Chrismukkah Redux

Letter to the Editor

Published December 28, 2011, issue of January 06, 2012.
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By providing Jordana Horn space to defend her controversial Kveller article about why Jews shouldn’t celebrate Christmas (“I Am the Grinch Who Stole Chrismukkah,” December 30), you’ve enabled her to repeat its offenses. In the original piece she wrote that interfaith families who celebrate both holidays “without thinking about it…should probably just celebrate Christmas and forget about Hanukkah, because you diminish both holidays’ significance.”

The repeated suggestion that intermarried families who are committed to raising Jewish children are somehow unaware of the meaning or reasons behind their own actions is patronizing and offensive. As a Jewish communal professional who has spent the past decade working with literally thousands of Jewishly committed interfaith homes, many of which also “celebrate Christmas” in some form or another — and as an intermarried person myself who does not — I’m confident in my assertion that Horn is writing from a position of great ignorance about what actually happens inside the overwhelming majority of intermarried Jewish households.

Had she taken even a half-hour to scan the vast and growing literature written by intermarried individuals about the challenges, struggles, compromises — as well as the beauty and triumphs — in their child-rearing decisions, she would have seen that those households arrive at the December holidays having gone through complicated negotiations that consider, among many other factors, what the rituals symbolize.

Paul Golin
Associate Executive Director
Jewish Outreach Institute
New York, N.Y.


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