In a Christian-Jewish intermarriage, the woman’s religion is key to the family’s religious behavior.
That’s a major finding of the annual “December dilemma” survey released this week by InterfaithFamily.com, an organization dedicated to helping intermarried couples make Jewish choices.
The survey focused on heterosexual intermarried families committed to raising their children as Jews. It found that within this group, those where the woman is Christian participate in more Christmas activities than do those where she is Jewish.
Thirty-one percent of intermarried couples where the woman is Jewish celebrate Christmas in their own home, compared to 53 percent of couples where the woman is not Jewish.
In families where the woman is Jewish, 27 percent put up a Christmas tree at home compared to 51 percent when the woman is not Jewish. Twenty-five percent of the couples where the woman is Jewish hang Christmas stockings and 39 percent give gifts, compared to 43 percent and 55 percent in families where the woman is not Jewish.
When it comes to celebrating Chanukah, however, there is virtually no difference: Almost all the intermarried families celebrate Chanukah at home, and about half observe the holiday at the homes of relatives.
The survey attracted 860 responses. The results were culled from the 285 respondents who were in interfaith relationships and raising Jewish children.