"I'm not Jewish but my partner is"

January 19, 2012
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The Saltzman family

The Saltzman family

Trish and Tod Saltzman belong to both a church and a synagogue. "It was really difficult on Sundays," said Mrs Saltzman, who was brought up Methodist, "because there is Sunday school and cheder and we had to decide what to do for our three children".

The couple, who live in Ascot, decided to send their children, aged between three and eight, to Maidenhead Reform Synagogue on Sundays. "We feel they get a broad Christian education in school, and living in this country, but this is their only access to a Jewish education."

Together for 20 years, the Saltzmans spent nine years in Chicago. "In the States, we went to a million seminars on mixed-faith couples. We were involved in interfaith and there is even a Jewish-Christian religion school where children can go to decide if they would like a bar- or batmitzvah, or a first communion when they are 12 or 13.

"Both our sons have had a bris, our daughter had a Hebrew naming ceremony in synagogue. One has had a Thanksgiving in church and the other two will do soon. I am going to have to start learning a bit of Hebrew to help them with the homework they bring home from synagogue."

The couple attended Sunday's session "to share our experience of making things work. We both wanted to keep our faiths but we didn't want to just do nothing and pretend it wasn't an issue, so we have tried to educate our children in both religions. Our parents have been supportive. They are pleased we didn't just ignore the issue."

Last updated: 1:04pm, January 19 2012