As the Jewish grandfather of a four-month-old infant from a mixed marriage, I find Rabbi Judith Hauptman’s Opinion piece, “‘Are The Kids (Of Interfaith Marriage) Alright?’” (Aug. 4), quite fascinating.
I would phrase the central question posited a bit differently, however. I am not trying to make my granddaughter Jewish. Because of her Jewish mother she already is Jewish by virtually anyone’s standards. Instead, I tried to look at how I can best impart the beauty and value of the Jewish heritage that is necessarily a part of her. We include her and her parents in the Friday night Shabbat dinners that my wife and I do. This is inclusion not indoctrination. Even my non-Jewish son-in-law enjoys these because of his appreciation of family time.
Hopefully over the years, by our developing a close and loving relationship with our grandchild, she will be able to relate to our Jewishness as something that is available and accessible to her. What that will end up meaning to her when she grows up, I will never know. At least she will be aware of that aspect of her heritage.
In a society where feelings of rootlessness are common, her Jewish heritage can serve as an anchor. Or to put it a different way, I am less concerned about what my granddaughter’s life means to the Jewish community then how her Jewish heritage can be of value and benefit to her.