About Jewish Parenting

Being a Jewish parent involves a lot of unique responsibilities, especially if you’re a woman. (If you need a refresher, recalling that Jewish heritage is often considered to be maternal. While a child with only a Jewish father figure can still practice the religion and belong to the culture, most theologians believe that a true identity comes through a Jewish mother.)

Many parents wonder how to deal with religious heritage, especially if they are not believers but do feel themselves a part of the culture. It’s not uncommon for many modern Jewish people to feel this way. This is why it can get fairly sticky when dealing with how to raise your children if you are non-religious or decides to raise your children in your spouse’s other faith.

Inform Your Children about Their Jewish Heritage

However, we believe that it’s vital for children to know about their Jewish heritage if it applies to them. Whether you are male or female, imparting the wisdom of the old Jewish traditions is not only a sign of the culture’s survival, but also may pique your child’s interest in such a heritage. Now more than ever, we see that being “Jewish” is not just about the Torah or going to worship. It’s also about the history, the language, and the legacy passed on through hundreds of generations.

Celebrate Jewish Holidays

One of the easiest ways to incorporate Jewish traditions in your child’s life is through the holidays. Passover and Hanukkah are perhaps the two biggest ones, as they also have mass appeal in popular culture. You may also wish for your child to learn Hebrew and have a bar Mitzvah, which can be provided at a local synagogue even if the child is not necessarily religious.

Narrate about the Holocaust

As the child becomes older, he or she will certainly know about the Holocaust and may ask you about it, if their Jewish heritage is known. Be as frank as you want to give your child’s maturity. If they had relatives who survived or died during such a time, it might connect your child more to their ancestry. There are many museums in the nation that will help them learn more.

Pass on Traditional Jewish Values, Language, Art, and Culture

No matter how you feel about your child being religious, it’s still a good idea to pass on traditional Jewish values, language, art, and culture. Your child may not care now, but we bet that when they grow older, they will appreciate their heritage – and you sharing it with them – a whole lot more.