We had an small but receptive group stick around after last Sunday’s matinée performance of THE ODD COUPLE; which we followed with the discussion: Scripture Unscripted: The Interfaith Family and the Attraction of Opposites (are people less likely to stay for a panel following a comedy? This seems to be true…)
• Moderated by Rabbi Tamara Miller, Teacher of contemporary Jewish wisdom in multi-denominational environments through classes, lectures and private tutoring
• Rabbi Harold White, Spiritual Advisor to the Interfaith Family Project and former Jewish Chaplain at Georgetown University
• Susan Katz Miller and Paul Miller, Susan’s great-grandfather was a circuit-riding rabbi on the Mississippi River, Paul’s great-grandfather was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark. Susan writes a blog about interfaith families called onbeingboth.com. Both Susan and Paul have served on the Board of the Interfaith Families Project of Greater Washington
• Mark Hoelter and Karen Key, Mark is a Unitarian Universalist minister who has served five congregations, done interfaith work in DC, and now helps people through life coaching. Karen is Jewish Renewal and a member of Am Kolel Congregation.
• Robin Metalitz is a Reform Jew, who grew up going to Temple Sinai. Her husband Raj Gupta, the son of immigrants from India, is Hindu.
• Rev. Bonnie J. Berger was born and raised as a Reform Jew, ordained as an Interfaith Minister in 2006, and has served as a chaplain, a spiritual coach, and a marriage officiant. Since same-sex marriage was legalized in DC, Rev. Bonnie has presided at over 100 same-sex marriages. Her partner was raised Catholic, received a masters of religion at Yale, and now has a Hindu guru.
Susan Katz Miller has written up a fantastic overview about her experience being on the panel at her blog On Being Both.
Now, some quick video clips. In the first excerpt, Susan and Paul explain why their choices as a couple and a family seem to them to be anything but “odd”:
And in this clip, Rabbi Harold White describes how his own family unit came to be:
The panel wrapped up with our own dear Bonnie Berger reminding us that the experience that she and other panel guests shared, is not necessarily an experience shared by everyone in this country and certainly not around the world. Living in a more open and enlightened area is certainly part of what allows these couples and families never to feel, or be labeled, “odd”. It’s something to be thankful for, I think. And we celebrate with Bonnie as she announced that she recently officiated her 103rd same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. Progress indeed.