Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Sister Won’t Participate in Religious Zoom Celebrations

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a mother of two spending quarantine with my husband. My daughters are college-aged and living on their own. We have a large extended family that is used to seeing each other often throughout the year. We’re trying to spend time together as a family during quarantine through Zoom celebrations of Jewish holidays. However, my sister is not religious and doesn’t want to participate because we’re celebrating religious holidays. How do we communicate to her that the significance of these events is not religion and make her comfortable joining in these family events? -- Family First

DEAR FAMILY FIRST: Consider hosting Zoom gatherings that are not affiliated with a religious occasion. Add a neutral date to your celebration schedule when you invite everyone to get together just because you love each other. This may attract your sister.

If she agrees to participate in this extra event, over time you may be able to reintroduce the idea of her joining in other family gatherings. Take it slowly. It could be that she won’t do everything with you. But something is better than nothing.

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