Jennifer Marcus Crivella, a 43-year-old stay-at-home mother and former elementary school teacher, the only child of protective parents, was raised in Pittsburgh to date “only nice Jewish boys.” But as early as high school, the boy she really loved — now her husband — was Eric Crivella, 44, a Henry-Winkler-as-Fonzie lookalike.“No matter what other boys I was seeing, I always wanted to be with Eric,” she said recently via speakerphone, while shuttling the couple’s children, Sydney, 3, and Tyler, 8, to play dates in the town of Katy, Texas, where the family lives.
The Crivellas’ story reflects a not-uncommon phenomenon: a couple falls in love, intermarries, the non-Jewish partner agrees to raise the children as Jews — then converts.
Never has this type of story been more relevant than at present, when, according to the Pew Research Center’s 2013 “Portrait of American Jews” released last month, nearly six in 10 American Jews who have married since 2000 have a non-Jewish spouse.
Today the family observes the holidays and is planning to join Houston’s Temple Sinai.
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