Apple picking at Rosh Hashanah

A Message from the Director: September 2023

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah in an Interfaith Family:

Balancing two different faiths in one family definitely comes with its set of challenges, but for Kristin and me, it's been a rewarding experience. I'm rooted in Jewish traditions, while Kristin adds her Episcopalian background to our family. Now, with our daughter, Emmie, we're navigating this interfaith journey together. And we're far from alone; many families at Camp Laurelwood also have connections to multiple faiths.

I've always had a deep connection with my Jewish roots, but in recent years, my religion has taken on even greater significance as I've recognized how closely it aligns with my family values. This comes to the forefront during holidays like Passover, a family favorite that revolves around family, food, and customs. The story-telling (and re-telling), the Seder meal, and the sense of tradition it offers make it a cherished time.

Celebrating Christmas has also taken on a special place in my heart, providing a unique opportunity to blend Kristin's traditions with my own. This holiday allows us to partake in the joy of family gatherings and the creation of lasting memories through traditions.

And of course, as Rosh Hashanah approaches, I’m reminded that it provides another example of our family's approach to religious observance. Rather than traditional synagogue services, we've created our own meaningful ritual: apple picking, blowing the shofar, and gathering with family and friends. This year will be especially significant as we introduce Emmie to this non-traditional way of celebrating the Jewish New Year.

Kristin's active participation in these practices, from Passover Seder to Rosh Hashanah apple picking to Shabbat services at camp, underscores the beauty of embracing different traditions without losing the essence of each. Her genuine enthusiasm serves as a constant reminder that faith can often be less about specific rituals and more about the love and intention that accompany them.

In our experience, faith doesn’t have to divide; it can connect. In raising Emmie, we're committed to instilling her with values that are universal, transcending the particulars of any one religious tradition. As she grows within this rich, multifaceted environment, shaped by both her interfaith family and her Camp Laurelwood community, we can’t wait to see our diverse community grow around her.

Wishing your family a happy and healthy New Year!


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