Interfaith couples with one Jewish partner face pivotal times in their lives when they must decide things like whether or not to be married by a rabbi, priest or justice of the peace.
Discussion of these and other issues is the focus of a class to be taught beginning April 4 by Helane Leta, director of Jewish Family Services. "The discussions are not so much problem oriented as issues oriented. This is not marital counseling," Leta said.Sometimes problems don't arise until children come along, and then issues that were not totally resolved resurface.
"People who are totally enmeshed in their religion likely would not marry out of their faith so the couples I see have a real willingness to work out solutions. They are more open to begin with," Leta said.
Leta establishes communication between the couples so that they are able to share their feelings, establish what their values are and how they will conduct their lives.
Topics to be discussed: values of the interfaith couple; mixed-faith relationships throughout life; relating to family and friends; increasing communications between the couple and the Jewish community.
Sandy Kaufman, a University of Utah student, took the class two years ago with her boyfriend. "There are so many times that different situations come up where you can't really talk.
"How do you deal with Jewish and Christian holidays, for instance. It was so helpful to meet with other couples who might be dealing with things we hadn't even thought of, and to find out other people's viewpoints, I found this an absolutely wonderful class," Kaufman said.
The course will be taught at the James L. White Jewish Community Center, 2416 E. 17th South, April 4, 11, and 18th from 7:30-9 p.m. Cost is $30, refreshments will be served. To register, call Eve at 581-0098.