Being Jewish and Being Human

This is a guest post by Jeremy Burton, executive director of Boston’s JCRC. After seeing his tweets about an undead, supernatural interfaith wedding on TV, I challenged him to blog about it. Luckily, he accepted. You can also follow him on twitter, @burtonjm. After a tumultuous relationship, this week we witnessed one of the most […]

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Humanistic Judaism: Basics & Intercultural/Interfaith Family Appeal

This is a guest post by Rabbi Adam Chalom, written after a recent presentation on Humanistic Judaism to a program of InterfaithFamily/Chicago for soon-to-be or recently married couples. He thought it could be useful both as a basic explanation of Humanistic Judaism and to explain why his denomination is a good fit for many intercultural […]

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Rabbinical Students and Intermarriage

Back in February, my colleague, Rebecca, blogged about a debate between two Reform rabbinic students: should the Reform rabbinical school, Hebrew Union College, accept students who are intermarried? Two current students at HUC in New York, argued opposing sides in Reform Judaism Magazine. Rebecca summaried, “Daniel Kirzane, a current rabbinical student at HUC-JIR in New […]

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That Bar Mitzvah Video Thing

I admit it: when I watch bar mitzvah kids’ videos I get squeamish. I might channel the collective angst of tweens everywhere. And, as I’d rather see the bar (and bat) mitzvah emphasize the mitzvah and learning component more than the party and flash, I tend to find these videos more than a little annoying. […]

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A New Passover Haggadah from Edgar M. Bronfman

Edgar M. Bronfman’s no stranger to intermarriage. The publicity in the lead up to his 2008 book, Hope, Not Fear: A Path To Jewish Renaissance, was full of great quotes: “Now we have a choice. We can double the amount of Jews that there are, or we can irritate everybody who’s intermarried and lose them […]

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A New Conservative Approach to Conversion and Intermarriage

Crossposted to Jewschool. “I am worried that our present policy is internally conflicted and thus strategically self-defeating,” the rabbi said. “The idea of refusing to be present for the wedding and then expecting the couple to feel warmly embraced by the Jewish people strikes me as a policy constructed by someone who doesn’t know the […]

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Comic Wedding

Mazel tov to Kathy Kane and Maggie Sawyer on their engagement! What’s that? You haven’t heard of them? What if I use their aliases, Batwoman and Captain Sawyer? Spoiler alert! In the DC Comic universe, Batwoman is Jewish. Towleroad reports: Kathy Kane, the Batwoman, DC’s leading lesbian lady asks Maggie Sawyer, Captain Sawyer, her secret […]

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How a Boycott is Inclusive

Temple Isaiah of Lafayette, CA (inland, due east of San Francisco) is making headlines. Their Board of Directors has “voted unanimously this week to to recommend that the rabbinical staff and synagogue members write letters stating their opposition to the policy, along with withdrawing financial support and refusing to participate in scouting events.” Further, LGBTQNation […]

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Thanksgivvukah

I know, it’s only January, so why am I talking about Hanukkah? And, worse, why are others also talking about it? Because while Hanukkah has come close to overlapping with Thanksgiving before (even in our lifetimes; we shared articles when it last nearly happened in 2002, Using Thanksgiving Leftovers the Next Day for Hanukkah and […]

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Community’s Response to Intermarriage

Over on the Forward, there’s an interesting opinion piece on intermarriage that responds to Jane Eisner’s concerns. She wrote: What haunts me and the many parents I know who have children in their twenties and thirties is whether they will marry and, if so, whether they will marry Jews. The fact that this concern is […]

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Grounded in Judaism

When you’ve had a tough week, month, or year, where do you find your strength to keep going? Are you able to find optimism, a belief that things will improve? According to People, Mayyim Bialik credits her rootedness in Judaism: “When you’ve had a 2012 like me, things can only get better,” she told PEOPLE […]

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A Christian Bar Mitzvah?

I’ve watched this video a few times and I’m still not sure how I feel about this. Did you catch that? Trevor’s already turned 13, and they’ve decided to throw him a “bar mitzvah — a Christian bar mitzvah.” Here’s what I’ve figured out from the video: They’re having a bar mitzvah as a party, […]

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White Poinsettias and Blue Foil

This is a guest post by Ruth Nemzoff who, in addition to being on InterfaithFamily’s Advisory Board, is the author of Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with your Adult Children and Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws into Family. Last week I walked into the lobby of my apartment and found […]

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Music and the December Holidays

Psychology Today has an article on the December holidays, Deck the Halls for Chanukah, in their problem-solving section. The author talks about growing up with a strong Jewish identity, but celebrating Christmas. (“Caroling in our New England town was a moving spiritual experience even for a young Jewish child.”) With our yearly Hanukkah music video […]

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Get Some Torah In Your Pocket

Hopefully by now you’ve started following the newest blog on our site, the Animated Torahlog presented by G-dcast. Not quite sure what it is? It’s a place to engage with the weekly Torah portion (part of the Torah is read each week, divvied up throughout the year, so that each autumn we start in Genesis […]

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Bringing Hanukkah to Camp

Hanukkah’s underway, and we’re all looking for ways to keep the holiday fresh for our friends, families, children… I mean, you’ve already made latkes and spun the dreidel. What more is there to do for the remaining 6 nights? If your kids love summer camp, or if you did and want to share that joy […]

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My Jewish December

This is a guest post by Sara Beth Berman, the Nadiv Educator at The Davis Academy and URJ Camp Coleman. Nadiv is a program through the Foundation for Jewish Camp, funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation and The AVICHAI Foundation. The Davis Academy is a large Reform Jewish Day school in Atlanta, Georgia, with students […]

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Watching Hanukkah 2012

You’re right. Hanukkah is almost here and, unlike in years past, I haven’t thrown many videos your way. Sorry about that. Here are some of the news ones making the rounds: Hanukkah Lovin’ Michelle Citrin is back with a new holiday tune of love and latkes. (And it features my super awesome red Hanukkah dreidel […]

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Has This Product Solved The December Dilemma?

Let me set the scene. David Levy, Managing Editor of JewishBoston.com, declared: If Manischewitz can market Chanukah gingerbread houses, I declare the “December Dilemma” officially solved. What do you think? Will this kit, complete with white and blue icing and decorations, solve your gingerbread house needs? Would you make one with your family? Would your […]

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Welcoming in Philadelphia

Wondering what we’re up to in Philadelphia? The Jewish Exponent has a new article highlighting our new branch, InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia, and the resources we bring to the community. Starting with marriage as the entry point to the article, they write: For many interfaith families, the wedding ceremony is the point of entry into Jewish life and […]

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Hanukkah for the Whole Family

It’s that time of year: Hanukkah is nearly here and you’re looking for new ways to share the holiday with your family. With the help of some friends, we’ve got you covered. Games Boston area parent Emily Sper is back with an expanded Hanukkah offering. Her Hanukkah Coloring & Activity Book, includes a basic history […]

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Is There a Jewish Prayer for Thanksgiving?

There’s a great feature on JewishBoston.com called “Ask A Rabbi.” And you needn’t be in the Boston area to benefit from this column! Today’s seem particularly apt to cross-post to our blog, given that the question posed was: My wife grew up Christian. For her family, Thanksgiving always starts with a prayer. I’ll be joining […]

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Jewish Organization Equality Index

Last winter, I received a request to fill out a survey from our friends at Keshet (working for the inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals in the Jewish community) and the HRC (Human Rights Campaign, working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights). The survey, known as the Jewish Organization Equality Index […]

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When is a Christmas Tree Just a Christmas Tree?

It’s interesting that so many in the Jewish community put an emphasis on Christmas. Specifically, whether or not interfaith families observe Christmas. And the assumption has been that if Christmas is observed, these families couldn’t be raising their kids in a Jewish home. And the focus of these Christmas celebrations has often been the tree. […]

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Dueling December Ditties

As many of you know, all the best Christmas songs were written by Jews. But what about Hanukkah songs? Many of us might be able to hum a few bars of Adam Sandler’s parody or “I Had a Little Dreidel,” but surely there must be more, right? The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation (I hadn’t […]

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Attracting Interfaith Families to the Conservative Movement Day Schools

Last week, the Rabbinical Assembly (the rabbis’ guild for the Conservative movement), sent out a press release. Together with representatives from the Schechter Day School Network (the Jewish day schools affiliated with the Conservative denomination), they met in late-October to talk about “outreach to and inclusion of intermarried families.” Great! This isn’t the first time […]

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Honored as “Perpetual Innovator”!

We just sent out the following press release, which we’re excited to share with you here. We’re honored to be recognized by the Slingshot Fund again this year, and included in their Slingshot guide as a Standard Bearer.     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Edmund Case, edc@interfaithfamily.com, (617) 581-6805 InterfaithFamily Named One of North America’s […]

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Customize Your Hanukkah Celebrations

Our friends over at Jewish Holidays in a Box just posted this to their blog. And, because it’s now November 1, and, because there’s less than 6 weeks until Hanukkah, and, because the post is filled with great ideas for all sorts of families, we’ve decided to cross-post it here. (It was written by marketer/teacher/writer […]

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Announcing InterfaithFamily/Your Community!

We’re excited to announce that we’re growing and expanding! We just sent out this press release — let us know what you think! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Edmund Case, edc@interfaithfamily.com, (617) 581-6805 InterfaithFamily Announces Major Expansion of InterfaithFamily/Your Community Initiative Successful Chicago Model Opening in San Francisco and Philadelphia; Building a National Network of Local […]

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The New Normal: Rediscovering Religion

Who else is watching The New Normal on Tuesday nights (or whenever you get to it on your DVRs)? The show follows a gay couple who will soon become fathers, the single mother who is their surrogate, and her young daughter. There are other characters thrown in for color and tension, but they’re the heart […]

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From “Estranged” to Beyond Welcoming

There’s an article in yesterday’s Miami Herald about a father and daughter. But it’s not your typical fluff piece. From a “traditional” Jewish family, they became estranged after she told him she was getting married — and that her husband was not Jewish. Fast forward, and not only have the reconciled, but they now work […]

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Volunteering’s The Way to My Heart

This is a guest blog post by Jordyn Rozensky, who has written for us before. She’s the Director of Young Adult & Service Programs at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston. In an article I wrote for InterfaithFamily about my family’s approach to Christmas celebrations, I mentioned that volunteering is a great way […]

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Four Ways to Make your Jewish Institution Inclusive for LGBTQ Interfaith Families

Originally written for Keshet’s blog. Keshet is a national grassroots organization that works for the full inclusion and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews in all facets of Jewish life. The High Holidays — Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur — can be the most synagogue-centric of the Jewish calendar year. They’re also among […]

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An Orthodox Response to Intermarriage

I didn't think I'd be blogging about an article on the (Orthodox Union), let alone giving it a thumbs up, but here I am. Given that this is an Orthodox site, and that their denomination has not historically been kind to intermarriage, I prepared for the worst as I read . But it was actually […]

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Praying in Israel

On our site, we have a whole slew of and blog posts[/url] looking at the complications that arise in Israel between democracy (society for all, equality, etc.) and the rabbinate (enforcing an Orthodox view of who is a Jew and how). On the one hand, Israel is a democracy. As a democratic state, women are […]

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Rabbis Faceoff in Israel

I just blogged about gender, prayer, and the conflicts that arise in Israel due to the Orthodox rabbinate's control[/url]. Go ahead and read it. I'll wait… Back? Great. The Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of /Masorti rabbis, just shared Chief Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Moshe Amar's open letter to Reform and Conservative rabbis. (See image, […]

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A Long Look at a Long Study

While I was away from the office earlier last week, the UJA-Federation of New York released a big, giant, whopping . (Downstate being, of course, the opposite of . That is, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County and Westchester County.) More than 250 pages long, there's a lot to think […]

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Our Fathers

In a blog post last week, Gabrielle Orcha , "What about the Jewish father? … Who is he really?" [table][tr][td][/td][td]With Father's Day coming up this weekend, we wanted to start a dialogue about the Jewish fathers, or fathers (who may or may not be Jewish) of Jewish daughters. We put out a call for Jewish […]

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Muhammad Ali’s Grandson is Bar Mitzvahed

Mazal tov to Jacob Werthheimer, grandson of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, whose was celebrated recently. Jacob's parents are Khaliah Ali-Wertheimer, Muhammad's daughter, who was raised as a Muslim, and her huband Spencer Wertheimer, who is Jewish. On religion and her interfaith family, Ali-Wertheimer , The article continues, noting that Muhammad Ali would likely agree with […]

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Ashley Biden and Howard Krein’s Co-Officiated, Interfaith Marriage

We saw the article, , about Vice President Joe Biden's futre Jewish son-in-law, Dr. Howard Krein. But there wasn't much interfaith fodder to go on. ABC reported, I'd love to know the end of that sentence as well. Let's fill in the blank: because Krein's parents – wanted their religion represented? – insisted that Jewish […]

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A Jewish Tooth Fairy?

A question was asked on Ask a Rabbi, a project of . , “Is there anything in Jewish tradition about losing baby teeth? Prayers, folk stories or customs? My 6-year-old wanted to know if there is a Jewish tooth fairy.” Great question. When I think of the Tooth Fairy, I associate her/him/zir with Santa Clause […]

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Drew and Will’s Wedding

Mazal tov to Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman! They’ve made their wedding date (June 2) public. suggests the rushed wedding date is because she’s pregnant (they refer to the upcoming wedding as ), but I have  a different theory. Traditionally, the time between Passover and Shavuot is a period of semi-mourning. The period is known […]

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Wedding News

Two interesting stories you might have missed. Some couples include the elements of or standing under a at their wedding. But increasingly,  couples, where neither partner is Jewish, choose the as the custom they’re borrowing. According to , a popular English language Israeli news website, this trend has been increasing over the last ten years. […]

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Key Seder Elements

A few interesting articles crossed my desk this morning, all about Passover. The Four Questions The Four Questions hold a central spot in the Passover seder. Why is this night different from other nights? Reform Judaism, the magazine for the named denomination, asks in its spring issue, “What’s your favorite language for reciting the first […]

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Passover is Nigh!

I’m the first to admit it: I’m a little stressed out by Passover’s rapid approach. If, like me, you need a bit of a break from the cleaning, cooking, menu planning, seder prep, and last-minute-bread-and-pasta-binge-fests, take a look at the fun and interesting resources in this post. Our friends at JewishBoston.com have just released a […]

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Gefilte Fish

We recently asked readers for their gefilte fish stories. We didn’t really say more than that, hoping for as broad a response as possible. Because, really, if there’s one odd part of the Passover seder to pick out, one bizarre element to explain to your friends and relatives who’ve never experienced a seder before, gefilte […]

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Who Are the “Half-Jewish”?

Who are the “half Jewish?” Or is “half Jewish” like “half pregnant” – either you are, or you are not? For more than two decades, half of marriages involving Jews have been intermarriages. Today on college campuses, there are likely more students with one Jewish parent than with two. Hillels, Judaic Studies programs, and Holocaust […]

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Our Last Vlog and Wedding Day Recap

Hey there IFF, So here we are, two months past our actual wedding date and we’re both enjoying the married life. Before we head off into wedded bliss, Arel and I are leaving you with a farewell video and some extra goodies to take a look at. We never talked about our actual wedding day […]

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News Roundup

In case you missed it, some interesting news pieces from the past week: 1: The , especially while state and federal laws differ in permission and scope. That the couple in the article is interfaith could certainly be an extra complication. It also brought to mind two recent articles by , published on InterfaithFamily.com, about […]

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New Haggadah on The Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert is getting ready for Passover. Colbert introduced the segment – an interview with author Jonathan Safran Foer – with a joke that the only Jew in the audience chuckled at (a reference to the ). But the interview itself was fun and included some good questions for the author of the . Watch […]

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Big Decisions: Be on TV!

We’re occasionally contacted by folks in the entertainment world. Seems we’re not the only ones obsessed with interfaith families, joys and struggles and all. Do you have a big decision to make? A new network television show is looking to feature individuals in interfaith relationships who are facing tough decisions in their lives. Couples can […]

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What is Judaism?

What is Judaism? At first glance, this question seems simplistic. Judaism is, of course, a religion. Yet, what religion has its own language (Hebrew)? What religion has generated hundreds of cookbooks? Well, we might say, Judaism is a culture. Culture, however, is an inherently vague word, and how does one create schools and synagogues around […]

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Purim: Family Fun

Purim is a great holiday for families and kids: there are costumes, excuses to make noise and act silly, and many communities have parties, carnivals or other celebrations appropriate for the littlest members or our families (or those who feel young at heart). This post is about making Purim fun for the whole family. Let […]

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Welcome Erik and Jess!

As Yolanda and Arel wind down their blogging (after all, they did get married in January!), I’m excited to let you all know that we have a new couple blogging for us as they prepare for their marriage! Erik is originally from Wisconsin and has lived in DC for 9 years. He works on Capitol […]

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Moms Need a New Name

The gauntlet’s been thrown. (!) She writes, So here we go: non-morbid MORBs (it’s not too close to “morbid” for me, but does sound like a cyborg model or something), is there an acronym, nickname, pet name, title of choice that you’d like to be called? Leave your suggestions in the comments. In our next […]

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Oprah Likes Mezuzahs

You might have seen stories about Oprah’s recent tour of one of Brooklyn’s (Orthodox), communities. It seemed to be a big PR moment for . There wasn’t an interfaith angle there for us (that would have been too easy!). But instead, , the mezuzahs she saw on doorposts. In speaking to the community’s sense of […]

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Interfaith Families and Jewish Day Schools

On the AVI CHAI Foundation Blog today, there’s a conversation about the benefits of a Jewish day school education. Among the many decisions involved in raising children, how to educate them is one of the crucial ones. It will influence their growth – intellectually as well as socially and morally. It will also orient them […]

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The Trees Are Coming!

is two weeks away! As I said , “It’s a minor holiday and, as such, I think it gets lost among the bigger, better known holidays. But there’s a lot to it – and it’s a great way to gather friends and family in your home on a cool winter’s night to remind ourselves that, […]

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We Have a Say in Israel?

is far too short, but let’s our imaginations run wild: Wow. Can you imagine what would happen if every single person who converted under Reform, Reconstructionist, or Conservative guidance in the Diaspora contacted Israelis, imploring them to view non-Orthodox conversions as “just as Jewish” as Orthodox conversions? Can you imagine what would happen if every […]

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Jewish Identity

A video has been making the rounds that explores what Jewish identity can mean – maybe you’ve seen it on Facebook already. It took me a while to get past the opening montage; I’m not a fan of “Jewish” being tied to Holocaust imagery, and the song from is a little heavy-handed. But I stuck […]

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Kosher Jesus?

A difference between Christians and Jews, one could say, is that Christians believe the Messiah came (you might have heard of him – a fellow named Jesus?), while Jews are still waiting for the Messiah. Over the years, this basic difference has become, amongst some sects, more confusing: ; and other usually identify themselves as […]

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Welcoming Communities

One of our readers wanted to make sure I (and through me, all of you) saw . Part of the Reform movement’s “Spotlight on Welcoming Interfaith,” the author writes about feeling like an outsider as a non-Jewish parent raising a Jewish family. I think this speaks to the power that we as Jewish professionals, organizations, […]

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December Compromise Song

This video was sent to me by its creators, Janelle and Matthew, an interfaith couple. It’s a song about compromise during the December holidays. I liked it, thought it was cute and sweet. But the use of the word “proselytize,” with translation, made me squirm a little. What do you think?

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In Response to an Anti-Interfaith Voice

The holiday season is rife with analyses of interfaith families that celebrate both Christmas and Chanukah, but none have I found more offensive than Debra Nussbaum Cohen’s on Sisterhood blog. If you’re like me, you’ve already bristled at the title – and it’s only downhill from there. Cohen’s piece rebuts one recently published on the […]

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Kourtney and Scott’s Interfaith Kardashian Feud

I watch my fair share of television. I have a pretty good grasp on pop culture. But when it comes to reality shows, I tend to stay away from them. (With the exception of competitions on the Food Network, of course.) So it’s more than a little annoying that, when my colleague emailed me a […]

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Six Words: Go!

Looking for something a little different? and our friends at [/holidays/rosh_hashanah_and_yom_kippur/Reflection_Preparing_for_the_High_Holy_Days/]Reb[/url]oot[/url] have teamed up and need your help: They’re seeking “six-word memoirs on the Jewish life.” The best ones will be included in a new book, , out in early 2012. Need some inspiration? Check out the “memoirs” submitted by others or watch the video:  […]

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Still Watching Hanukkah

In the last Hanukkah blog post[/url], I pointed out JWA’s request for progressive, Jewish holiday videos. And they’ve , suggesting that the Fountainhead’s “Light Up The Night” might be the answer: The Jewish federation of Chicago (Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago) took a different approach in their video, asking you to show your “inner […]

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Our December Holiday Survey Results Are In!

Thanks to all of you who responded to our December holidays survey. The results are in! Earlier this morning, we sent out the following press release – let us know what you think of the findings. Do check out that full report, and let us know your thoughts!

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Watching Hanukkah

Some very different videos to start getting you ready for this holiday season. Let’s start with the basics. How do you spell the name of this holiday in English? And what’s the deal with latkes? From the senior citizens at the Los Angeles Jewish Home, some of the more pressing questions of the season: A […]

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On Different Hebrew Pronunciation…

A friend of mine, Amanda, is writing some articles for InterfaithFamily.com, explaining the different ways different people pronounce, translate and transliterate (write with English letters) Hebrew. The first article just went up: The Case of the Missing Sav, and other mysteries in the transition of American Hebrew. But in addition to that, I wanted to […]

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Israelis Should Not Marry Americans, the Netanyahu Edition

Oh, Israel… Seriously? Ed[/url] just came into my office to ask if I’d seen I immediately looked it up, and, well, OY. Basically, the Israeli government wants to convince its citizens to remain in, or return to, Israel. That’s not so bad – most countries likely share that desire. So the government has launched a […]

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In Case You Missed It…

A few interesting articles that you might have missed: 1. Rabbi Bruce Warshal opined on why interfaith families should raise their children in just one religion. Check out Choose One But Not Two Religions[/url]. 2. A clip from Samon Koletkar’s “Mahatma Moses Comedy Tour,” during which he discsusses being a Jew in America. (Warning, he […]

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An Unexpected “Thank You”

A looks at blessings offered, during Yom Kippur services, to non-Jewish spouses helping raise Jewish families. Wow. It’s wonderful to hear such a public thank you as blessing! Has your congregation thanked non-Jewish spouses in a similar way? Does your community have other ways of showing thanks and inclusion? Let us know!

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October News Hodgepodge

It’s been a while since I last blogged in hodgepodge style. With the fall holidays (, , and ) behind us, a new year begun and so many interesting things happening the the Jewish community and wider communities around us, it seemed like a great time to share some interesting articles and blog posts that […]

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They Just Don’t Get It

You know what? Maybe I’ll go out of my way to buy a really expensive lemon, keep it in a box as I walk around town, just to use it as garnish for the fish I’m going to cook. I want to buy a lovely bouquest for my partner, but flowers are just so cliche. […]

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InterfaithFamily.com Named a “Standard Bearer” by Slingshot!

[sup]We're excited and honored to be recognized as a “Standard Bearer” by Slingshot. We just sent out a press release, and thought we'd share it here too, below:[/sup] Contact: Joanna Rothman, joannar@interfaithfamily.com, (617) 581-6804 (Newton, MA) – October 18, 2011 – For the seventh consecutive year, InterfaithFamily.com has been included in , the resource guide […]

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Joyous Yom Kippur

I wasn’t expecting to find many (read: any) Yom Kippur parody music videos. For better or worse, Yom Kippur is seen by many as a solemn, somber, serious holiday. Upbeat spoofs of top 40 songs don’t tend to match that theme. But, and here’s the kicker, the Talmud (a canonical text of Judaism) actually describes […]

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Synagogues, Interfaith Families and Policies – Oh My!

Last month, I blogged about Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El, a Conservative synagogue outside of Philadelphia, that updated its constitution to be more explicitly welcoming of interfaith families. Yesterday, that looked at the more personal side of the decision. They interviewed Kari Kohn, a Presbyterian, who, with her husband, Joshua, is raising two Jewish kids. But […]

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Videos for Rosh Hashanah

If, like me, you’re nowhere near ready for Rosh Hashanah next week, and just need a fun way to get in the holiday mood… or you just want to have a little fun, hear some sweet tunes, and maybe learn a bit along the way… here are some Rosh Hashanah videos to enjoy. Some are […]

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In Other News…

Three stories of interest to readers of InterfaithFamily.com: The new president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, Miriam Scharf, is on the right track. In addition to other goals, like education and resource development, she plans to make : Miriam, if you need any help, we’re here for you and your community. Writing […]

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An American Royal Wedding?

You might . Now, I’m not sure if that’s accurate, but there are some amusing lines in one column in particular. My comments in italics for, hopefully, your amusement.   In all seriousness, this should be a lovely wedding. And not just because the dress code is “black tie with a ‘Western twist.” None of […]

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Conservative Synagogues: a Step in the Right Direction

An article in the looks at the Conservative movement and its “hostile environment” for intermarried couples and families. So why an article now? Congratulations, Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El. I hope other Conservative synagogues take similar first steps. And, let’s hope that this is, in fact, but a first step… Read the .

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Philadelphia: September 19

Do you live in The City of Brotherly Love or nearby? There’s an event happening in a couple weeks that visitors to InterfaithFamily.com might find interesting. InterFaithways: the Interfaith Family Support Network is hosting an event on Monday, September 19th at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. “From Woody Allen to Ben Stiler: Interfaith Relationships Portrayed […]

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“Outing” Celebrity Jews as Jews

We’ve seen these articles before, or heard the rumblings from co-workers or friends. “Did you hear that [famous person] is Jewish?” In our own , the famous are “outed” as having Jewish ancestors on a fairly regular basis. Good questions. Thanks, . The latest new-Jew is Ralph Branca: J.J. Goldberg, who wrote in , suggests […]

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Russian Dolls

has an article out about the (a Brooklyn, New York neighborhood) Jewish, Russian community. Well, the article is really about a new reality tv show called , which airs on Lifetime. summarizes the show with: Sounds delightful, eh? So, back to article, The second half of the article discusses the Jewish identities of the “characters” […]

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Mazal Tov, Chely and Lauren

When our celebrity columnist, Nate Bloom, wrote about , he posited, in an earlier draft, that theirs was the first celebrity, lesbian, interfaith wedding. I wasn’t certain. Much to the amusement of my friend and colleague over at , David Levy, I started googling for proof. I , Perhaps unsurprisingly, googling failed to be helpful. […]

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New Feature for Communities

Coming soon to your community: a new blog! This space will contain posts written by, for and/or about your community, city and region. It will feature posts written just for you, as well as relevant posts written for our , or .

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Community Blogs – Make Invisible

Four tags to populate each of the community pages’ blogs: Chicagoland Atlanta Greater Boston San Fran Bay Area

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Introducing: Yolanda and Arel!

While are off enjoying their honeymoon (mazal tov again!), I’m excited to introduce a new couple to this blog: Presenting, ! They’re eager to get going, blogging and vlogging (that’s video blogging) about their upcoming nuptials. Don’t forget to update your RSS feeds, keep an eye on our tweets and Facebook posts and you won’t […]

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We Need Your Help (We’ll Make It Worthwhile)!

Every now and again, once upon a third blue moon, infrequently*, we turn to our readers and ask for help. We’re not asking for a (though, if you find our resources useful, , share our articles with friends and family, or otherwise want to , we wouldn’t say no to a !), we’re just asking […]

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Our New Parenting Blog!

Coming soon to this very corner of the world wide web, InterfaithFamily.com’s third blog! You’ve seen our , with posts by IFF’s staff about policy, news, advocacy, holidays and more. You’ve seen our , authored by a couple preparing for their interfaith wedding. Now, we’re excited to add our newest, the Parenting blog. This group […]

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Sunday Was a Busy Day for Weddings in New York

As you may recall, we were all too and to help fill one of the 175 requests we get each week to our . This one in particular was for . Their marriage was . Another interfaith, Jewish wedding that also received media attention on Sunday: Avenue Q’s () muppet to his beau. Rabbi Sharon […]

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This Weekend, At Midnight, Under The Chuppah

We excitedly mentioned that we’ve been able to help[/url] Dee and Kate, who will be getting married at 12:01am on Sunday, July 24 (the moment same-sex marriage becomes legal in New York State) . Here’s a video, via , about the happy couple: Mazal tov! As a bonus, we also have an essay that Rabbi […]

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Celebrity Updates: Ivanka and Gwyneth

Despite the frequency with which I blog about them, I actually have little care about celebrities’ lives. But they keep coming up in the news, saying things of relevance to intermarriage, interfaith families, so I guess I’ll have to keep blogging… First, mazal tov to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner on the on July 17. […]

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NY: First Gay Marriage!

It was with great excitement that I heard the news from the New York Senate a few Shabboses ago: ! The bill would come into effect on July 24, 2011. In honor of NY State, we updated our linking to our newly updated . Like many, I started hearing about the colorful plans for weddings, […]

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Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied Picked a Name

I was reviewing my Google Reader before leaving the office this evening, when something caught my eye. Now, at first I thought it was a joke. After all, I’d previously poked fun at the names celebrities give their babies. If you haven’t yet, click that Crushable link for some, uh, interesting celebrity names. But anyway, […]

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Hodgepodge Triad

Time for another roundup of recent articles pertaining directly (or less so) to intermarriage and interfaith families. Take a read and let us know what you think… *** Writing about a recent retreat organized by and the UJA-Federation of New York, Sheila Gordon wrote, She makes some good points. At a retreat on the subject […]

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Birthright and Intermarriage

An article that’s sure to ruffle some feathers. Written by Kiera Feldman, a “baptized child of intermarriage” who went on a Birthright trip in February of 2010, the article, “,” supported by at and appearing in this week’s , examines the mission of Birthright trips. Of relevance to our readers are the discussions about Birthright’s […]

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Mazal Tov, Natalie and Benjamin!

Ok, so the details are vague, but I know you’ve been holding your breath since , if not earlier, waiting, sitting on the edge of your seat… So here you go: According to and other sources, Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied have had their baby! Natalie Portmand and fiancé Benjamin Millepied are “celebrating” the birth […]

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Pride in Welcoming the Stranger

For some, June is known as “.” The were the catalyst for the gay (and, now, LGBTQetc) rights movement both in the US and around the world. Here in Boston, there was both a on Friday night (complete with a ) and the rainy on Saturday. Around North America (and many other regions of the […]

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The Shavuot Hodgepodge

Getting ready for Shavuot[/url], which starts tomorrow night, I thought I’d share some of the interesting, amusing, and helpful tidbits I’ve found online in the last little while. That’s right, it’s time for the Shavuot[/url] Hodgepodge! One of my favorite , , teamed up with to bring us The Ten Commandments – A Song for […]

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A Storahtelling B Mitzvah

Last night, I attended a celebrating . And it was great*. If you’re not familiar with Storahtelling, they’re a ritual theatre company, focusing on bringing the Torah, and Judaism, to wider audiences, making it more accessible and relevant today. I didn’t crib that from their , so allow me to excerpt it here: The event […]

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We Can Help…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYTYX9DlnHI Sarah Silverman, if the unicorn wasn’t Jewish, we could you. Do you know someone who’s looking for a rabbi for their interfaith wedding? Let them know about our , matching couples, individuals and families with Jewish clergy for weddings, bris or baby namings, bar or bat mitzvahs, conversions, counseling*, funerals, and more. [sub]*Sarah, you […]

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Jewish Women’s History Month

In honor of May being , we’re participating in a social media experiment with the . At least once a week, we will be tweeting about something from their that we find interesting. I’m trying to keep the content relevant to the scope of InterfaithFamily.com. So, for the first entry… I enjoy that the entry […]

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Pregnant In Heels: Talk about Religion!

True story: A friend recently came home from visiting her boyfriend’s family and told us about this docu-reality show, , that she’d watched with his mom. We all kind of laughed at the premise (, a “maternity concierge, fashion designer, and pregnancy guru” coaches women through pregnancy in style). But we were assured that Rosie […]

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Passover Hodgepodge the Third

In case the first two Passover blog posts weren’t enough, here’s the third, and final, installment: Gateways: access to Jewish education just announced their Passover resources for kids with special needs. Or, as one employee put it, “a whole lot of ways to help kids who have special needs (or just get bored, or are […]

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The Second Passover Hodgepodge

Ok, so maybe the last Passover Hodgepodge didn’t contain everything-and-the-kitchen-sink Passover, but it had a lot to offer. Still, there was more I could have shared. On the Reform Judaism blog, Ben Dreyfus approaches a seemingly simple question: how many days is Passover, 7 or 8? “When does Pesach end? Why do some calendars say […]

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The Passover Hodgepodge

It’s been a while since I’ve rounded up some favorite links, but what better excuse than Passover? There’s something for everybody! Let’s start with . For your convenience, you can now get Passover standards (matzah, a seder plate and grape juice) packaged with Easter treats (candy, chocolate bunnies and Easter cookies). Sweets aren’t your thing? […]

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Your Name In Lights!

Given our readership, I thought this might appeal to some of you. And you might know of others who would be interested: is casting for a new show on a major cable network. They’re looking for people who are dealing with their in-laws about cultural/religion issues. It’s a 6 day commitment; the family comes together […]

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Why It Matters

We spend a lot of time talking, writing, thinking about the whole “who is a Jew” debate around here.  It’s important, in the context of an organization that welcomes and advocates for interfaith families in the Jewish community, to encourage inclusivity in the definition.  Why? Because when a Jewish person chooses to marry someone who […]

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Gwyneth Paltrow Discovers Her Roots

Our celebrity columnist, , just gave us a head’s up: This Friday’s episode of will follow Gwyneth Paltrow’s exploration of her Jewish ancestry. The tells us, And, You can read the full article . Or watch the trailer for the Friday, April 1 episode .

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On Dame Elizabeth Taylor z”l and Conversion

Yesterday, the world lost an actress, an activist and a humanitarian when died, at age 79. She was really one of the first people in the public eye to take on the AIDS epidemic and embrace those living with HIV and AIDS. She took some of the fear away, and led a fight that still […]

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Japan

If, like me, you’ve been watching the news coming out of , I’m sure your thoughts and are with the Japanese people. In looking for ways to help I did what many have done: I googled. A informed me that the Jewish community, largely based in Tokyo, was spared (due in large part to distance […]

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Slacker Hamantashen

Our friends at JewishBoston.com have been hard at work. Well, as “hard at work” as “slackers” can be. You see, they’ve come up with the simplest hamantaschen recipe ever. It’s so simple, all you need are two ingredients. Seriously. It’s great for making hamantaschen at your office (as they did) or in a dorm room. […]

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TribeFest

I’m at the Las Vegas airport, waiting to return to Boston. I’m exhausted. was exhausting. But in good way! 1280 people. Three days. Numerous sessions on a wide range of topics presented by diverse speakers. Musicians and performers. And, this being Vegas, free drinks at every turn.  I was there representing InterfaithFamily.com. We had a […]

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Sheen and Galliano are… Jewish?

Wait, what? Now we find out that Charlie Sheen and John Galliano are… Jewish? .

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Natalie Portman, Hadassah and Dior

Though their website doesn’t mention it (yet?), just sent out a press release: It continues… So here’s the question I pose to The Jewish Establishment in general: are we now acknowledging that Jews who have interfaith families () can be Jewish leaders? Great! Good to know that denouncing anti-semitism is all it takes to have […]

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Charlie Sheen

I admit it: I’m the last person to follow a story about Charlie Sheen. The truth is, I just don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me that his personal life is a mess; that it’s creating a mess in his professional life, though I do feel sorry for the rest of the cast and crew […]

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How Welcoming is “Welcoming”?

On Monday, the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (of the Conservative/Masorti Movement) posted a explaining the importance of having a welcoming website. Aimed at synagogues, the video was publicized by an email sent out by the FJMC. What’s interesting about the video (and email) is that it never explicitly states something like, “synagogue websites should […]

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Are we trendy?

I’m going to TribeFest, March 6-8 in Las Vegas. We’ll be giving a and will be set up in the . We hope to see you there! Meanwhile, ran . Which wasn’t a big deal, except I found one part noteworthy: Given that TribeFest is trying to be hip and cool (see above reference to […]

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What They Brought Back

We’re on a bit of a Birthright kick today. Have you seen this new anthology, ?  Edited by Wayne Hoffman, it’s a collection of essays by folks who have gone on Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. And it’s not just a look at what happened during their 10-day trip. Rather, it looks at what was happening in […]

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Justin Bieber: Honorary Jew?

We’re talking, of course, about Justin Bieber saying the Shema before each of his concerts. But the Biebs isn’t Jewish. His mother, a single parent, is an Evangelical Christian. Before concerts, Bieber and his crew would form a prayer circle. His manager, “Scooter” Braun, and his music director, Dan Kanter, are Jewish. If you have […]

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House, MD

How did I miss this when it originally aired? I was watching a backlog of episodes, when I came to the episode , which originally aired on January 17, 2011. I was impressed by the interfaith dating questions that came up. For those who don’t know. Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Jewish, played by Lisa Edelstein) is […]

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Hodge Podge!

There’s been a lot of talk, of late, about intermarriage, interfaith Jews and the eternal “who is a Jew” debate. Some of it was spurred by the attack on Rep. Giffords, and the Jewish community’s near unanimous response that, yes, she is Jewish. (See, for example, Julie Wiener’s recent column in , ) But that […]

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Tu Bishvat

[/url] is just a few days away, a one day holiday starting Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, at sundown. It’s a minor holiday and, as such, I think it gets lost among the bigger, better known holidays. But there’s a lot to it – and it’s a great way to gather friends and family in your […]

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Debbie Friedman z”l

Today’s just not a happy day to be blogging. On Saturday, while people were hearing news of the Arizona shooting[/url], some of us were saying a (a ) for Debbie Friedman, who was quite ill. Then on Sunday, we heard the sad news that Friedman had passed away. Friedman was best known as a Jewish […]

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Gabrielle Giffords

This weekend, tragedy unfolded when a gunman opened fire in front of a grocery store in Tucson, Ariz. Six people were killed and 14 others were wounded, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords was the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona state Senate, and then in 2007 became the third Arizona woman ever to […]

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Introducing Our New Couple!!

For those of you who have been around a while, you’ll remember that we’ve had interfaith couples blogging about their wedding preparations, and the ceremony itself, from time to time. The last couple to blog was Lulu and Alx, and you can scroll down to look back on all of that. But this blog has […]

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12 Days of Hodgepodge

Let’s just call this a random hodgepodge. A bunch of stuff came across my desk (or over the that make up the internet) this week that were too interesting not to share: Step aside Chelsea Clinton and Mark Mevinsky, here comes ! Yup, the grandaughter of former President George H. W. Bush, and niece of […]

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Outdated and Offensive Views

You might be wondering how much mileage we can get from Ed’s session at the GA. Ed recently , and we’ve told you about the . But there’s just so much to say… And we’re not the only ones who think so. In her latest column, , Julie Wiener looks at the arguments against intermarriage. […]

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Take a Break

It’s that busy time of the year (is there ever not a busy time of the year?). Hanukkah’s over but we’re still celebrating the December holidays with friends and family, colleagues and communities. You need a break, we need a break, time for a hodgepodge of links. Happy reading! Take a break… In , Edgar […]

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And on the Shabbat of Hanukkah…

Because there are still six more nights to fill… Hanukkah hodgepodge: part deux! From the folks at Jewcy, : songs about fire, donuts, potatoes, candles and gelt. Today we posted a historic essay about Hanukkah in the new United States[/url]. If you want more American history, the 92nd Street Y has a post about . […]

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For the first night of Hanukkah…

So. Much. Hanukkah. With the festival of lights starting this evening (are you ready to light the menorah? Check out , below, if you’re unsure or just want a refresher), this week I’m bringing you a Hanukkah hodgepodge. Let’s start with the folks at BBYO/Panim, who have a great new resource. links the history of […]

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Marriage in Israel: Civil Unions and Couples Sought!

Recently, Israel created civil unions as a marriage option. However, they’re only an option if neither partner is Jewish. Which means that, for the first time in Israel, people without religious affiliation can get married. According to the , civil unions have Currently, Israelis intermarry by getting married abroad (often in Cyprus) then returning to […]

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Life Cycle Innovations

A couple recent articles relating to Jewish life-cycle events caught my eye. For starters, we learned about a  piece looking at birth ceremonies. Specifically: Fantastic! I then learned of virtual bar mitzvah studies via the : It was interesting but it’s too bad that they focused on the downside of group learning – or highlighted […]

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Interfaith Hodgepodge

There’s been a lot going on around here lately, and I haven’t had a chance to give you all a proper blog post. To tide you over, a quick roundup of interfaith goings on! Andi Rosenthal, frequent writer for us at IFF, has her first book out. Check out a . A local cemetery is […]

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Representing Interfaith Families at the GA

If you’re like me, the closest you got to the General Assembly in New Orleans was your . I knew when our CEO, Ed Case, took the stage . Great! So if you’re curious to hear what was said about interfaith families, interfaith inclusion, at the largest gathering of the North American Jewish community, look […]

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[Guest Post] PresenTense NYC Fellowship

You may know that founding InterfaithFamily.com as an independent non-profit was the brilliant idea of its CEO, Ed Case. But did you know that Ed had a 22 year career in law before he decided to focus full time on interfaith issues? We never know where good ideas come from, but we do know that […]

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Intercultural Adoption

The Boston Jewish Film Festival is underway, running November 3-14. There are a couple screenings of particular interest to interfaith families, or those interested in interfaith and/or intercultural issues. We reviewed a couple already, and are pleased to tell you about another one now. is a stirring documentary about one family’s cross-cultural adoption of their […]

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Young Jewish Leaders Less Concerned About Intermarriage

“Jewish leaders younger than 40 aren’t as bent out of shape about intermarriage as their older colleagues.” That’s how , introduced for blog post about a recent finding in the study . Fishkoff continued, summarizing the finding as: If that is how young Jewish leaders feel, you can imagine how non-leaders feel. If you want […]

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Welcoming All Jews

My colleague, , sent me a rather… disheartening link today. Seems the folks over at the are wondering, “” Working for an that largely serves Reform, Conservative, and unaffiliated Jews (though we certainly are a resource to some Orthodox too), she wondered what happens when the types of Jews we serve, and non-Jews too, come […]

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Interfaith Couples on the BJFF Big Screen

The Boston Jewish Film Festival is right around the corner – November 3-14. There are a couple screenings of particular interest to interfaith families, or those interested in interfaith and/or intercultural issues. The first is the film , a documentary about, and by, Ulrik Gutkin. Through conversations with his wife, Signe, we learn that Ulrik, […]

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Slingshot: InterfaithFamily.com Named One of Most Innovative Jewish Nonprofits

has been named one of the nation’s in for Jewish innovation. Since 2005, has become the definitive guide to identifying path-finding and trailblazing organizations grappling with concerns in Jewish life such as identity, community, tradition, and basic needs. InterfaithFamily.com is also one of only ten organizations to receive a capacity building grant from the Slingshot […]

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Community Inclusivity

In recent weeks, the Jewish Standard received more than they probably ever expected. And rightly so: they hurt, and excluded  from their newspaper/community, part of our Jewish community. It’s refreshing to be able to report on another Jewish community newspaper that not only has come out with their inclusive policies but has had their policy […]

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From Mormon to Jew

New kid on the blog has a new post up, written by Mayim Bialik. You might remember her from – she played the title role. You might now notice her on , playing the deliciously nerdy (and stealthily modestly dressed) to . She’s written about her husband Mike’s conversion to Judaism. He was raised a […]

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Spiritual Journeys

An interesting article appeared in the most recent edition of our local Jewish newspaper, , outlining the interfaith, interreligious, intercultural practices of one of our community members. Wow. That’s quite a commitment! He and his interfaith family are members at Temple Israel in Boston, where his three daughters, who were raised Jewish, all had bat […]

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