Religious Leaders Discuss Problems Of Inter-Faith Marriage at Forum

Four panelists discussed the advisability of religious intermarriage at the Law School Forum Tuesday night at New Lecture Hall.

Emphasizing the psychological rather than the sociological factors surrounding the issue, three of the group--Mrs. Emily Mudd, Rabbi Maurice L. Zigmond, and Reverend Robert C. Dodds--felt that religious inter-marriage was always a risky affair.

The fourth, visiting professor and psychiatrist John Spiegel, explained that the success of a marriage between Jew and Gentile would depend strongly upon the intensity of religious feeling in each of the partners.

Comparing the broad philosophies of the two groups, he said, "The Jewish way of life emphasizes suffering, pain, striving and achievement. They have no spiritual reason to believe that things will be better in the future."

"On the other hand," Spiegel pointed out, "the Gentiles are not oriented to the tragic view of things. Their opinions on the family and on achievement are about the same as the Jowish people's views, but they tend to be optimistic about the future.

A Shared Life

Mrs. Emily Mudd, president of the American Association of Marriage Counselors, agreed that "married couples do not subscribe to the old law that opposites attract. Happily married people agree that they are very much alike, but frequently disagree on exactly how they are alike."

Director of the Hillel Foundation at Harvard, Rabbi Maurico L. Zigmond said, "The particular religious denomination to follow after marriage should be decided before union. If both parties do not agree to Judaism then it would be hypocritical for me to perform the ceremony and I would have to send them to a civil officer."