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Finding Love of a Different Faith

Dara and Oded Pincas

Dara and Oded Pincas photographed on their wedding day. Courtesy Dara and Oded Pincas hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Dara and Oded Pincas

As part of the month-long series on religion in black America, Farai spoke with an interfaith and interracial couple, Dara and Oded Pincas, about how they've navigated the unique challenges posed by race and religion.

"Finding someone is finding someone who really understands you and may not look like you on the outside," said Dara.

Dara is Baptist and African American; Oded is Jewish and immigrated from Israel ten years ago. Both are attorneys in New York, and they are expecting twins in December.

"We will definitely offer them a choice [of religions]," said Oded. "I think the most important principle is to embrace our different religions and, in this case, ethnicities. It is going to be a challenge, but we are up to it."

Are you involved in an interfaith or interracial relationship? What has been your experience? If not, do you approve of such relationships?

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I am the lone Buddhist in an Irish Catholic family and I am engaged to marry my fiance who is a devout Christian. It may sound like a mouthful, but along with compassionate circumstances, love has ruled over all of us and kept us all open minded. The Christian family has welcomed me with open arms and my Irish Catholic family has always been tolerant of my personal faith. "All you need is love."

Sent by Will Sandusky | 4:29 PM | 7-30-2007

I loved hearing this story on News and Notes. I am an African American woman who has been dating a white man for 2 years. I appreciated Dara's comment about having more in common with Oded than with African American men she dated before him. I can relate. I didn't have anything against dating African American men, which I am assuming is true of Dara, too. I just have so much more in common with Karl. Thank you for this insightful and encouraging story.

Sent by Davita Fitzgerald | 6:16 PM | 7-30-2007

This was a fascinating and inspiring interview. One great advantage I think any type of "mixed" couple has is that they are more often forced to figure out how to mesh together their differences before getting married than "same" couples. I believe this benefits the marriage greatly.

Hopefully this type of preparation, will also prepare them to better handle surprises. Dara mentioned her children being "African-American". Genetics are unpredictable. Many people think darker skin and hair textures will prevail. Not always. She may find herself raising children who are not obviously African-American. Such a situation could require a great shift in how Dara approaches raising her children and instilling their identity.

Sent by Michele | 3:08 AM | 7-31-2007

This interview and the comments in response to it really make me smile. Thank you, no really, thank you. :)

Sent by George Christopher | 11:16 AM | 7-31-2007

My friend Ken Tanabe runs LovingDay.org which celebrates the legalization of interracial couples. You should have him on News and Notes.

Sent by Nichelle | 5:10 PM | 7-31-2007

Congratulations Dara and Oded on several fronts. First, that you listened to your heart, followed it's leading and married the person you were meant to marry regardless of color of skin or religion.

Regarding the belief that there is a shortage of Black men for Black women to marry, I have said this: Black women and everyone else seeking their soulmate should remain open. The color of a person's skin is not indicative of what's in them. It's the inside of a person that dictates whether they are your soulmate and whether the relationship can weather inevitable storms a relationship may encounter.

The other thing I have said is that Black women must not seek a man of another race just because he is not Black. This is not fair to the man or themselves.

The only reason an individual should marry anyone is because this person has impacted their soul in a way no other person has.

I wish this couple the best as they become parents. These twins are already blessed.

Carmin Wharton,The Relationship Teacher
Author, Lesson's Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces
www.carminwharton.com

Sent by Carmin Wharton | 5:22 PM | 7-31-2007

Congratulations Dara & Oded! I feel proud to have met you at the Interfaith Community organization as we all explored challenges often associated with interfaith and interacial marriages. Good luck with the twins!

Sent by Patti Bayross | 10:29 AM | 8-1-2007

Hello, my name is Mayai Chatman, I help people in NYC plan their Weddings and I am the author of ???I Do Weddings??? Guide to Starting Your Own Wedding Consulting Business. The name of my company is Wedding Day, Inc. www.WedNDay.com. My company provides day of coordination services. Thank you for posting the information.

Sent by Mayai Chatman | 12:51 AM | 8-2-2007

If its not based on self-hatred issue then its kool.

Sent by lee | 12:43 PM | 8-6-2007

Intermarriage is not great for the Jewish people. We are a very small population and keep getting smaller. Intermarriage is accomplshing what the Holocaust couldn't; a Jew-free world.
Oded is a traitor and his children will definately not be Jewish.
This is not racism it's about a survival of a people! Nazis are pro-intermaariage because they want Jews to become extinct. This story is a tragedy for the Jewish people!

Sent by anti-Jewish intermarriage | 1:24 AM | 9-7-2007

This most recent comment about this story clearly demonstrates his or her ignorance of the Nazi philosophy of intermarriage between "natural" Germans and Jews: it was not because they wanted Jews to become extinct; it was because the Nazis believed in keeping non-Jewish Germans pure since Jews were considered to be worse than vermin. As a consequence, this philiosophy led to the slaughter of 6 million people because the Nazis "considered" the "survival of (the German) people", therefore making these murders justified. Hitler later said that the world would be thankful.

Sent by Lisa | 5:13 PM | 9-7-2007

Thanks for this story, I am Afican American and my boyfriend is Isreali. He is my best friend and we love each other dearly. However, is family does not accept me so it makes things harder on our relationship. He wants to be with me but please his family at the same time. I don't know whhat to do, I am a Christian and he is Jewish. His Families concern is that our children will not be Jewish.We love each other very much but as Dara&Oded mentioned the faith and belief aspects are most difficult.

Sent by Tamikai | 3:48 AM | 9-20-2007

I loved this story. I'm an African-Canadian, from West Indian descent. Might I add I'm part Chinese, Scotish, Syrian and Native Indian. I can not imagine to close my eyes to other races, religions or ehtnicities or just anyone for that matter.
I too am dating a Jewish man. One thing I've learned on this interrelationship 'journey' is that I've learned a lot about Judaism and I'm looking forward to learning more.
I believe intermarriage teaches us not only how to love regardless of our backgrounds but it teaches us respect for others while maintaining our beliefs.
As for the comment made by 'Anti-Jewish intermarriage', I'm truly sorry for you as you are confined in a world which doesn't quite exist. I can understand your concern about the 'extinction' of your religion however at the end of the day, people should not decide who they should be with....ESPECIALLY because of religion or the color of skin.
Congrats to Dara and Oded. May you and your children be blessed!

Sent by Montreal, Canada | 6:50 PM | 11-10-2007

I am dateing someone of a different faith and race for six months and it is working really well for us.Thank you so much for the good reading.

Sent by Freddie Mae Lewis | 5:52 PM | 2-2-2008

I know everyone thinks this situation is just wonderful, but as a mixed race female with a Jewish mother who was raised in both Christianity and Judaism, I wish I had only been raised in one faith.

In the end, the kids will end up like my siblings and myself. My sister is a nominal Jew because she got sick of the religious infighting. My brother is Orthodox, and I float the line in between.

What I've learned through the process is that Chrisitanity and Judaism are very distinct religions. In the end, you either believe in Jesus or you don't.

I won't date anyone who isn't Jewish. It causes too many problems.

I just hope you work out your religious issues before you hurt your twins. Because most of my biracial Jewish friends whose parents tried your "grand experiment" are miserable.

Sent by Simone Harlowe | 11:07 PM | 2-19-2008

Hello Simone,
I was wondering- do you mean the "grand experiment" was trying to raise children in two religons? Would you have preferred to just be raised Jewish and as an interracial Jew, have you felt accepted.
Thank you.

Sent by alli | 7:19 PM | 3-6-2008

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