Lecture on interfaith marriage set for Oct. 22

Learn about compromise in interfaith marriages from a former Wall Street Journal editor, interfaith expert and author of the new book, Til Faith Do Us Part, Naomi Schaefer Riley on Oct. 22.

The event will be hosted by Jewish Family Services of Greenwich, Jewish Book Council and JCC Greenwich. Ms. Schaefer Riley will discuss her findings on how Americans are faring in interfaith marriages.

“The three things couples of any stripe tend to bicker about most are how to spend time, how to spend money and how to raise children — and religious belief affects all three,” Ms. Schaefer Riley said. “Couples have to decide, will we go to church/synagogue every week? Will our children attend Jewish summer camp or Catholic school? How much will we give to our congregation(s)? Which holidays will we celebrate and how? Are we going to decorate a Christmas tree or will we have a Seder?”

Part of the problem, said the New Rochelle resident, is that interfaith couples tend to shy away from conversations about the game plan.

“One of the most shocking findings in my book is that couples don’t talk about how they want to raise their kids before they get married, Ms. Schaefer Riley said, adding, “Of all the things we know about each other before we tie the knot, how is it that we don’t know how the other person wants to raise their kids?”

The free event will be held at the Bush Holly Museum at 7 p.m.

Jewish Family Services of Greenwich also sponsors Interfaith Conversations, a program giving individuals and families a place to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with interfaith living. Wide-ranging discussions enable interfaith couples to experience their religious differences as a source of strength and growth. Interfaith Conversations brings together people who wish to explore their creative opportunities.

For adults in interfaith relationships, being knowledgeable about, and appreciative of their own and their partner’s religion, are critical to a healthy relationship and effective, respectful parenting. Individuals also learn practical skills to help navigate the challenges of what “being both” really means in a marriage and family — how to manage goals, expectations and concerns; how to incorporate life cycle rituals such as Baptism or Bar/Bat Mitzvah and understanding spouses’ traditions.

This free forum is open to the public and the meeting location will be provided upon request. To join the Interfaith Conversations monthly group meeting contact Lisa Smith, executive director of Jewish Family Services, at 203-622-1881 or [email protected] For additional information and to RSVP to the Naomi Schaefer Riley event visit Jccgrenwich.org.

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