Laurel Snyder, longtime friend of JOI’s and a member of our Board of Professional Advisors, who is outspoken about her experience both as a Jewish adult child-of-intermarriage and an intermarried person herself, also happens to be a critically-acclaimed author of children’s books. On a joint “Author Blog” between MyJewishLearning.com and the Jewish Book Council, she discusses one of her most recent works, and perhaps most controversially-titled, “Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher”:
I didn’t write Baxter to be an intermarriage book. The idea simply popped into my head one day — a kosher pig! It seemed like a silly idea. A fun idea. I didn’t think I could sell it. I was really surprised when I did. In fact, it was only once the book was done and actually looked like a book that I was able to read it and recognize it for what it was—a book about inclusion and diversity. In some ways it was the happiest moment of my publishing career so far.
Her blog entry links to a piece she wrote earlier for the online magazine Tablet, in which she describes the challenge she’d experienced incorporating the Jewish issues that were important to her into her writing for children, and why she feels it is so important for her to do so now, including the needs for “honest depictions of intermarried families and the ongoing diaspora most of us experience everyday.” We are thrilled that this influential voice is providing a message of inclusion in her writing that will resonate with today’s diverse Jewish families.