Westchester families bridge religious and cultural divide during holidays

A growing number of families are juggling two religious traditions.

The Cohens are one of those families. Joe Cohen leads weekly services at the Croton Jewish Center in Croton-on-Hudson. His two children David and Sarah accompany him each week, while his wife, Sue, attends church services.

Before getting married, the Cohens decided to raise their children Jewish and because Sue is not Jewish the kids were converted when they were babies. For Joe's parents having his kids raised Jewish was very important.

And for many Jews in Westchester, ensuring that future generations continue to embrace Judaism is a concern especially since interfaith marriages are becoming more common.

So what happens when the holiday time rolls around? Well at the Cohen household, despite being raised Jewish, the kids also take part in Christian holidays such as Christmas. Their daughter says she loves celebrating both holidays.

Taking part in both traditions is something a number of interfaith couples are doing. The Schapiro family finds their own middle ground by allowing their kids to have a broad range of experience. They will light the Menorah candles and also celebrate Christmas.

This year, Hanukkah begins on Friday, December 19 and Christmas begins six days later.

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