Having very stressful time due to wife’s reemerging interest in Islam, I am Jewish and we agreed before marrying that I could raise the kids with Jewish training, now she wants to add Islamic training to the mix, worried about messing my kids thoughts up and fear they will be damaged by competing interests (3 kids 6,5,2). This could be a deal breaker for us…Any sympathetic Imam that could talk with us or liberal rabbi that could connect us with an Imam so we could be a happy family (and let the kids know about different views without having them pick sides) would help…

    Comment by rk — November 21, 2011 @ 3:37 am

  42. From the comments its clear that the families have grave objections to such unions yet the parties continue with their relationship. Have they no sense of family of tradition? A marriage involves not just two people but two families. To ignore or deny this is to bring a lifetime of sadness and regret. Please dont do it.

    Comment by Simon — December 2, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  43. I am a Messianic Jew who believe Jesus is the Messiah and my boyfriend is an Arab christian from Egypt. Since we both believe in Jesus-we have no problem as far as religion.And also i had gone to Arabic christian church for 6 yrs before i even met him,so i am very familiar with the arab culture and love arab people.Maybe it sound too easy compared with the difficulties other people describe here,but not so easy when it comes to family. My family ambraced him and love him,his family doesnt know i exist,because he was raise very strict orthodox christian where there was no dating allowed. Even though I am a Christian Jew,they would still probably have a hard time accepting me right away,even though i dont think it will be a problem in a long run. We dont plan to have children,i already have a daughter and raising her as Jewish Messianic. But i know that if we marry-it will most probably have to be in the arabic church. I believe u have to marry ur soulmate,ur half,not nesseserily same nationality or culture.But in my experience-religion is either a stumbling block-when 2 people have different faith or a sourse of great peace and unity when they share their belief. May God bless u all and help all ur situations.

    Comment by dana — May 11, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

  44. Hello my name is Rogers and I’m a spent 30 years in the Marine Corps. While serving my country I spent lot of time training in Haifi Israel and meet some of the most family oriented and warmest people. Also during my time in the military lots of my fellow marines was from the jewish and muslin faith which to this day are some of my closest friends. Presently I’m a study at the University of Phoenix and I have chosen to write a paper on The Challenges of Interfaith Marriage within the Jewish and Islamic faith. I choose this subject because of the impact those friends had on my life while serving and they recommended this blog. I would be honor if someone could provide me information and conversation on some of the challenge you have faced. than you in advance. Be Bless

    Comment by Rogers — June 22, 2012 @ 7:35 am

  45. It’s really encouraging to find so many brave souls willing to love one another for who they are, and able to overcome “what” they are. So often, people are too blinded by labels and they walk away from the most amazing relationships. May God bless your unions and make the path easy for you, amin.
    - A Muslim Lady

    Comment by Kamilah — July 28, 2012 @ 6:15 am

  46. I met my Jewish husband few years ago during a vacation in Maldives, it was a wonderful moment when two people of different backgrounds gathered in one beautiful circumstance personifying hearts union to one love. We both didn’t expect it yet it happened to us and showed us the beauty of our destiny. The next two years we met again in Spain where I moved out to work after achieving my bachelor and so did he to get more promising salary. We dated not so long until he promised me we would visit many wonderful places on earth, the next day I accepted his proposal. We both had known and understood our different background, he admitted his Jewish status as ethnicity, my ethnicity isn’t Muslim, I practice five pillars of Islam which makes me Muslim. Seeing him at the very first time, his humility gave sone kind of spiritual impression yet he told me he never practiced any religious method for so long unless meditations that helped him reaching the depth of his heart. He knows and acknowledges all the consequences of his decision to spend the rest of his life with me. Never a minute I complain about our different background, the only thing I asked him was that I hoping to have a marriage in simple Muslim method. Our parents were skeptical, I tried to ensure to my mom and dad that things would be okay, and there were times he was sad that some of his relative turned their backs on him for like no reason, I told him nothing to feel against them, we all need time to understand. Indeed wasnt easy that we learned together to stay strong without a single negative feeling. I myself received questioning commentaries and negative suspicions from my father, yet I took it all with all patience I still had…
    A week before our wedding, we still had hard time in the family of both sides, we decided to meet in a nearest wood, to relax and have a little sunset talk the way we had at the day we first met. Then that day, I was sitting in an old neglected house, a place we used to go to share all our secrets. I was reading Quran from my tablet while waiting him to come from his workplace, then it was like a surprise when he told me he wanted to be a Muslim like me after we had that short simple and easy conversation. I didn’t know exactly why he would, i never ask him to, I only ask a marriage in a Muslim way, and that means the rest after would all be on his willingness…
    While I knew he had been somehow inspired by a Muslim rapper whose songs he really liked to listen to, he told me he wasn’t sure either why but he knew that’s what he felt.
    The first line was my family to finally accepted us four days before the wed, then two days later, I came to his family incl his relatives who were present in the place to thank them for their presence, didnt know why but I received a hug from each eight of his family who came that day… it was a great pleasure to feel accepted from both parties…
    We’ve been married for two years, he’s a real great husband by the way and although still expecting kids, I am so thankful to be with him each and every single day, I am thankful for every minute of my life.
    The truth about love is, it’s always present with no time, without boundaries, and it transcends us all. But yet, it is us who are to decide when we want to feel it, invite it, and let in infuse our life through the heart in each of us…
    Peace, salaam, shalom, namaste

    Comment by Reinhardt — December 30, 2012 @ 6:09 am

  47. I’m often to blogging and i actually appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for brand spanking new information.

    Comment by Hasret — April 16, 2013 @ 5:40 am

  48. Nice article… VERY SWEET POST.
    May Allah bless couple.

    Comment by Rachel — July 9, 2013 @ 11:49 am

  49. I am a Jewish woman from USA married to a Muslim man from former Soviet Union. I would love to find other couples like mine, as I feel like everywhere I go I am like a ‘freak show’ exhibit. It would be wonderful to find a way to help our communities look last the media and give each other a chance. I wouldn’t want to advocate mixed marriages, as I do worry about the dwindling number of Jews in the world, but sometimes love comes in unexpected ways. We have agreed to raise our future children Jewish.

    Comment by Raquel — October 25, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

  50. i need your help people please

    Comment by suha — October 26, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

  51. i really need some help over here i don’t know what i have to do i don’t know what is the right and what is the wrong i feel so lost it’s so hard to be in love with someone that your love together is taboo i need to tell someone my story and hear some solutions :/ anyone??

    Comment by eve — October 26, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

  52. I’m a journalist writing a story on Muslim/Jewish interfaith couples in the New York area. If you are or have been part of a couple where one partner is Muslim and the other Jewish, I would love to talk to you! My email is cariromm21@gmail.com.

    Comment by Cari Romm — November 6, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

  53. Allah help all the Muslim woman and man also who are engaged with an other faith man and woman…
    we Muslim must follow saying and traditions of our prophet..
    marriage is just not only living together and forgetting all other things..
    after every marriage a new family starts. it is important for all the human being to follow and believe in the correct faith..
    just think friends our children may be after two-three generation
    have no faith because we mix all faith.

    “please don’t do this kind of thing. i know that love don’t see religion in first time .i am also in love with a girl she is not Muslim.
    it is very difficult to control over our feeling in love.
    but i did for me and for my religion”.
    this life is our examination and we will reworded in the day of judgment, where no body will help each other even father and son or husband and wife except our deed that we done in life according to Quran and tradition of our messenger
    believe in Allah and his rasool. by follow his commands.
    may Allah help you all to follow a correct path which will protect you all form hell fire.

    Comment by rashid — December 11, 2013 @ 10:15 am

  54. The promise of introducing you to single Muslims men and women from all around the world.

    Comment by musdating — May 15, 2014 @ 2:41 am

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