Everyone has their own set of values. They might come from your religion, culture, family or from someplace else. Regardless of where they originated, it’s important to discuss how you and your partner can create a life together that reflects both of your values. Even though you come from different religious and cultural backgrounds, you may share many values. And of course, some of your values may differ. Make sure you’re celebrating the ones you have in common while respecting any differences that you may have. Try these conversation starters about values created specifically for interfaith couples.
1. Think about what you value the most. What is your core value (your most important value)? Does that value come from your religion, culture, family, some combination—or somewhere else entirely? Why is that value so important to you?
2. Hopefully we are expressing our core values in the ways that we live our lives. In what ways do you express the values you learned through your family, religion and/or culture in your everyday life? Is it important to you that your partner shares similar values? Is it important to you to pass on these values if you have children?
3. In what ways do you think your partner’s values are similar to yours? In what ways do you think they are different?
4. Are there values from your partner’s religion, culture, and/or family upbringing that you admire and wish you had been raised with? Are there values from your partner’s background that you find challenging—and if so, why?
5. One very important Jewish value is “tikkun olam,” repairing the world, which is understood by modern Jews to refer to the pursuit of social justice. In what ways do you seek to pursue social justice in order to make the world a better place? Is it important to you that this is something you and your partner do together, or is this something you are comfortable doing on your own?
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