Why Leaps of Faiths?

David and Steve photoIt’s a Leap for us, too.

We’re David Kovacs (Producer-Writer) and Steve Ordower (Producer-Director).  Along with Jared Sirota (Editor), we’re in interfaith marriages and members of the Family School in Chicago, where parents and their kids teach and learn about Judaism and Catholicism.  After we started taping and editing some very compelling moments we thought, “There’s a documentary here.”

But it’s a story that’s bigger than the Family School alone. At its heart, it’s about couples… wrestling with all kinds of decisions whenever they fall in love, think about marriage, and wonder if their differences (religious and possibly also cultural, racial, or gender-based) should hold them back.

Those of us who are further along on the journey have all been there.  We heard the dire warnings that our marriages were more likely to fail.  We wondered about raising kids primarily in one faith, or should we try to do both?

We’ve seen possibilities on all the different paths, and how joyous the outcomes can be.  We’ve seen how looking at the world through different religious lenses heightens understanding – not just between faiths, but also between partners.  And we’ve seen how the dialogue can break down walls of old misunderstandings to build bridges of new possibilities.

Most importantly, we don’t believe the conventional wisdom is necessarily true.  Interfaith marriages – however the family system evolves – absolutely can work.

We were excited about the compelling videos we’d already produced – but how could we build on them?  We approached WTTW – PBS here in Chicago – and things ramped up when they said they would air the program if we could produce it.  Where to start?  We figured it would cost us at least $3,000 to create the trailer and website you see here, and we had already put in our own money and time so far.

We turned for help from our Family School community – current and alumni families.  Their response was amazing.  In less than three weeks, 32 families and individuals had contributed over $3500.  Folks volunteered their time to help with legal, graphic design, marketing ideas and more. Sarah Patt, a Family School graduate and high school junior shot some beautiful video footage that enhanced what we were shooting professionally. We plunged in – met even more people and interviewed them – and the result is what you see here.

The trailer is just a sample of what we have to share, and we look forward to posting new videos on many dimensions of interfaith life regularly on this site as we welcome many more folks to support this project.

Our goal is to help people know that if they – or a friend or family member — want to take their own Leap of Faith, there’s a lot of support out there to help them.  We are so grateful for all the people who have joined us so far and we can’t wait to see what’s next in this exciting journey – stay tuned!

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