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Local Rabbi Offers Advice For Multi-Faith Families During The Holidays

(Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The holidays are almost here and for couples of different faiths raising children it can tricky navigating through this time as differing beliefs can drive a wedge between families.

One local Rabbi believes there are more similarities than differences in faith, the key is to put the family first.

“Long before Hanukkah or Christmas arrives, build bridges, dialogue to let people know that we’re still connected, we respect each other’s faith traditions. We may have chosen a different path but we would like you to respect us,” says Rabbi Elliot Holin of Congregation Kol Ami in Elkins Park.

He understands the situation may unfortunately become heated but he suggests that you “take a step back together as a couple. Figure out what is meaningful to you. And if you feel the need to explain it to anyone else, do it in as cool a way as possible,” he says. “Understanding that you are not going to meet anyone’s expectations, what is far more important is that you are clear about your values as a couple and that you are together on the journey.”

Rabbi Holin says couples need to understand they’re not going to please everyone, but as long as the couple agrees on the journey they have decided for their family that is truly what counts.

He also says don’t be afraid to reach out to the clergy, that is what they are there for!

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