I was raised as a Conservative Jew, had a Bat Mitzvah at 13, participated in United Synagogue Youth (USY) in high school, and attended Chabad during college. When I married my husband, who was an atheist, he was comfortable with us being married by a Rabbi as he felt it was important to me to have a religious ceremony. He was also comfortable with me sharing my religious beliefs and celebrating the Jewish holidays with any of our future children. He however did not want to label our future children as being Jewish because he did not want to feel like his was different than his children. We went on to have two wonderful sons together.
When my older son turned 14, he approached me to say that he identified as being Jewish and wanted to have a Bar Mitzvah. Over the years, I made sure to celebrate the Jewish holidays with my children and always explained the history and culture behind them. I knew that I wanted to support my son but also make sure that my husband never felt left out.
When my co-worker told me about Kahal Chaverim, I knew that this congregation would be perfect for my family. She has an interfaith marriage as well. Her son had attended CCD classes and even received his first communion. They then joined Kahal Chaverim so that he could learn about Judaism and found that the Humanistic approach did not conflict with her Catholic beliefs.
By focusing on Humanistic principles, I knew that my son would be able to share in these ideas with my husband. He would at the same time be able to learn and be a part of a congregation where he can come together with other Jews. The Sunday School curriculum not only taught him Jewish culture but also pushed him to look into how he could effect change and make the world a better place.
I on the other hand truly missed going to High Holiday and Shabbat services. There was always a community feel to my congregation growing up and I truly missed that feeling. Since joining the congregation, I have hosted a Friday night service and got involved with the board. Now, in less than two weeks my son will be having his Bar Mitzvah with all of our friends and family. The service is so inclusive, that I have no doubt that all of the attendees will truly appreciate the ceremony. We are truly happy with our congregation, for both my children and my religious needs.