Two local authors, Keren McGinity and Anita Diamant, discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by Jewish intermarriage and the blended families that result.
When American Jewish men intermarry, goes the common assumption, they and their families are lost to the Jewish religion. In this provocative book, Keren R. McGinity shows that it is not necessarily so. She looks at intermarriage and parenthood through the eyes of a post-World War II cohort of Jewish men and discovers what intermarriage has meant to them and their families. She finds that these husbands strive to bring up their children as Jewish without losing their heritage.
Marrying Out argues that the gendered ethnicity of intermarried Jewish men, growing out of their religious and cultural background, enables them to raise Jewish children. McGinity's book is a major breakthrough in understanding Jewish men's experiences as husbands and fathers, how Christian women navigate their roles and identities while married to them, and what needs to change for American Jewry to flourish. Marrying Out is a must read for Jewish men and all the women who love them.
Keren R. McGinity is an educator and agent of change who specializes in Jewish intermarriage.
Anita Diamant was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1951, grew up in Newark, New Jersey until she was twelve years old when her family moved to Denver, Colorado. She graduated from Washington
University in St. Louis with a degree in comparative literature and earned a Master’s in American literature from Binghamton University in upstate New York.
In 1975, she moved to Boston and began a career in journalism, writing for local magazines and newspapers, including the Boston Phoenix, the Boston Globe, and Boston Magazine. She branched out into regional and national media: New England Monthly, Yankee, Self, Parenting, Parents, McCall's, and Ms. Her feature stories and columns covered a wide variety of topics, from profiles of prominent people and stories about medical ethics, to first-person essays about everything from politics to popular culture to pet ownership to food.
Diamant also wrote about contemporary Jewish practice for Reform Judaism Magazine, Hadassah Magazine, and jewishfamily.com. Her first book, published in 1985, was The New Jewish Wedding, a handbook that combines a contemporary sensibility, respect for tradition and a welcoming prose style. Five other guidebooks to Jewish life and lifecycle events followed: The New Jewish Baby Book; Living a Jewish Life: Jewish Traditions, Customs and Values for Today’s Families: Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for Their Family and Friends; Saying Kaddish: How To Comfort the Dying, Bury the Dead and Mourn as a Jew, and How to Raise a Jewish Child.
In 1997, Diamant published her first work of fiction. Inspired by a few lines from Genesis, The Red Tent tells the story an obscure and overlooked character named Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob and Leah. The Red Tent became a word-of-mouth bestseller thanks to reader recommendations, book groups, and support from independent bookstores. In 2001, the Independent Booksellers Alliance honored The Red Tent as the "Booksense Best Fiction" of the year. The Red Tent has been published in more than 25 countries world wide, including Australia, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. In 2014, the novel was adapted as a two-part, four-hour miniseries by Lifetime TV.
This event is cosponsored by InterfaithFamily/Boston, a network that provides a place for individuals and families in interfaith relationships to engage in and explore Jewish life.