Introducing My Faith and My Community: The Jewish Outreach Institute Guide

A book from Jewish Lights, SkyLight Paths’ sister imprint

An introduction to both the basics & complexities of Judaism & Jewish life through the lens of interfaith relationship. Addresses topics that will encourage understanding & stimulate discussion between you & your Jewish partner, relative or friend.

Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky

6 x 9, 176 pp | 978-1-58023-192-3

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You can understand your Jewish friends and loved ones more fully. A hands-on guide to the most important questions.

Introducing My Faith and My Community provides an introduction to both the basics and complexities of Judaism and Jewish life through the lens of an interfaith relationship. Rather than providing stock answers to questions about Jewish rituals or values, or giving a broad overview of Jewish history and theology, Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky addresses topics that will encourage understanding and stimulate discussion between you and your Jewish partner, relative, or friend. Topics include:

  • Beliefs, Religion, and the Place of God in the Jewish Faith
  • Study, Learning, and Charity as Core Values in Jewish Life
  • Food, Holidays, Humor, and Ethnicity as Part of Jewish Culture
  • The Importance of Synagogue, Israel, and Community to American Jews

Praise for Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky’s Work

“As the grateful husband of a Jewish wife, I strongly recommend this compact guide to anyone who is personally involved in a Jewish-Christian relationship or who knows someone who is. I wish it had been available to me many years ago.”

Harvey Cox, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard University

“Rabbi Olitzky has his finger on the pulse of contemporary Jews and others who seek to understand the strands of Jewish belonging, behaving, and believing. In this warm and learned book, he invites readers to enter the home and sanctuary of Jews, and anticipates and answers many of the questions of interfaith couples, potential Jews, and Jews by birth.”

Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis

“What a welcome addition for those who have a special reason for wanting to learn more about Judaism and Jewish life! Olitzky has brought a wonderful sensitivity as well as an openness and clarity to a complex subject. Interfaith couples, as well as those who work with them, will find this book quite helpful in navigating through the rich traditions of Judaism.”

Rabbi Joy Levitt, associate executive director, JCC in Manhattan; co-editor of A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah

“This is an important book for both the non-Jewish and Jewish partner in a relationship. Rabbi Olitzky anticipates the potential questions, concerns, and challenges that an interfaith couple face and offers meaningful answers and suggestions.”

Rabbi Stacy Bergman, assistant director of program, Union of Reform Judaism

“Rabbi Olitzky has given Christian readers a sensitive and thought-provoking introduction to the faith and practices of Judaism. His welcoming and supportive explanations are an invitation to delve deeper into the traditions which are often based on common understandings. His sound learning combined with a personal narrative style makes for compelling reading. It is a gift to all who care deeply about religion and faith.”

—The Rt. Rev. Kirk Stevan Smith, PhD, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona