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Growing Up Interfaith: First Person Stories, Current Findings, and Best Practices

This course was offered in Winter/Spring, 2016.

SarahSince the advent of the term “interfaith” the Jewish focus has been on the intermarried couple. Research has not explored the experiences of the children of these couples. This conference will be a forum for these previously unheard voices, discussing what parental and communal practices empowered them to feel comfortable in their own skins and safe to explore the identities they choose.

Dr. Bruce Phillips will speak about his in-progress study of adults from interfaith families.

Dr. Joel Crohn, author of Mixed Matches, will be speaking about balancing relationship and parenting responsibilities in regard to religion.

Adults who were raised in interfaith homes will share their views and opinions. Other topics include multi-cultural Jews, patrilineal Jews, and a best practice discussion for interfaith parents raising children.


  • 1pm Keynote speaker
    Dr. Bruce Phillips, Preliminary results from his current study of adults from interfaith families, Somewhere in Between

  • 2:05 Workshops
    • Dr. Joel Crohn & Dawn Kepler: Balancing Your Relationship and Parenting in an interfaith family
    • Rabbi Susan Leider: Patrilineal Descent & Conversion: A Conservative Rabbi’s View
    • Dr. Richard Leavitt: Giving Your Child a Comfortable, Confident Identity

  • 3:10 Workshops
    • Helena McMahon, LMFT & Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan: A Therapist’s View of Religious Concerns
    • Rabbi David Kasher: What is a Torah Life & Do I Want That?
    • Kim Carter Martinez: Taking Charge of Your Jewish Identity

  • 4:15 Growing Up Interfaith
    A panel of four adults from interfaith families articulate what worked & what hurt as well as offering suggestions to parents and institutions on how best to support them

  • 5:20 Wine & Cheese Reception with all speakers and facilitators

Daniel and John Lehrhaus and Building Jewish Bridges present This is Bay Area Jewry a stunning photo exhibition showcasing the range of diversity in our Bay Area Jewish community, on view at Temple Sinai, Oakland April-June, 2016.

This event is supported by the Ingrid D. Tauber Philanthropic Fund of the JCF and the Koret Foundation.


# Sessions
Date & time

Sunday, May 22
1:00 - 5:00 pm

Free for the public

Space is limited; pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Session Time Days Location Instructors
May 22 1:00 PM–5:00 PM Sun Temple Sinai Bruce A. Phillips


Temple Sinai

2808 Summit Street

Oakland, CA 94609



Bruce A. Phillips

Bruce PhillipsBruce A. Phillips has been among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry for over three decades. He served on the National Technical Advisory Committees for the 1990 and 2000 National Jewish Population Surveys and advised the recent Pew study. He has conducted local Jewish population surveys in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Phoenix, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Houston.

His published work covers a wide variety of topics from Iranians and Israelis in the United States to Jewish suburbanization, Jewish education, the economics of Jewish life, and the Jews of Los Angeles. His current research projects include the impact of migration and community size on the Jewish affiliations of new migrants, multi-racial studies as a lens for understanding Jews of mixed parentage, applying the work of economists to understanding intermarriage, and a historical study of race and place in Los Angeles, 1920-1930.

In addition to his HUC position, he is Senior Research Fellow at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture where he is conducting research on religion in California. He is a board member of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry and a member of the editorial board of Contemporary Jewry.