Out of Faith

What it takes to ensure your granchildren will marry Jewish.

Comments (43)

(43) Chris, May 19, 2009 8:46 PM

Too Late?

Having been a Chris who was brought home to meet the family, I ask the question: Why should it take 25 years to answer the question "Why Judaism?" Should not the parents' responsibility be to answer and reinforce this question daily? Given that inter-marriage rates are increasing, one is left to assume that this question is being neglected. What is also interesting is that apparently it is no longer such an easy question to answer - if it were, you might expect to see the prior 42 comments filled with ideas on how best to pass along the tradition to future generations. How did we get here? How do we move forward?

(42) Kent & Ann Rose, February 27, 2009 6:46 PM


Lori, We don't know if you answer all your emails or not but we wanted to let you know what great advise you give us along life's journey. Thank you so much for doing what you do. Kent & Ann Rose

(41) Anonymous, February 24, 2009 11:15 PM

To comment #6

Hello, I was the person that gave the first comment, and you took issue with what I said. I just wanted to apologize, I did not mean to offend you. You sound as if you care about the religion very much and I should not have made such a general statement about conservative and reform Jewish people. So I am very sorry to have upset you. I would like to explain what I meant, however. To me, religion is defined as a lifestyle. If you are religious then you are keeping strictly kosher (not just eating only kosher meat on the outside and buying OU and K products, I mean using separate dishes for meat and dairy, not eating in non-kosher restaurants, etc.), observing the shabbos fully (that means not driving, no watching television, no turning on electric, no cooking, etc.-not just lighting candles friday night in other words), praying twice daily (or at least once a day). If you are observing these laws plus other laws of the torah, then you are what I consider religious. This is what I mean when I define the word 'religion' as a lifestyle. If one was to be a 'religious' Jew, then how on earth could they marry a non-jewish person? Spouses must have things in common and share a similar life style. A person participating in Judaism, the religion, not just the culture, would have a difficult time sharing a life with someone who doesn't have those same values. Also, if a person was truly keeping the religion then they would know that intermarriage is forbidden in the Torah anyway. That is what I meant when I said that reform and conservative Jewish people are pushing a culture and not a religion. I'm sorry I worded it the way I did without explanation. But as reform and conservative Jewish people do not live that kind of religious lifestyle (that's why they call themselves reform and conservative, after all) then in my mind, they aren't following the religion to it's fullest. And since they aren't, what would be stopping the children from marrying non-Jews? When you aren't keeping the religion to it's fullest, it's much easier to find things in common with people of another religion, and much easier to share a life together.

(40) Dov, February 23, 2009 4:45 PM

what does it mean to be Jewish? To #24, Suzanne T.

I have found no better answer to "What does it mean to be Jewish?" that Rav Noach's material. Especially the Six Constant Mitzvos and his Forty-eight Ways series, both available free on the site. Good luck to all of us!

(39) Robert, February 20, 2009 10:06 AM

I agree with you Michael

Your right on Michael. I am a very committed Jew. I keep Sabbath and Kosher. I would consider myself Conservadox. I am comfortable going to services in a Conservative, Sefardi or Chabad shul. I was once married to a Jewish woman and I have my Jewish sons. After my divorce (with an Orthodox get) I had only thought about dating Jewish women. But after five years (including Jdate, frumster) I became very frustrated. Then, my friend introduced me to a female friend of his. She was Latina but the connection I had with her was uncanny - I finally understood what the term "soulmate" meant. Unfortunately,that relationship did not work out - but I have decided for my happiness with a woman here on earth, to keep all options open. Besides, I believe that Judaism has so much to offer, that a non Jewish woman could convert!

(38) Anonymous, February 20, 2009 3:15 AM

Response to Jimbo (#26 and 35)

With respect to all Reform, Conservative Jews et al, there is in the end only one way to truly convert: a halachic orthodox conversion where you accept the 613 mitvot. Within orthodoxy there are differences of opinion, and you don't have to become hareidi - there is a whole spectrum between that and modern orthodox - but there was a profound soul change when I went to the mikvah to convert. I remember talking to another lady who had previously converted Conservative, but she still needed a halachic orthodox conversion to receive her Jewish soul, and she testified to the difference she felt at her mikvah when she did finally become Jewish. I had been a Christian for a number of years before my journey into Judaism, loved G-d and was thoroughly used to concepts of being led personally by G-d, and I sought to come closer to Him in the relationship He wanted to have with me. What happened over the course of a couple of years or so was truly amazing, including in the end a profound revelation from Him at the Kotel. I needed a lot of convincing from G-d that Judaism was truly the right path for me and what He truly wanted. In a sense, looking back, there was something Jewish in me all along, I just had no idea that was what it was, so in a sense I belonged all the time, but I did need to go through conversion to truly become the Jew I was supposed to be. The agony of waiting to reach the mikvah is beyond description: you really do HAVE to convert if that is what you are meant to be. Everyone's path though is different, and I would not suggest to a non-Jew that they should convert unless they truly believe it is right for them, but I hope this helps. It is not always easy knowingly to be a non-Jewish descendant of a Jew (my family never changed their surname which was very non-English but not obviously Jewish), and the history of my family after my Jewish ancestor's assimilation was definitely difficult.

(37) Brenda, February 19, 2009 1:52 PM

One Should NOT Marry Outside their faith!

I strongly believe that it is wrong to marry outside of one's own faith. To marry outside that faith breaks so many hearts, the parents, relatives, and often yours and your spouses and then there are the children... I say this and yet am glad for at least one Jewish woman who married outside the faith, my sister-in-law married my Christian brother. I love her, and their beautiful Jewish son, my dear nephew. I too am Christian, but hold a deep love and respect for people of the Jewish faith. I celebrate all Biblical holidays and honor Shabbat. I understand that I would have no faith or hope without Torah, without Jeudaism. Perhaps if more Jewish people would live out their faith, set themselves apart, serve G-d, perhaps more Jews would marry inside the faith. I pray that my daughter will marry inside her faith, but I also pray that my dear Jewish nephew will also! May the Lord G-d richly bless you, your family, and the readers of Aish.com.

(36) Karen, February 19, 2009 5:04 AM

Some of us want to convert!

I was married to a secular Reform Jewish man. I was surpised that having a Bar Mitzvah for our son was so important and then when it was over, there was not impetus to return to synagogue. I kept going becuase I wanted to learn more. Years later I am still going, lighting the candles and reading the aish website. Thank you for the Lori Live videos. And please consider that some of us embrace Judiasm and know we have found our home in this faith. Thank you for all you do, Karen When I converted the Rabbi asked me what Hebrew name I wanted to assume. I told him I already had one so I kept it.

(35) Jimbo, February 18, 2009 11:40 PM

To the descendant of a Jewish family:

Wow, very informative to read what you‘ve gone through to convert. Its sounds like everything is still a little unusual at times for you. As for myself conversion wouldn’t be a realistic vision in my future. I like how you said you were grateful to Hashem and the many good Jewish people. I mean this sincerely it must be so wonderful for you to know G-d enough to believe enough to convert. I have read the process of conversion varies between the different Jewish faiths. You are right about a person considering conversion needs to be sure that it is absolutely right for them. There are so many different Jewish faiths to choose from how did you decide which was right for you? To me they all seem so genuine when I read about them that it just leaves me in more doubt. I am Sorry Lori Palatnik for drifting off the issue/topic I won't do it again.

(34) fyaakov, February 18, 2009 9:47 PM

well done lori

good to know about this film. maybe you can give us a hint of how it ends?

(33) Michael, February 18, 2009 5:11 PM

The answer is not complicated

Jewish women are too damn hard to date and marry compared to non-Jewish women who are overall more DTE (Down to earth). Religiously inspired guilt trips are meaningless.

(32) Anonymous, February 18, 2009 1:24 PM

Need for a Place to Meet

I was raised with only a Jewish identity and a smattering of holiday celebrations (my father's family, I understand, used to have a Christmas tree and they were Jewish!) However, it was drilled into my head to marry someone Jewish, no reason given except it was the right thing to do. (Although when my mother was desperate for me to marry -- I was 22! -- she said that maybe I should date an Italian boy because it was "close enough." (I never went out -- but that's a story for another day). My husband is from an observant family and our daughter was raised with more than just a Jewish identity. I subtly have encouraged her over the years to marry Jewish. One day, my husband and I were discussing her lack of social life and dating (there are many fewer men at her school than women). My husband said that it didn't matter to him if she married Jewish, only that she be happy. You could've knocked me over with a feather! I told him never to say that to her. After further discussion, we realized part of the problem is that there are few, if any, social opportunities for young Jewish adults on Long Island. The population is aging rapidly and the children are moving away. All the focus in shuls, it seems, is on programs and events for senior citizens and little children. We need more for our teens to 30-year-olds.

(31) Miriam, February 18, 2009 11:26 AM

Judaism is Spiritual

I have not seen the movie "Out of Faith" but the title seems to be a play on words. Does "Out of Faith" mean "for the sake of (the Jewish) faith" or does it mean "the deficiency of (Jewish religious) faith"? I was raised in a secular Jewish family. I belonged to Reform and Convervative congregations. It wasn't until I began learning about traditional Orthodox Judaism that I found the spirituality that is inherent in Judaism. My soul was happy at last because I found my connection to Hashem. The lack of spirituality in Reform and Conservative Judaism results in many intermarriages. For all those who do not want to break the thousands of years old chain of Judaism, please study and learn about the spiritual nature of Judaism. Practice traditional Judaism. Keep kosher. Keep Shabbat. Observe all the holidays. Then teach it to your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Let them know how much Hashem loves them. Then you will not have to face the the sight of your children and grandchildren being mesmerized by a Christmas tree.

(30) Paul, February 18, 2009 7:54 AM

Learning How to Live

Throughout my life, G-d has led me to Judaism much like the Jews were taken out of Eygpt and led to Sinai. What Judaism offers today is the same as at Sinai, to not live as slaves, to break the shackles of bondage. Who among us does not feel shackled by life? G-d has given us a choice. Remember, deeds not creeds.

(29) Anonymous, February 18, 2009 6:32 AM

Hold the Guilt, Please!

Sure we influence our children. But so do their friends and the society they move in, especially at university or college. Even if we know and do more than eating "Jewish" food and enjoy observing Jewish laws, that's no guarantee of what will happen. Maybe if we all lived apart, like the Amish, we'd have a chance of surviving as a people. May I make a suggestion? Let the kids and grandkids live their own lives. Let's do Jewish things and take joy in them, and admit that we have only limited influence on our children. Let's work on our personal Jewish futures.

(28) jamie, February 18, 2009 5:58 AM

link to watch the film

you can go to the film's site here: www dot outoffaith dot net

(27) Anonymous, February 18, 2009 4:54 AM

From a descendant of an assimilated Jewish family

I'm a descendant of a Jewish family who came back and converted to Judaism. Although my ancestor was several generations back directly on my father's side (he married a woman in a church two hundred years ago), my Jewish spark was so strong that once lit I could not rest until I came home as the Jew I was supposed to be. While my gentile family fortunately still accepts and loves me, it has been a very hard road, and fighting my way against huge obstacles actually to be able to convert took all my emotional resources. I am still recovering from the huge trauma of all I went through to come home as a Jew three years later. While I feel strongly that the conversion process needs to be made less lengthy, with more sensitivity shown towards prospective converts - sometimes the application of trying to dissuade a potential convert or assessing whether they are truly genuine can frankly be deeply cruel in its effects - nevertheless it is a very serious life and soul changing experience and people need to be sure that it is absolutely right for them to take on all the commitments of a Jew for life. I came back despite much suffering on the way, but how many of my Jewish ancestor's descendants did the same? None others that I know of. While I am truly grateful for the immense help I received from Hashem and from many good Jewish people on my journey home, and I am very glad to be a Jew, if my Jewish ancestor had married Jewish, and his descendants had continued to do so, not only would he most likely have had a vast number of Jewish descendants alive today, but this particular one would never have had to go through the agony of conversion in the first place.

(26) Jimbo, February 17, 2009 10:17 PM

a non-Jew is a "flaw

I am not a Jew although my dad said his dad was, regardless i can tell you for a fact that the Missionary Baptist Church once (1968 they may have changed)preached you can't marry outside their church because, it was called, being unequally yolked together with unbelievers...Now as the grandson of a Jewish man but not being Jewish myself it is a pretty unusual life. Man I've heard all the put downs. I use to work at a certain Court House and I'd have to bite my tongue every day from the comments some of the staff would make regarding a particular judge who happened to be Jewish. It sucks by appearances you'd probably mistake me for a skin head (I don't like side walls so i shave)if you saw me and because of this I seem to be a magnet for haters. My advice to a Jewish man is to never ever marry outside your faith. Someday G-d willing i will look my grandfather in the eye and ask him a few questions. Believe me you don't want to answer questions from your grand kids as to why you left them out of the tribe that you belong to.

(25) Anonymous, February 17, 2009 9:07 PM

Not all bad

I come from a completely secular home, and have gradually been making my way back to Judaism (though not Orthodox). My partner is not Jewish. He does, however, celebrate the Jewish holidays with me, as do his extraordinarily Christian parents. He also has no problem with the fact that if we have children after we're married, I will raise any children Jewish. It is possible to marry outside the faith and still practice. It's only difficult if you are with someone who doesn't support your decision to be/become more religious (even if they choose to maintain their own beliefs).

(24) Suzanne Trenbath, February 17, 2009 6:25 PM

What does Being Jewish actually mean?

I read the above comments (re 'Out of Faith'). I am surprised they mostly touch on 'being Jewish' rather than on their relationship with God, and how THAT fulfills them and helps them cope with people, circumstances, life's uncertain future, etc. What does Being Jewish actually mean? Isn't it more than a lyfestyle?

(23) ruth housman, February 17, 2009 2:12 PM

to be... or not... to be...

Both my children have married into families that are mixed, in terms of marriage, of Jews and non Jews. My grandchildren, whom I adore, have a mixed heritage, and for me to ever interfere with my son's choice seemed beyond wrong to me, because I believe she is his "beshert" and I couldn't love Sarah more or these children. My daughter's husband's family has an intermingling of religion, since her husband's Mom had parents of both Christian and Jewish background. For me, what's important is their honoring of their backgrounds, and I also honor the spiritual past of those with whom they have chosen to take this journey through life. My heritage is such a part of me and I will and do pass this on to my children and my children's children. I am Jewish. And yet, I do deeply believe in allowing my children to experience their own choice, their own journeys, and I know that what's important to me, I have conveyed to them because in so many deep ways, the deepest, they are such good people, such loving parents, and they do know how the world turns, on love. All of Torah is contained in that one crucial message that is about love. I am not disappointed in life, have never been, because my children radiate joy, radiate respect for all that lives and breathes on this planet and that is, Torah. Yes, it's a deep, difficult issue, to preserve a wonderful heritage. But I do believe, the deepest of Torah is about doing unto others, and for me, it's always been, about love and to teach love is where it's always been at for me. If I have succeeded in this, I have been a good Jewish Mom. And I do believe I have, for I experience love wherever I go, in this burgeoning lovely family.

(22) Bob Marcus, February 17, 2009 1:30 PM

Tsedek!Tsedek Tierdof!

When my son crossed the stage at his law school graduation, and I yelled at him "Tsedek! Tsedek Tierdof!", I knew that his curious expression was the need for a moment of hard recall, but several professors on the stage behind him gave a big "thumbs up!"
My son is not affiliated with any religion, and he is a MENSCH, removing "stumbling blocks before the blind" and pursuing justice as a public defender in lieu of lucrative
"goniffery" ---I "Made-off" with poetic license on that word!
While I am active in a non-orthodox "REFORM" temple, I am an atheist who is still more of an ethno-gastric Jew with problems about Yeru Shalom as a geographic rather than a philosophical place, and Tikkun Olam *or* "removing stumbling blocks" (eg: campaigning for fairer tax laws) farther down the rewards factor than keeping kosher *or* "having as nice a bar mitzvah as the Kaplans"!
Our temple is doing a good job about making Jewish life "meaningful" for its members. But, for me, Ijust hope my son finds a woman as wonderful as my own aishes chail!

(21) Belle, February 17, 2009 10:24 AM

you have to trust

My husband (a convert to Judaism) and I live in a very non-Jewish small town and it is the town I grew up in. One brother has remained Jewish and has a Jewish home (his wife is also a Jew-by-choice) and their daughter is getting married under a chuppah. We have kept a religious home and our children a strong Jewish supporters and paticipants. My daughter will likely marry a Catholic young man who is planning to convert. His family loves my daughter and clears the home from all tref (as much as possible) when she visits. She plans to have a kosher home. My son says that he , too, will marry only "under a chippah with all that it represents - aJewish home, religious training, etc. and a wife that will be like another daughter to my husband and me) We attend a Reform congregation and, yes, most of my fellow students married out - and many are disappointed. As with my brother who married out and who converted to Chriatianity, he has found that his wife is inimical to Judaism and forced him from even attending our family seders. this happened also with a cousin of mine. They convert out because they want to "belong" and then they find that they belong nowhere. My husband doesn't lay tefillin, but we always celebrated Shabbat and all the holidays. I call them each friday with the blessings and their non-Jewish friends are so excited by that. This is not to say that Christian families who deeply celebrated their religion have nothing to offer but our wonderful judaism offers the good people from all nations to participate in the world to come -no other religion (except, perhaps, Ba'Hai) makes that statement. When non-Jews encounter that statement - the warmth and openness of Judaism,, it impresses them deeply. However, I have found tht some so-called ba'al teshuvah alienate many by their insistence on trying to recreate a middle European lifestyle from the last century complete with affected accents of what they believe to be truly "Jewish". This is an alienating as the so-called "Jewish prince and princess" phenomenom nd , unfortunately, many people, including many Jews are so turned off by this mock replication of outward behaviors rather than true warmth, learning, and celebrating of our Jewish faith and culture and close family due to many of the holidays being celebrated in the home. You have to have faith in your children as you have faith in God. I know. I am a survivor of polio and was run over by a firetruck in July. If it were not for my faith in the Almighty, if were not for my loving family who have supoorted me, cheered me, driven me to appointments and put up with me, if it were not for wonderful Christian neighbors (one who even tried to replicate an "authentic" Jewish meal with chicken soup and the hard matza balls of my childhood (my father's mother wasn't the great cook that my mother's mother was), I could not face each painful and medicine filled day. my mother's mother always listened to every evangelical who came to the door - to the Jewish men seeking money for the poor or for the purchase of land in the Holy Land, she gave what she could (she was a poor woman herself for much of her life) and for the non-Jews, she gave them a cup of tea and offered them a seat because, as she said, it is hard to proclaim your faith to others. If I have half of my grandma's or bubbe's good qualities or my great grandmother , after whom I was named, who sent Sabbath cookies to all the Jewish and non-Jewish neighbors on her street in her little Ukrainian town, I will be fully blessed. Speak about your Judaism to your children - it shouldn't be an afterthought when they begin dating or have their bar/bat mitzvah training. Speak and show your children and then trust your children and God

(20) STANLEY LECHNER, February 17, 2009 9:32 AM

where do you get "out of faith"

Where can you get out of faith the video

(19) Miriam, February 17, 2009 9:32 AM

Jewish education?

What Jewish education did the children receive? The granddaughter shows little to no education whatsoever. The granddaughter even says, "Some see not being a Jewish person as a flaw." What?! I don't know a single Jewish person who thinks that being a non-Jew is a "flaw." What about evangelical Christians who will only marry in their faith? They don't receive nearly the criticism that Jews do for trying to marry in their own faith. However, the grandmother is partly to blame for this. She's not observant, yet she expects her grandchildren to be. How can they be? They've been taught nothing by example. The only way for interfaith marriages to work is when one or both spouses retains a cool attachment to his own religion. In the case of Judaism, it's nearly always the Judaism that is thrown by the wayside. I feel sorry for the great-grandchildren, especially the ones by the grandson, because those children will grow up not to be Jewish, and it can set the scene for an identity crisis. I know. I've been there.

(18) Anonymous, February 17, 2009 9:31 AM

Judaism is itself the best product for Jews!

The reality of Jewish life today in the diaspoora is that choice of religion is a consumer issue. Judaism is NOT about the Holocaust or bagels, it's about the most meaningful, beautiful way of life a Jew can choose TODAY for LIVING his/her life. Until I started attending classes at a local kollel and a "Learners' Service" at a local Observant shul, I had NO IDEA what Judaism was actually all about! I was raised Conservative, went to Hebrew School three days a week, and was Bat Mitzvahed, but we never studied Torah or its applications because Conservatives don't believe Torah came from HaShem at Mt. Sinai and is the "owner's manual" for our lives from the "manufacturer." I was CLUELESS as to not only what it means to be a Jew in the ultimate scheme of things, but how Judaism is the most perfect way to feed one's Jewish soul. Not only that, but the outreach rabbis taught APPLIED Judaism, how all the teachings are designed to help in your daily life and make you a better person, ultimately bringing you closer to HaShem. They didn't teach us that in Hebrew School. Not only that, the Observant lifestyle in the community in which I now live is so beautiful and meaningful, anything else would be a step down. It is for THOSE REASONS that I will marry Jewish: because I realize that as a "consumer," Judaism is the ultimate high-ticket item that is the most beautiful, satisfying, meaningful way of life possible for me as a Jew, and I won't settle for anything but the BEST! If kids lived an incredible, Observant Jewish lifestyle with their families and were taught the true meaning of life through Torah, the intermarriage rate would be virtually nil, because all other lifestyle choices would be seen as less.

(17) a b, February 17, 2009 8:41 AM

Elka # 12

I live in Israel and I wish you were right. Maybe in the old days things worked that way - sort of. These days, even if your child doesn't leave Israel, which many non-observant Israelis do, there are plenty of Arab and former Soviet gentiles here to marry, too. So that's unfortunately not a good enough answer anymore, either.

(16) Anonymous, February 17, 2009 8:12 AM


I gave my children complete Yeshiva educations, sent them to Israel, and raised them in an orthodox home. Yet my son is engaged to a Japanese girl. It SHE not he who is insisting upon an orthodox conversion, which she is in the process of doing. My son claims he could not stand the restrictions of the religion, because he had some very nasty experiences in Yeshiva which totally turned him off. He did not care if his fiancee converted conservative. She is actually teaching him and in some ways bringing him back. It is extremely ironic. In every other way, this girl is an angel. Once she converts, she will be Jewish to me. In addition, as someone who lost a brother to a Jewish genetic disease, Dysautonomia, I am not so upset that there will be new blood in the family. Don't misunderstand me, I am not for intermarriage, and would have preferred a Jewish girl, but I have accepted this, and since we just read Yitro, who was a convert, and had a parsha named for him, maybe great things will come from her also. It's all 'min ha'shamayim'

(15) Sheila Hecker, February 17, 2009 8:12 AM

Very impressed with your presentation-prefer you LIVE but this is the second best

Very important message---did not really apply in the same way to our OLDER generation as we had such a strong Jewish identification and attachment to the State of Israel

(14) a Jewish mother, February 17, 2009 8:08 AM

Do your best, thank G-d for his blessings

Holocaust, food...and guilt. It is human nature to stay in the comfort zone. We need to be direct, honest yet firm with ourselves as well as our children. To Anonymous (5)'s reviewer friend, why did you begin your review where you could have started, that you attended this movie with the non-Jewish woman you had already decided to marry? Were you hoping that the movie would either assure or dissuade you? Was one movie all it could take? Respect the filmakers vision, you don't have to agree. Perhaps you had more homework to do, hopefully, it opened a door to self-discovery. As to the comment on Israel, oy, the question of who is a Jew is even more poignant there. However, we are here, in America, raising children, perhaps the best we know how, however, ignorance or avoidance of greater knowledge is no excuse, nor is it a legacy we can afford our children to inherit. I like to believe that it is human nature to want better for your children than you have for yourself, though I know this is not always true, the ego is a curious thing. In some cases, rather, the nature is to want better for your children to COMPLETE yourself. Our children are both extensions of ourselves and their own persons. Hashem has entrusted us to provide the best ingredients and the best environment, like a chef or gardener of prize roses. We are neither alchemists nor magicians (at least, most of us aren't). And,yet, with G-d's help, the worst recipe can produce a beautiful creation or, (what we think are) the best intentions result in disaster. Do your best, thank G-d for his blessings. An additional note: As to relationships with children and grandchildren not on the traditional path...give a child a path of return, even if the road is not one you would take. Keep your lights on and be someone to respect, even if you feel their actions are disrespectful, no need to hide from them or yourself. For those who take the traditional interpretation of halacha, the question of who is and who is not a Jew is certain, as is who can be a Jew. There is always room for the latter, but is takes room in your heart.

(13) Jamie, February 17, 2009 8:05 AM

Excellent trigger film

I have lead a number of discussion groups with college students after showing this film. By and large, they found the film to be very moving and thought provoking, and directly dealing with the issue of intermarriage. It is far more than a Holocaust film. The film shows that the Holocaust is ultimately irrelevant in keeping young jews jewish. And the film doesn't attempt to answer the core issues as to why someone should marry jewish -- it's goal is to provoke a debate. It's not a polemic. That's why a discussion after the film is essential to bring out the key points. In a nutshell: everyone has dealbreakers in finding a marriage partner [for many its having kids]if marrying a jew isn't a dealbreaker, good chane you'll intermarry. each person needs to understand for himself why judaism is so valuable that it should be a dealbreaker. guilt isn't the answer -- you need to articulate why being jewish is the most meaningful gift to give your kids.

(12) elka, February 17, 2009 7:59 AM

The only way

If a person is not really frum and is living a secular life in the diaspora and coming into contact with different religions even if the roots are Jewish and the family is not only making latkes and talking about the holocaust there is a big chance of having intermarriage. I know from experience in my family that 2 out of 3 children (my cousins) married out of faith. The only way to insure that your children will marry Jews (and that also isn't 100%) is that you take your family and come and live in Israel. Here is total immersion in Jewish life and your kids won't come into contact with non-Jews.

(11) charles salem, February 17, 2009 7:38 AM

where do i get the film if i live in the UK

where do i get the film if i live in the UK...is it a paid down load via iTunes...if not it should be!!!

(10) sharona, February 16, 2009 10:49 PM

Educate so they understand the importance

I agree that it takes more than culture to stay strong. People need a good foundation and a good reason to stay true to their heritage and marry within, either a born Jew or a halachic convert. That's why it's important to teach the children torah and mitzvos so they know the importance of marrying within the fold

(9) SusanE, February 16, 2009 10:10 AM

Out of Faith - trailers - Assimilation

Lori, The trailers both old and new for Out of Faith are on uTube.com. In the trailers much focus does seem to be on the holocaust. Grandma seems less loving and more controling.

*Assimilation and intermarriage is a topic that has had tons of discussion in the past few years on Aish. I have strong views about those subjects that have been posted here. I am not a Jew and see possibilities of why these things are happening from a worldly perspective from the perimeters.

I am 100% not Jewish. (I've been observant for 4 years) I'm told that if I convert, I will be exactly a 100% Jewish woman, the same as all Jews whose ancestors stood at the base of Mt. Sinai. How is it that I can be accepted, when I am nearly a stranger (a Gentile) and that a child not be accepted as a Jew who is certainly Jewish by one parent? Is anyone surprised that children are intermarrying and assimilation is ongoing? Should the content in this movie be seen as a cause or a repair to those problems? I don't know.

(8) Anonymous, February 16, 2009 4:37 AM

I would like to add a comment to what Rebecca has to say. Yes - Intermarriage has become common. But I still know parts of the world where we do not accept these children very easily. Please.. please each one of you reading these comments. Please do not confuse the children because if you ignore them today, they will turn to the other religion. Make them at home. Actually it is no fault of theirs. Why are they being punished? I think we should make our thoughts a little flexible. As far as possible please be with the person who has married outside. Do not shun them. When they are comfortable, I feel it is very natural that their children also would join our fold. Please do not lose any more Jews. Wake up everyone of you .. We cannot afford to lose more of us.. each day.. across the world. Have some programmes where we could have children of intermarriage participate. Let them come together. Last but not least please pray to G-d to gather us together to Israel where the situation of intermarriage may not be so serious.

(7) Anonymous, February 15, 2009 10:02 PM

Good thoughts

Good thoughts Lori. From someone outside of (as a result of inter-marriage generations ago - your point evidenced), but with an interest in Judaism, historical and cultural issues may not be enough to keep Jews within the community. The same is happening within Christianity. In a multi-cultural world where we increasingly mix with each other, some deep soul searching may be necessary to search out, recapture what makes Judaism so unique and meaningful. Those of us on the outside looking in will be interested also - though some of us have a glimpse what it may be.

(6) Anonymous, February 15, 2009 6:06 PM

There ARE plenty of Conservative Jews pushing religion, not just culture.

As an active and deeply committed member of my Conservative synagogue, I must take issue with comment #1, that instead of pushing religion,non-orthodox Jews are merely pushing a culture. My children went through public school carrying Pesach foods on class trips, lobbying (successfully) to reschedule events that excluded Jews observing holidays, and continuing their own Jewish education. Our home is kosher and a haven as we welcome Shabbat each week and rejoice in and observe all the wonderful holidays that fill our Jewish calendar. My children have both Jewish and non-Jewish friends, all of whom are familiar with the customs and rules of our home. I have always taught my children respect for other cultures while remembering who they are themselves. If one of them falls in love with a non-Jew, it will be a heart-wrenching choice for that child. But the choice for me, if it comes down to that, will absolutely be to maintain ties to my child, facilitate that child's continuing ties to both Jewish culture AND religion, and to make every effort to encourage raising Jewish grandchildren.

(5) Anonymous, February 15, 2009 12:57 PM

My friend saw the movie & published this thought provoking review:

I saw the movie, Out of Faith, on Dec.6 at the District of Columbia JCC and the more I think about it the disappointed I am. In order not to make this as long as I would like, I will summarize the objections and problems. 1. This was false advertising. It was billed as being about intermarriage but it was almost entirely about the Holocaust and particularly one person’s experiences in it. I should say that I heard several persons as we were leaving saying the same thing. 2. As a Holocaust movie, it was nothing at all new. It is certainly not news that persons who were at the camps have many issues and justly so. 3. It is a great mistake to couple intermarriage issues with survivors’ issues at this late date. Most of the intermarriages now are taking place between persons who don’t have a living Leah in their family and likely not in their memory. I am not saying don’t remember but that time is past or is passing very quickly. 4. The explicit statements in the movie and by the panel that intermarriage is bad is a subject that could have better used explaining. The statistics on intermarriage show nearly conclusively that most Jews don’t agree. In fact, recent studies in some places with serious outreach show a large percentage of children of intermarried couples identify themselves as Jewish. 5. Personally, I firmly believe Judaism has so much to offer it can compete effectively. The hand wringing about intermarriage seems to tacitly admit that this isn’t so. 6. A move addressing the issues of why it is deemed to be important that the children consider themselves Jewish would be difficult to make but much more important to those who are involved in interreligous relationships. 7. Nowhere in the movie is there any exploration of what it means to be Jewish as defined by Leah, a woman who doesn’t go to a synagogue, doesn’t light candles on Shabbos and can’t even say the Kaddish without help. Please understand this is not being critical of her, her experiences and the results are not challengeable by anyone. But what kind of Jewish existence is she espousing? There was no consideration of this at all. 8. Leah’s sudden appearance in the movie at the camps was without any of the necessary background of what preparation she must have gone through to revisit them or how she prepared herself or any number of other issues that were not present. Moreover, that part of the film was unnecessarily way too long. 9. Actually I suspected what the movie was going to be as soon as I saw it was made in Skokie. 10. I brought a non-Jewish woman I expect to marry soon to this movie hoping there would be insights into realistic issues. We were both really disappointed.

(4) Rebecca, February 15, 2009 9:40 AM

yes, it is complicated

It's true that intermarriage has become very common. My question is, should that grandchild be "cut off" because she married a non-Jew? Is she or he lost to the Jewish world? In non-Orthodox Jewish communities, mixed-families are being welcomed. The hope is that if we give them a chance, they will raise their kids Jewish and the tradition will not be broken. You may disagree with this. But really, what is the alternative? And what if that grandchild who has married a non-Jew decides they are interested in living a Jewish life and raising Jewish children? Why is it that other religions welcome newcomers, and we don't?

(3) Natalie, February 15, 2009 9:39 AM

i agree

I have not seen the film, but I feel, we have to live a life of JOY and if our kids don't see that, why should they want to continue, knowing only the bad things? By living Judaism with joy, I think we stand a stronger chance of having Jewish grandchildren

(2) Moshe Rosen, February 15, 2009 8:16 AM

maintaining Jewish continuity

That's an important thing to remember that not only should I marry a Jew, but I have to make sure my children, grandchildren, and likely great-grandchildren marry Jews themselves. Now, would it be okay if a Jewish friend, family member, or relative speaks up at an interfaith wedding when either the priest or rabbi says, "if these two should not be wed, please speak now, or forever hold your peace," someone could speak up and say, "I object!"?

(1) Anonymous, February 15, 2009 1:05 AM


I've been contemplating this thought recently and completely agree. Instead of pushing religion, reform and conservative Jews are pushing a culture. It's no wonder so many people are intermarrying. Why shouldn't they, when they lead the same type of lifestyle as their non-Jewish spouse? This begs the question though, what is a non-religious person, who wants their child to marry only Jewish, going to say to their child when he or she asks why they can't marry the person they supposedly love? It's a shame that there's so much ignorance about Judaism that it's come to the point where many people are going to have to come up with that very answer.


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