My grandfather was a founder of the synagogue I attended. In my youth, I went to Hebrew school and became a bar mitzvah. During my high school years I was active in Jewish youth activities (AZA) but after that, I went off to college, where religion was the furthest thing from my mind.
Return to the Faith
When my father passed away at age 57, it brought me somewhat back to synagogue. I developed a newfound respect for our traditions but still knew very little about Judaism. A few years later, I met and married a wonderful woman with a beautiful daughter from a previous marriage.
When our little girl turned 10, she told us she would like to go to Hebrew school and become a bat mitzvah. We join a synagogue, and our daughter went to Hebrew school, eventually becoming the 2nd female in the history of the synagogue to be called to the Torah.
Years later, when my daughter was out of school, she came home to visit and told us she planned to marry a non-Jewish man. We did not handle the interfaith situation well at all. Instead of taking into consideration what I knew was important in life, we were estranged from our daughter for a couple of years.
Eventually we reunited, and my wife and I grew to accept and embrace interfaith families. My daughter and son-in-law brought up 2 children in the Jewish faith. They are comfortable being Jewish and having warm, loving relationships with the Christian side of their family, I have learned a lot from them.
To me, Judaism is a blueprint for how to be a good person. My rabbi taught me that ethics are more important than ritual. So I started to become more inclusive and study Christianity. I want to understand everyone I deal with on a daily basis. This has allowed me to really feel comfortable dealing with interfaith marriages and families.