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Jewish Family Life
Some Jewish families will install a Christmas tree at Christmas time.

Jewish Family Life

‘Jewish Family Life’ looks at the home life of Jews.

The Jewish people first and foremost see themselves as a large family. Daily life, ritual and the passing on of traditions all have the family at their core. It is felt by Jewish people everywhere that survival rests with and through family, both as a unique people and as a tradition. The family could be viewed as a living photographic album that we flick through the past, live in the present and have hope for the future by constantly adding pages to that album.

In a Jewish household, the wife and mother is called, in Hebrew, “akeret habayit” which means in literal translation, the ....
“galley slave”
“unrecognised one”
“she who must be obeyed”
It is the woman who largely determines the character and atmosphere of the entire Jewish home, possibly explaining, in a light-hearted modern context, why Jewish men have, over the centuries, had such terrible home décor taste! Judaism requires that a Jewish home must have a Jewish character, not only for holy days, but also for during the working week. It must be a Jewish home in every respect
Jewish family tradition and how to “be a Jew” passed down through the generations is said to be ....
“caught, not taught”
instructed by teachers
formally taught at school
on an “as you go along” basis
Jews pride themselves that through daily lessons of observing their own family and listening to family stories, both from inside and outside any physical instruction by teachers, is the way a child learns how to be a Jew. It is felt that when a parent instructs by personal example rather than mere words, their audience (children) will better take the advice to heart. It is very much as being seen to practise what is preached
What is said to be the single most important thing about being Jewish in today’s modern world?
Attending synagogue
The Holocaust
Keeping a Kosher (separating meat from milk) home
Lighting candles every day
Remembering and recalling the Holocaust and the extermination of 6 million Jews by the Nazis purely based on religion only is given more frequently as a very essential part of being Jewish than anything else
Before starting a Jewish home, Jewish couples are encouraged to ....
cohabit (live together unmarried)
learn how to cook
have children
As times have passed, the modern practice of cohabitation without marriage is acknowledged, although not in any way encouraged. In most very observant orthodox communities, couples do not cohabit at all. In very observant orthodox communities marriage is sometimes arranged and takes place, although only with the consent of both parties
As life has become increasingly secular over the years, many people, despite being identified as belonging to a specific religious group have become less religious, and Judaism is no exception. Overall, the percentage of Jews who claim not to be religious yet still attend Jewish High Holy Days in the synagogue is approximately ....
Some Jews who say they aren’t religious still go to High Holiday services. Some Jewish people attend synagogue despite being classed as non-religious so as to maintain their cultural connection and some form of affiliation with their community
Although Christmas is not a Jewish Holy Day, some Jewish families will install a Christmas tree at Christmas time. Approximately what percent of families do this?
As the Christmas tree is seen more as a recent tradition than a Christian religious artefact, some Jewish families (mainly in the USA) do install one. While not believing in Christmas, Jewish families enjoy (rather than celebrate) the Festive Season through their integration into their local (non-Jewish) communities and the fact they work and live with people who do celebrate Christmas. It is seen as a great time for family. However, while ultra-Orthodox Jews do not believe in anything associated with Christmas (apart from it being a time for family), there is nevertheless a percentage of about 1% in the USA (the ultra-Orthodox Jews of Europe do not) who do have Christmas trees
What is the percentage of Jews who can read all or most Hebrew words?
Although they might not be able to converse in Hebrew, all Jewish people can read it
The Hebrew alphabet provides an “abjad” writing system of symbols, has 22 letters and is written from right to left (so prayer books and Hebrew texts start at the back). Although each symbol can be easily identified and has a recognised sound, like any language of symbols, it is therefore harder to learn. Of the Jewish people in the world outside Israel, the greatest percentage of Jews who can read Hebrew are European
One of the most important rooms in a Jewish house is the ....
As the kitchen is the place where all the preparatory family ‘work’ for Holy Day and Sabbath meals takes place, it is usually where the family gathers before, after, and in between these meals. Many of the Jewish traditions are food based – from keeping the home Kosher (separating meat dishes from milk dishes) to sharing the clearing-up duties
Which of the three main branches (denominations) of Judaism is said to be the most family-orientated. Is it ....
Orthodox (traditional Judaism)
Conservative (historical Judaism)
Reform (Liberal of Reform Judaism)
all treat family life as vitally important
Irrespective of the level of belief or adherence to Jewish Law, the family remains central to all Jews
Since 2000, the percentage of Jews with a non-Jewish spouse has ....
stayed about the same
increased slightly
increased dramatically
Despite an overall increase in inter-religious marriages across all beliefs as people become more secular, it has actually remained constant for Jews. The overall statistics are somewhat skewed, because where a non-Jewish male marries a Jewish female, any children will be recognised as Jewish under Jewish Law, even if the non-Jewish partner adheres strongly to their original faith. The family unit in this instance will also be recognised as Jewish


Author:  Ed Moss

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