Dorothy and Elliot
Dorothy was raised in Natick, MA in an Irish catholic family. Elliot was raised in Bronx, NY in a conservative Jewish family.
They both value their upbringing and wanted to understand how they could pass on what they loved about their religious traditions to their future family.
One Saturday morning in New York after synagogue services with Elliot's family, they began to talk about Dorothy's interest in learning about Judaism and Elliot in relearning some things from his youth. Elliot’s mother asked friends in her synagogue about programs for interfaith couples in Boston. She was referred to Reform Jewish Outreach Boston and passed the information to Dorothy and Elliot. They liked the website and recognized that there were others like them looking to learn more or to better understand Judaism, so they signed up for Introduction to Judaism at Temple Israel in Boston.
They were both interested in exploring how they could begin to practice Jewish traditions in their home and how they could continue to practice Judaism in the future.
They learned a lot about Jewish traditions and rituals, how to celebrate the holidays as well as the faith and history of the Jewish culture and religion. One particularly memorable moment for Dorothy was returning to Elliot’s home after several months of classes. On Friday night Dorothy joined her mother-in-law, Judy, to light the candles and sing the Shabbat blessings. Unbeknownst to Judy, Dorothy had committed the prayer to memory and was able to sing the words by heart. So touched was Judy by this gesture that she was moved to tears. Were it not for the class lesson on Shabbat, Dorothy may not have shared this beautiful moment with Elliot’s mother.
They both felt that the Rabbis who presented lessons at Temple Israel were approachable, knowledgeable and open to hearing their ideas about the topics they discussed. The class Ambassador, Beth, was very helpful, easy to reach and made herself available to them when needed.
After finishing Introduction to Judaism they decided to continue their learning and were connected with Joyce from the Yours, Mine & Ours program.
Joyce and Esther from Yours, Mine & Ours expertly facilitated the conversation between the six couples in the group which made opening up easy and rewarding both emotionally and intellectually.
Dorothy and Elliot feel so much more comfortable discussing their plans for the future with each other and their families. They are continuing to have important conversations about how they would like to honor their religious backgrounds and teach their children the traditions they value from both religions. These rich conversations have been instrumental in helping them shape their future.