By Sarah Mania
Is it possible to be both Jewish and Christian? Buddhist and Muslim? Despite the sometimes-conflicting beliefs of certain faiths, some students live in households that recognize two different religions. This allows students to explore their personal beliefs rather than being raised into a certain faith.
"My mom was Christian, but when she and my dad got married, they decided to raise their children in Judaism," says Naomi Fireman, freshman. "I plan on staying Jewish because my religion has taught me many life lessons."
Religion has been proven to strengthen marriage and lower the rate of divorce, according to The Heritage Foundation. Additionally, being raised in a family of two religions or a less common religion exposes children to a more unique way of looking at difficult situations, and may help them make better, stronger decisions.
"I think it will give me a better perspective of life, than those of a family of one religion," says Jason Levin, sophomore, whose religious background includes Judaism and Christianity.
Religion isn’t always necessarily about following God, though. A few very important aspects of religion are the ideas that it teaches morals, respect, and positive outlooks, often enforced and encouraged through family conversations.
"Because I’m a Unitarian Universalist, I have a constant reminder that there is good in everyone," says Moriah Weiss Foronda, junior, who has been attending weekly services since sixth grade. "The church is so focused on care and acceptance that it will be easy for me to form relationships in the future."
Although religion has been criticized as taking away from family values, followers generally see it as adding to the overall experience of a family.
"Religion helps to teach kids how to live their lives with responsibility. If they see their parents positively practicing, they’ll emulate that same behavior," says Joseph Gattone, sponsor of the Bible Club.
If a child is raised in a certain religion, they’re more likely to continue practicing that religion and to pass it on to their kids.
"I really want to raise a Jewish family because I love my religion and the culture, and I’d like to help it grow, since only about 12.9 million people in the world are Jewish," says Fireman.
"I may not keep attending weekly services in college, but I’ll definitely keep the values present in my life," says Weiss Foronda.