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The Barr Association
Celebrating the Holidays

How Soaps Interfaith Couples Celebrate the Holidays

From Soap Opera Digest 1991 


Julia Barr (Brooke English) and Dr. Richard Hirschlag.
Julia Barr was raised as a Roman Catholic, while her husband, Dr. Richard Hirschlag is Jewish. Married for almost ten years the couple always celebrated Christmas. They began honoring Chanukah when their daughter, Allison, now seven years old, was about three.
Though the actress' upbringing included frequent church-going, her husband didn't have a particularly religious background. "I think when people have children in an interfaith marriage, you really have to evaluate things that you've maybe taken for granted because of the way you have been raised," Barr believes. "I think even a little examination helps you hone in on the core of what is important, to touch base with how you really feel about things. The Holidays have come into focus in a real way because of our daughter."
Barr and her husband tend to stress either the historical nature or the humanistic quality of the holidays, rather than the religious aspect, because that is what they feel is most important now.
"Allison knows Christmas is really the spirit of sharing--that a man named Jesus was supposedly born on this day, and we celebrate his birth because he was a wonderful man," relates Barr. "We've also gotten little books about Chanukah for her.