Chances Are, They Won't Be Alone

As a Christian dad raising Jewish children, I had many of the same concerns that you have. One thing I found out quickly, though, was that my interfaith kids were not alone. In fact, with an intermarriage rate that hovers near 50% in the Jewish community, my daughters have grown up knowing and making friends with so many other children who share similar family situations. These are friends from public school, the JCC, and temple religious school.

The Jewish community is composed of families that come in all shapes and sizes. As a result, I would imagine that many of the kids attending this camp would be in the same boat as your children. This diversity may even be a blessing, as your kids will most likely learn that they, too, can come from an interfaith family and have a strong Jewish identity. By taking your children to the JCC, they should already have some familiarity with Jewish holidays, such as Shabbat, necessary for a Jewish camp.

My recommendation would be to send them to camp, letting them know that they are part of the Jewish Community, just like the other campers. They will learn more about their Jewish background, just like the other campers. And, they will make new friends, just like the other campers.

Jim Keen is the author of “Inside Intermarriage: A Christian Partner’s Perspective on Raising a Jewish Family.” He has been in an interfaith relationship for 28 years, and has been an active participant with his wife in raising their two Jewish daughters. They live in Ann Arbor, Michigan where Jim teaches in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

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Chances Are, They Won't Be Alone

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