I'm writing to share some good news. This past week, the Jewish Grandparents Network posted an essay I wrote, Grandparenting in the Age of Chrismukah, on its national website. I hope you'll read it and find it interesting, regardless of your religion (scroll down the page to the Featured Stories section and click on my picture).
Although my essay focuses on interfaith marriages between Jews and non-Jews and how they affect Jewish grandparents, the points I make apply to all grandparents whose children marry out of their religion. The Jewish rate of intermarriage is particularly high (58% according to the latest numbers available from the Pew Research Center), which worries Jewish clergy and lay leadership a lot.
However, interfaith marriages occur across all religions. According to the 2014 America's Changing Religious Landscape Study (Pew Research Center), about four of ten Americans who married since 2010 are married to someone of a different religion. And nearly half of the unmarried couples live with someone of a different religion.
However, interfaith marriage and interfaith relationship rates vary among religions. When the 35,000 adults who completed the Pew survey were asked if they were married or living with someone of the same religion, these are the percentages of "yes" responses: Hindus (91%), Mormans (82%), Muslims (79%), Catholics (75%), Jews (65%), and Protestants (59%). In other words, Hindus are much more likely to live with or marry a Hindu than are Protestants.
This week, grandparents across the country will be celebrating Christmas or Chanukah (or both holidays) with their families. I hope you'll read my Chrismukah piece and share what you've read with your families...and then post a comment about how your family reacted.
Warm wishes for a very happy Chanukah and Christmas,