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October 18, 2002 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-10-18

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

This Week

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10/18

2002

40

On the news stands now!

JET'S BAR MITZVAH: Like No Bar
Mitzvah You Have Ever Been To...Trust Us!
Jeffrey Eric Tischler (known
affectionately as JET), will
absolutely be called to the Torah
at 6:30 p.m. on Sun-day, Nov. 3
at Temple Israel, whether he's
ready or not—the caterer's
deposit just became non-
refundable. He is the son of
Steven and Susan Tischler and the brother of
Stacey. Grandparents are Ida and Sol Tischler,
who flew in early from Boca just so there won't be
any problem missing a flight, and Grandpa
Chuckie Stein, who will be there on time but can
listen to the end of the football game on a small
Indio if he wants. Jeff attends West Hills Middle
School, where his grades just haven't improved at
all. Jeff has finally decided on a mitzvah project,
which involved donating old XBOX, Game Cube
and Play Station 2 games to the first charitable
organization he found in the phone book. He still
wants cash, but please don't send anymore
XBOX, Game Cube or Play Station 2 games.
Sunday, Nov. 3 • Temple Israel • 6:30 p.m.
For tickets or more information,
call JET at (248) 788-2900.

Committee published Fishman's study
of 254 U.S. couples, showing how the
intermarried "negotiated and renegoti-
ated the religious character of their
households" rather than committing to
one faith, she said. Of the intermarried,
63percent said they were raising their
children as Jews, she said.
Half of these couples also said they
held Christmas and Easter celebrations
in their homes, while another 16 per-
cent attended church services and only
16 percent confined Christmas events
to those with their non-Jewish relatives.
Many of these couples "absorbed
Christian themes," such as Christmas
dinners, Christmas stockings and
Easter-egg hunts in their lives, she
added —while doing little Jewishly.
Those Christian traditions "may not
sound deeply religious, but when you
realize that nothing in their lives is
deeply religious, that makes a differ-
ence," she said.
Fishman sees one hope for these cou-
ples and the Jewish future. "It is really
important for temples and synagogues to
gently encourage mixed couples to make
their homes exclusively Jewish," she said.
In her study, many Jewish spouses did
not push their non-Jewish spouses to
do Jewish things out of empathy. The
non-Jews interpreted tbe inaction as a
lack of commitment to Judaism.
Still, Olitzky of the Outreach Institute
countered that the way children are
raised does not necessarily shape the way
they'll view themselves as adults.
"The Jewish community would like
the children of interfaith marriages to
totally reject their non-Jewish side —
but these kids need to figure out how
to identify Jewishly, and feel welcomed
by the Jewish community, while at the
same time embracing the non-Jewish
side of their family," he said.
Ed Case, publisher of
Interfaithfamily.com, which offers
resources and support for intermarried
couples in an effort to encourage
Jewish involvement, said not enough
resources have been devoted to out-
reach since the1990 NJPS to accurate-
ly assess the impact of outreach.
F e w Jewish federations or organiza-
tions outside Boston and San
Francisco target spending on outreach,
such as Introduction-to-Judaism
courses for interfaith couples, he said.
That lack of attention, and the rising
numbers of the intermarried, should
make spending more money on out-
reach the Jewish community's top pri-
ority, he said. "You can't prevent inter-
marriage. We ought to treat these peo-
ple as a growing audience and try to
get them more involved." ❑

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