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December 19, 1986 - Image 92

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-12-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Karen and David
Bango spend a quiet
moment before the
holidays

ho gets
the kids on Chanukah? For that
matter, who gets the kids on any
holiday? When Jewish parents di-
vorce, they have enough of a prob-
lem deciding who gets the kids dur-
ing the holidays. However, when
one parent is Jewish and the other
is a non-Jew, this becomes a whole
new issue. In the first place,
there is the question of which of
the two religious traditions the
children are following. Second,
what if the two holidays fall at the
same time? Do the children partici-
pate in the traditional Christmas
festivities in the morning and light
the Chanukah candles in the eve-
ning? In the spring, do the children
eat chometz in the non-Jewish
home and Pesachdik in the Jewish
home?
Clinical social worker, David
Landaw, Oakland Family Services,
said he feels that the manner in
which the situation is presented by
the parents would have a lot to do
with it. "If the parents present the
two holidays as being similar, al-
though they are not necessarily
similar, but similar insofar as that
each one transmits a certain story
about a specific set of beliefs, and if
the two holidays and the faith that
embraces that holiday are pre-
sented both as significant and both
as powerful and neither one is bet-
ter or worse than the other, then I

ho Gets
T e Kids On
Chanukah?

Single parents coming out
of an interfaith marriage
find their children
have a hard time choosing
where to spend the holidays

SANDRA MAURER

Special to The Jewish News

think the child can accept the two
without conflict. If, however,
there's some sense of a pull be-
tween the parents about this holi-
day is better than that holiday,
then the child will experience that
conflict.
"I think people who are Jews
or who are Christians mutually
suffer over-commercialization of
what each of the holidays are
meant to be. The kids pick up on
that as the basis of the holiday is
one for gift-giving and gift-
receiving rather than the more
meaningful qualities of the holi-
days."
Jakob Burnstein, 43, has been
divorced for more than three years.
He has a son, 17, and a daughter,
10. Both of the children live out-
of-state with their non-Jewish
mother.
"They're going to be with me
over Christmas vacation and we're
still going to celebrate Chanukah.
What I mean by ewe' is that I'm
still going to light the candles and
say the prayer. If they choose to
participate that's fine and if they
don't then that's their choosing
also.
"Since we've been divorced,
they have become baptized. But
when we were married, we cele-
brated all the holidays. Our mar-
riage promise was never an issue.
We discussed how the children

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