Scarlett Johansson Wins Tony Award

It’s a strange side effect of working here at InterfaithFamily.com, but I’ve come to follow many of the careers of actors who are adult children of interfaith marriage–and to root for them. I have a particular soft spot for Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the Harry Potter movies, who is only 21, and Scarlett Johansson, […]

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The Text in Them

The artist behind www.talmud.comics.net, Yonah Lavery, got in touch with her fans in North America last night. She has been in Jerusalem studying Talmud (what else?) all year, and just got married! Now she’s Yonah Lavery-Israeli. I was so happy for her. I was even more happy for myself because she sent along a blog […]

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Back to Poland

The ran a feature story by Mladen Petrov , “Poles Create Images That Say ‘I Miss You, Jew’”. It’s about an art project conducted by a Warsaw ad executive, Rafal Betlejewski. On the front page of the paper is a person sitting in a chair in Lodz, where my best friend’s grandmother grew up–next to […]

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Religious Custody

I probably shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was by Brad Hirschfield’s piece in the Los Angeles, “Who Gets Religious Custody in an Interfaith Divorce?” Rabbi Hirschfield was writing about the Reyes divorce, the case of the Chicago couple whose public battle over their child’s religious upbringing made the news several times. He wrote, […]

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And Baby Makes More

[float=left][/float]I’ve been waiting for this! Susan Goldberg, who has written some beautiful and moving pieces for IFF, edited a book, with Chloë Brushwood Rose, called .  The book has been available in Canada for some months now, and is finally being released in the US. If you live in New York and this is an […]

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The Jewish Days and Nights of Adrienne Rich

I received a review copy of , a slim volume of Adrienne Rich’s prose. Like many people who went to college in the 1980s, I read–and mostly failed to understand–Rich’s poetry in classes. In the 1990s, I went to hear her speak and was surprised that she identified as a Jew–my professors had never talked […]

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Up and Dancing in Circles

I just loved this piece I heard on NPR last night about Abraham Inc., a joint project of classical clarinetist Dave Krakauer, funk trombone player Fred Wesley Jr. (who backed James Brown and Parliament Funkadelic, among others) and one of my favorite young musicians, hip-hop/klezmer maestro DJ Socalled, the performance name of Josh Dolgin. I […]

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Tell It

I was very excited when I found Jennifer Thompson, a young academic who did an ethnographic study of interfaith families in Atlanta–I have an article she wrote just for IFF here in my hot little hand. Don’t miss the great op-ed piece she wrote for The Forward, Look Who’s Raising Jewish Children. She hits one […]

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Children of Hidden Jews

I saw a short item, “Polish-language guide to Shavuot distributed.” An organization called Shavei Israel which does outreach to people with Jewish roots or ancestry around the world, prepared the pamphlet. Children of hidden Jews are, for the most part, children of interfaith marriages. In the Polish case this looks nothing at all like interfaith […]

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Resources on Jewish Ethics

I’m gearing up to teach at Jewish Spirituality Resource Guide.  I wound up writing a lot about how Jewish ethics fit into Jewish spirituality. You can have a lot more discussion of ethical than spiritual questions in a class setting, I find. The Jewish Publication Society has created a new website to accompany their new […]

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Lena Horne Dies at Age 92

Lena Horne died yesterday in New York. She was a legendary singer and actress, most famous for her signature song, “Stormy Weather.” In addition to her work in Hollywood films and on the stage as a singer, Horne was a public activist for civil rights, a near life-time member of the NAACP and a participant […]

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A Spirit of Optimism

It’s Mother’s Day and I’m thinking about my job. A lot of what we do here is give advice, a lot of our readers are moms, and I have one child who is only 7. Many women my age have more children and have been moms longer. Sometimes I wonder how I have the chutzpah, […]

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Work-Arounds

How should synagogues and Jewish communities in general welcome interfaith families? Julie Wiener wrote a blog post about the article we featured today, Debbie Burton’s “Speaking as a (Non-)Jewish Parent”–about not speaking at her daughter’s bat mitzvah. Wiener wrote: Not allowing non-Jewish parents, particularly ones who’ve been supportive of their children’s Jewish upbringing, to participate […]

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When It Counts–More On Obama and the Census

Elizabeth Chang wrote in an op-ed in the last week, “Why Obama should not have checked ‘black’ on his census form,” Although I knew Obama self-identifies as African American, I was disappointed when I read that that’s what he checked on his census form. The federal government, finally heeding the desires of multiracial people to […]

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One Way to Get It Right and a signal boost

How great to see another model of Jewish-Catholic intermarriage in a Chicago newspaper. Alexa Aguilar’s piece, Two Faiths Can Join To Make a Happy Family in the Chicago Tribune today, provides a welcome contrast to the debacle of the Reyes case, in which a divorcing couple fought over their child’s religious practice. Aguilar writes: My […]

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Shakshuka and Anne Frank

It’s lovely to see sunny Tori Avey, who wrote a great piece on how to run a Passover seder for us, telling the story of her Journey From Shiksa to Shakshuka in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. She is one of my favorite finds of the last few months–like a younger, American apprentice to Claudia […]

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Fusion Cuisine Preserves Culture

I love . I bought his cookbook, , and it helped me restore my energy for cooking and new recipes. Sometimes I feel like ethnic authenticity and my food needs as a Jewish vegetarian are at war, and Terry’s approach to both cuisines and food ethics are a breath of fresh air. He calls it […]

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History of Jewish Intermarriage

I read the blog On the Main Line, even though I can never figure out how to justify it. It’s not like this Jewish history blogger who posts such diverse reproductions of primary sources is ever going to cover interfaith marriage, right? Most of my Jewish blogs eventually have posts I can use on this […]

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Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. Zik Daniel, whom I follow on Twitter,  linked to a Carl Sagan video. It’s Sagan reading his speech, “The Pale Blue Dot.” Yes, Carl Sagan was Jewish. He was also a true agnostic about God, a skeptic and a secular person. Nevertheless, the videos circulating on the internet with his speeches […]

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Yes That

What should we do about divorce in interfaith families? Two people who are always smart about interfaith family issues, Laurel Snyder, the editor of the book and Julie Wiener, a Jewish journalist writing on interfaith marriage for the , have written recently about outreach strategies and the Reyes divorce case. They said some things that […]

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About The New Busy

Wow, I really hate this new Hotmail ad campaign. I noticed and loathed it for the first time yesterday on a poster in a bus shelter in Boston, a big green field with the words, “THE NEW BUSY THINK 9 TO 5 IS A CUTE IDEA” in white letters. Now, there are a lot of […]

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Meaningful Spiritual Practices and New Translation of Psalms

I have often felt uncomfortable with the word spiritual. It’s usually used in a way that makes me feel inferior, because I don’t know if my experiences measure up. I mean, I get a lot out of traditional Jewish practice, like prayer and making blessings and doing mitzvot and stuff like that, but I can’t […]

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Because Some People Like Dancing

I’m reading the short excerpt from Elie Kaunfer’s book Empowered Judaism in the New York Jewish Week of April 9. The excerpt begins with this: The false crisis — declining Jewish continuity, caused by assimilation and an intermarriage rate of 52 percent — has become the rallying cry of institutional Judaism. But fundamentally, it is […]

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Gloria Steinem on her Jewish background

Back in the dark ages before the internet, when I was a senior in high school, in 1983, I had the opportunity to interview Gloria Steinem. Even though I’d been reading , the mainstream feminist magazine  Steinem founded, since I was in the 6th grade, I had no idea what to ask her. In those […]

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Biracial Identity and the Census

I admire Adam Serwer–I follow him on Twitter and read his work on The American Prospect website. I really like what he had to say here on Barack Obama’s choice to identify as black on the US Census. Obama could have chosen to identify with both sides of his family, as Serwer and others have. […]

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Malcolm McClaren Dies

I had no idea that Malcolm McClaren, a key personality in the punk movement, was Jewish. McClaren, who died yesterday at the age of 64, was apparently the child of an interfaith family: a Scottish dad and a Jewish mom. He was raised by his Sephardi grandmother, Rose Isaacs, whom he identified as a key […]

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The Infidel and Other Jokes

My coworker sent us all the link to the trailer for , a new comedy by Anglo-Jewish writer David Baddiel. The film, which premiered in London last night, stars the British Iranian comedian Omid Djalili as a Muslim cab driver from the East End who discovers that he was adopted and that his birth family […]

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Judith Shulevitz on the Sabbath

It’s still Passover and I’m still processing the experience of my family seder, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to link you to two pieces about a new book by Judith Shulevitz, . I’m delighted to see that Rebecca Neuberger Goldstein, who wrote the fantastic recent book on Spinoza and Jewish identity, did the […]

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One More Passover Roundup Post

I think it was Jewschool that tipped me off to the Idelsohn Society Passover Mix Tape. It’s not a tape, really, it’s a sound file with all kinds of music on it. It has Socalled on it and I really love that stuff. (It’s a little hipster-ish, but we like to be hip, right?) If […]

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Freedom

Julia Gutman wrote two articles about her intercultural relationship for InterfaithFamily.com, Does OK Really Mean OK? and Momo and Matzoh: Our Tibetan-Jewish Marriage. She sent me a press release that begins: FREE TIBET WORLD TOUR: MAN PLUS BIKE TO SAVE TIBET IN 8 MONTHS A Tibetan American Goes Solo, Leaves Job, Family, to Alert World […]

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Good Things for Passover Roundup

We are gearing up for the holidays here at IFF, planning travel for Passover and Easter, and doing a little last-minute brainstorming about how to make our seders more accessible. At home, my family is getting stressed out (about the cleaning) and excited (about the seder.) I’ve been following TweetTheExodus on Twitter. My husband found […]

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How do you feel about this?

We received an email from a company that is selling Hebrew prayer flags. I’ve seen prayer flags in my neighborhood–they are a Buddhist spiritual practice that originated in Tibetan culture. One reason I feel uncomfortable about this tradition is that I think it’s cultural appropriation. How is it that we have the right to take […]

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Challah Day

I baked challah last night. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo–I did some cool braiding. I made the first recipe in the wonderful , by Maggie Glezer. Glezer collected recipes, mainly from Jewish grandmothers, for holiday and festival breads. I’ve learned a lot since I started baking from it. I wanted to bake again […]

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London Jewish Museum reopens

The Jewish community of Great Britain is a cultural powerhouse, I can’t even summarize all the great stuff that has come out of it. It’s the Jewish community responsible for the first Limmud, Aviva Zornberg, Neil Gaiman, Claudia Roden, Harold Pinter, Julian Sinclair, Martyn Poliakoff, Susan Edni, and so many other amazing people in arts, […]

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New Passover Books and Web Stuff

It wasn’t one of the plagues of Egypt–they expected the Nile to flood, and relied on the alluvial mud for agriculture–but floods are hard on Bostonians. One of the roads I travel to work has been closed and commuters are wailing and gnashing their teeth. It’s a good thing most of my work is online! […]

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Passover Prep Lists–Lay Them On Us

I am editing the recipes we received for our Passover recipe contest and attempting to digest my lunch. See, I have this great plan–I’m going to try to use up all the non-Passover food, all the non-leavened food–all the hametz–before I make our house kosher-for-Passover. The problem is, that means eating a lot of mystery […]

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Just say no

I’ve been working for weeks on a blog post to put all the conversion hysteria in the Jewish world into some kind of context. Yesterday I spent an hour trying to work the latest news from Israel into the whole complicated, world-wide, cross-denominational mess. I realized it’s taking too long and I just need to […]

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Reform Movement Task Force on Intermarriage Reports

Our CEO Ed Case is attending the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) in San Francisco. The CCAR is the rabbinic association of the Reform movement. I look forward to his opinions on the presentation of the CCAR task force on intermarriage. News reports, including this one in the suggest a slight shift on the […]

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Sabbath Mode

Several people whom I know happened to be purchasing new stoves or ovens, and asked me, “What does it mean that the appliance has a Sabbath mode?” I knew what it was, even though my oven [float=left][/float]doesn’t have it! My current oven isn’t very useful for Shabbat observance, since it shuts off after a few […]

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Rebecca Reyes Tells Her Side of the Story

At InterfaithFamily.com we have posted previously about Rebecca and Joseph Reyes’ divorce and custody battle in Chicago, which could have implications for other interfaith couples divorcing. Joseph Reyes had agreed to raise his daughter Ela as a Jew and had indeed converted to Judaism himself. When the marriage broke up, Joseph Reyes brought the child […]

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Purim is Upon Us

I’m way behind on my Purim prep. Yes, I made hamantashen, last night, but I’m still writing my chapter of the Purimspiel, which will be performed on the eve of Purim–Saturday night! My husband is making my son’s costume. (I cannot tell you what my son wants to be for Purim, or I will start […]

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Stand Up and Be Counted Part Two–Jewish Library in Jerusalem of Lithuania

Last July, I blogged about Wyman Brent’s efforts to start a Jewish library in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Vilnius, known as Vilna in Yiddish, was a center of Jewish life. Many Jewish families who live in the US are descendants of Jews from Lithuania. As Brent explains, The purpose of the Vilnius Jewish Library […]

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Stand Up and Be Counted Part One–US Census 2010

You may wonder why I’m making a post about the 2010 US Census. As a non-profit organization, InterfaithFamily.com relies heavily on sociological and demographic research to prove that we’re needed and that what we do is meeting our goals as an organization. Probably the research that did the most for our founding was the National […]

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No More Rubber Cement!

This is amazing. I knew something like this was going to be invented, but I’m still blown away. IFF’s partner and friend, BBYO (the organization formerly known as   Bnai Brith Youth Organization) sent out a press release about their new resource, buildaprayer.org. It’s a website where people can put together their own Jewish services […]

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Be Happy

Do you celebrate your birthday on the Jewish calendar?  February, in addition to Valentine’s Day and Purim, two great holidays for interfaith couples, happens to contain my son’s and my husband’s birthdays. My son was born on the first day of Jewish month of Adar, the month in which Purim falls, which is traditionally a […]

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The Real World Without the Communal Showers

Did you see the New York Times piece about Moishe House, “The Four Bedroom Kibbutz”? It made us at InterfaithFamily.com pretty happy, since we’re friends, as an organization, with Moishe House, as an organization. (Which is not the same thing as being friends on Facebook, or anything like that. No, it just means that our […]

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Bringing Home the Bacon

How many interfaith families keep kosher? I have no idea, because I’m never sure what “kosher” means in that sentence. I mean, yeah, I know, it means appropriate or fitting, and it refers to food prepared according to laws set forth in Leviticus and enumerated over centuries by the rabbinic legal process. A kosher meal […]

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Glad I am Not a Werewolf and Can Eat Fruit

In the Hebrew school parking lot on Wednesday night, my son and I witnessed another little boy howling at the moon. “Sure glad I’m not a Jewish werewolf,” I said to my kid. “You would miss all the holidays.” It’s true–the Hebrew calendar assures that many Jewish holidays fall on the full moon, including Passover, […]

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Salinger dies at age 91

J.D. Salinger, author of Catcher in the Rye, died at age 91 in his home in Cornish, N.Y. I read his books many times in high school and college, especially Franny and Zooey, the novel that spoke the most about the experience of a spiritual seeker who is the child of a Christian mom and […]

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Privilege

Robin Margolis, an activist for children of interfaith marriage in the Jewish community who has written for us at IFF, has been posting about the issues adult children of intermarriage face in the community on Jewcy.com. In her latest piece, Why Many Jewish Outreach Workers Ignore Half-Jewish People, she creates a list of all the […]

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Abraham Sutzkever

There’s a song that plays in my head whenever I learn that one of my heroes has died. “They are falling all around me/the strongest leaves on my tree. Every paper brings the news that/the teachers of my life are moving on.”–Bernice Johnson Reagon Abraham Sutzgever died at the age of 96 on January 20. […]

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Fear of Disappearing

The ran a piece on the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s 2009 “Jewish Population Study of Greater Philadelphia.” Apparently Philadelphia’s Jewish community has a high rate of interfaith marriage and a low rate of people in those marriages deciding to raise Jewish children. In the greater Philadelphia area, 45 percent for Jews under 40 marry […]

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Where to Donate to Help Haiti

If you are looking for a way to do something about the massive human suffering of the people of Haiti in the wake of the earthquake there, there are many organizations providing aid to Haiti that are accepting donations. A group with a long history in the country is Partners in Health. They provide community-based […]

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Lighten Up Dude

I have been stewing over how to blog about the Eternal Jewish Family conversion scandal which I have been following on Twitter and on Failed Messiah since it broke. (If you follow the link, you can read the excellent take at Tablet Magazine on the story.) I just didn’t know how to deal with yet […]

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Songs of Praise

I’ve been trying to remember to blog about any project that highlights the culture of non-Ashkenazi Jewish communities. I’m sure we have some readers from those communities, and we also get a lot of readers in families of Ashkenazi Jews married to people from other cultures. It feels good when you’re raising a child in […]

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More News on the Catholic-Jewish Relations Issue

The current Pope has signed a decree heroic virtues for two previous popes: his predecessor, John Paul II, and  Pius XII, who was pope during the Second World War. This is one step before beatification. Predictably, some Jews have already pointed out why they wouldn’t make Pius XII a saint–most historians believe he did little […]

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Bicultural Delights

I’m always on the lookout for projects that combine Jewish culture with other cultures. I know people in interfaith families are sometimes delighted seeing the two or more cultures they share in their family blend together in works of art or on stage. (Or in cookbooks, I know you agree that cookbooks are a great […]

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Cooking Up New Traditions

My husband found this blog, Sephardic Food, where culinary expert Janet Amateau posts Sephardi  cultural lore and recipes. Some of the blog posts are in Spanish because Amateau lives in Spain. I’ve been meaning to tell you about it, because I know a lot of our readers want Sephardi recipes, and these are great–with great […]

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Race and the Future of Jewishness

In the January 11 Newsweek, which published on the web yesterday, Ellis Cose has a piece called Race: The Future of Whiteness in America. It’s a complex piece, about more than one thing of interest to me in my work here: the shifting definitions of who is white, the increase in intermarriage between groups that […]

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No More Outreach?

Why are programs and activities created especially for interfaith families called “outreach”? A blogger whom I’ve been following since I started my job here at InterfaithFamily.com referred to this rhetorical strategy as “symbolic violence”–a way of articulating the idea that good Jews are on the inside and interfaith relationships are on the outside. Why, she […]

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Hanukkah Dark or Light

David Brooks wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times, The Hanukkah Story. He finds the story of the Hasmonean ascendancy which Hanukkah celebrates troubling and ambiguous. It’s a surprising position from Brooks, who identifies as a conservative. (That’s with a small c–I don’t know whether he’s also a Conservative Jew) though he also […]

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Parenting Blogs and Hanukkah Presents

Our friend Kali Foxman is editing a new Combined Jewish Philanthropies parenting newsletter and wrote me for more ideas about Jewish parenting blogs. If you live in the Boston area and would like to get a listing of all Jewish family events, plus recipes and book recommendations, please go to CJP Family Connections and sign […]

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JFS Case Settled and Jewish Community Unsettled

We’ve posted before on the British Jewish school court case, first when the Court of Appeals ruled that JFS, the largest Jewish high school in Europe, couldn’t exclude a boy whose mother was a non-Orthodox convert, and then when the British Supreme court was ruling on the case. Now the British Supreme Court has returned […]

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Tis the Season for Articles about Interfaith Families

It’s been hard to keep up with our Google feed, because during December nearly every publication wants to cover the story of interfaith families dealing with Christmas and Hanukkah. For example, Mindy Pollak-Fusi had a piece in the Boston Globe, Merry Happy, about how she and her husband and their children from previous marriages negotiate […]

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Hanukkah Goodies Including GIANT LATKES

It’s time for another Hanukkah blog post! All month I’m going to be doing links to IFF writers’ blogs, and through the end of Hanukkah I’m providing Hanukkah resources and (hopefully) entertaining videos. It’s been a few years since rabbinical student and poet Rachel Bahrenblat last wrote for IFF, but she contributed some beautiful articles […]

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Hanukkah Pancake Post

I am happy to report that I’ve upgraded my RSS reader to Google, so that I actually get all the blogs I’m trying to follow. I was really frustrated because my old RSS reader dropped and caused me to miss Aaron Kagan’s post about the food at his wedding on his blog Tea and Food. […]

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Hanukkah is Gonna Be All Right

A lot of my blogging this December is going to fall into three categories: embedding gratuitously entertaining Hanukkah videos, linking you to Hanukkah resources, and promoting the blogs of our writers. This post does all three. First, I think everyone should read Amy Meltzer’s blog Homeshuling (and that I should get more writing from her […]

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Chelsea Clinton to Marry

Chelsea Clinton has been dating Marc Mezvinsky since before her mother was on the campaign trail for the Democratic nomination. This weekend they announced their engagement. Clinton is the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Mezvinsky, who is Jewish, is son of former Rep. Ed Mezvinsky and former […]

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Jewish Book Month

Ah, Jewish Book Month is nearly over! Of course in my house, it’s always Jewish Book Month. Not that everything I read is a Jewish book–no, in fact I’m currently rereading all the Marilynne Robinson novels, which are all about the role of Protestant Christianity in American society.  The resonant biblical language thrilled me, I […]

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My Cleveland Talk on Youtube

I gave a talk at Cleveland’s Siegal College on November 2, and they took video, which they’ve posted to Youtube. I made a playlist so you can watch the whole thing–gesticulations and all. It was a general talk on the state of interfaith families in the Jewish community, and most of the time was devoted […]

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Children of Interfaith Marriage, We Love You, Come Over for Lunch

Robin Margolis wrote a fantastic blog entry for Jewcy.com, What Do Half-Jewish People Want From the Jewish Establishment? It’s an eye-opener. Well, not to me, actually, because I’ve been working here at InterfaithFamily.com and it’s finally started to dawn on me after reading repeated shocking stories that the Jewish community is doing a terrible job […]

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Movie Review: Leap of Faith

We ran a review today of , and I wanted to also be sure to give you a chance to see the review I wrote for the a feature story about another film in the festival, . The Boston Jewish Film Festival is still going on. In general I think of Jewish film festivals as […]

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Interfaith Family Issues Hit the Big Time

Well, we like to think we’re the big time here at InterfaithFamily.com, but you’ll probably agree that the Washington Post is a bigger venue for discussions of issues that affect interfaith families. The introductory article has a link to an interview with Cokie and Steve Roberts, two well-known journalists in a Catholic-Jewish interfaith marriage. I […]

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The Anglo-Jewish School Case, Revisited

Over the summer, we blogged about a British Court of Appeals decision that involves the British government in the question of who is a Jew. In short, a student applied to London’s JFS (formerly the Jews Free School, largest Jewish school in Europe) and was rejected on the grounds that his mother’s conversion to Judaism […]

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Either the Worst or the Best Thing–We Choose

Paul Golin, associate executive director at thinks Golin’s statistics are “not good news”–because they assert that more Jews in North America are intermarrying than she realized. It may be that the Brandeis Birthright Israel study is methodologically flawed–though frankly, I’m a historian and I often find it challenging to believe in the causal relationships that […]

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Latino Jews

One of our writers, Franklin Velazquez, started a new group on InterfaithFamily.com’s network for Latino Jews. I thought this was a good excuse to point you to some articles and resources we have on the site for Latino Jews, and maybe to attract members to the group and writers for the site. Velazquez wrote The […]

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My Talk In Cleveland

I went to Cleveland to speak at the Siegal College of Judaic Studies about the current state of interfaith families in the Jewish community. I grew up in Cleveland and my mom earned a second BA in Hebrew Literature and a Master’s in Hebrew Literature at Siegal College back in the 1970s when it was […]

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I have news for you

I have a few links for you and the first one is an interview with me. I know, it seems a bit solipsistic, but it’s kind of exciting to be , the Cleveland Jewish News. They interviewed me because I’m going to be speaking on Monday night at Siegal College of Jewish Studies about interfaith […]

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First, the good news

I have a backlog of interfaith-family related news stories to cover on the blog, but I think I’d like to do the pleasant stories first. Sue Fishkoff published a new feature with JTA, Jews of Color come together to explore identity. It discusses a recent gathering sponsored by Bechol Lashon, a San Francisco organization for […]

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Why We Help Interfaith Couples Find Rabbis

InterfaithFamily.com has a Clergy Officiation Referral Service. Here’s why. According to the last National Jewish Population Survey, about 47% of Jewish people getting married in the United States are marrying people who aren’t Jewish. Before 1970, only about 17% of US Jews married non-Jews. In the past, when Jews married non-Jews, the Jewish community interpreted […]

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Can We Talk?

I was very happy to see a report on Beliefnet that the US Council of Catholic Bishops apologized to Jewish leaders for “feelings of hurt.” This wasn’t a fauxpology either. They actually spelled out, “Jewish-Catholic dialogue… has never been, and will never be, used by the Catholic Church as a means of proselytism, nor is […]

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Sukkot, Holiday of Welcome

I cannot believe that Sukkot starts tonight and I have nothing cooked. I’m afraid that I’m going to be bringing a bag of unpeeled carrots to the potluck at our Havurah. At least I don’t have to feel guilty that I didn’t help build the sukkah. My son loves to build things so he was […]

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Not the Way to Do It

We’ve been following the case of an Illinois dentist and his wife, Max and Erla Feinberg, who put into his will that his grandchildren would only inherit his money if they married Jews. The grandchildren sued their parents over the will. The Illinois Supreme Court just overturned two lower court decisions, and ruled that who […]

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Perfect Book for the Days of Awe

I love how some people want to generously include the whole world in their greetings on Rosh Hashanah. It makes me smile to see people greet each other on person and on the internet. Now we’re in the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur called the Days of Awe. The traditional greeting for this […]

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More to Love About Interfaith Dating

This morning our COO Heather Martin came in to work excited about a positive portrayal of an interfaith relationship on , a reality television show on Fox. The bachelor on the show, Luke, had his choice of several pretty, zaftig women. (Zaftig is a Yiddish word that means “juicy.”) He chose Tali, an Israeli woman. […]

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A New Year With You In It Will Be Happy

My dear friend contacted me this past week and asked, When you get some time in the next week, will you share with me some of your holiday traditions and things? I feel like I’m trying to build a Jewish family from basically scratch here, and need some help with ways to make  in terms […]

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Positive Examples

“I’m a positive person,” my 6-year-old told me. He is! During this month of Elul before Rosh Hashanah, I’m working on being more positive, too. Sometimes it feels good just to point out all the great things Jewish organizations are doing to reach out to people from interfaith families, and all the great things people […]

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I do not think it means what you think it means

It’s very easy to bond with people over shared experiences. That’s a lot of what the personal narrative essays on this website are about. What’s more exciting is when people bond over shared differences–not in spite of having different beliefs, history or culture, but because of it. That’s why the decision of the U.S. Conference […]

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More about Jewish Arts and Crafts

In my post yesterday I mentioned a new book of Jewish holiday crafts, and one of our regular readers expressed interest in learning about Jewish art. You know the old saying, “I don’t know art, but I know what I like”? Well, I love to look at art, but I’m not a real expert. You […]

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Shiny!

I admit that I’m a bit bookish. I emit an undignified squeal of delight whenever I get a nice review copy, even though there are so many books in my apartment that one could build a pretty decent fort out of them. For example, I was eager to read r, the subject of by Vicki […]

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Not a Surprise

A recent article by Neil Rubin in the Baltimore Jewish Times, “Conservative Judaism Thrives in Baltimore, But Troubled Nationwide,” makes an interesting point. One reason why the Conservative synagogues in Baltimore have more members than the Reform synagogues (which is the reverse of the rest of the country) is their emphasis on outreach programming. Beth […]

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Ahoy Mateys

I know there aren’t many people who are terribly worried about this, but I am deeply amused that this year, falls . “Shiver me timbers, it’s time to sing Avinu Malkenu and blow the shofar, mateys! Arrrrrr, me hearties, if you don’t pass me the , I’ll make ye walk the plank! Smartly with the […]

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New Books

I’m always very excited to get books to review from Schocken Books, whose many claims to literary fame include being Kafka’s first publishers. Lately their Nextbook division has been putting out a series called Jewish Encounters. They seem to be basic books about famous Jewish personalities, mainly medieval ones, by well-known Jewish intellectuals. This weekend […]

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Comfort? Or Causeless Hatred?

I fasted yesterday for Tisha B’Av. It’s often hard for me to do that, because as a Jewish historian, I wonder whether we would have evolved this amazing religion and culture if the Romans had not destroyed the Second Temple in 70 C.E., so how sad can I be? On the other hand, the fast […]

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The Ninth of Av

It’s difficult to explain Tisha B’Av, a fast day that starts this evening and goes until tomorrow evening. In our , I described it, I think it’s hard for people in our generation to appreciate the level of trauma that the Jewish people experienced when the Romans destroyed the holy Temple in Jerusalem in 70 […]

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We Are Here–In Vilna and in Abilene

I met Wyman Brent on Twitter–he’s a librarian, which already biased me in his favor. Today he posted to tell his Twitter followers, “Tomorrow at 12 I sign agreement for Vilnius Jewish Library. 1st real Jewish library in Lithuania since war.” In an article in the , “,” he explained, There is still , once […]

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Harry Potter and the Jewish Fear of Interfaith Marriage

The latest Harry Potter movie opened last night. I couldn’t go, but I’ve been waiting all summer for the opening so that I could blog about Jewish intermarriage themes in . The themes in the movie have been upstaged by in the pseudonym he’s using for his poetry. [align=left] “Did you know that Harry Potter […]

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Jewish Congressman to Marry Muslim State Department Aide

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn, Queens) is engaged to marry Huma Abedin, a member of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staff at the State Department, the New York Daily News reported Sunday. Weiner is a strong supporter of Israel in Congress, leaning to the right on many issues, as the English-language Israeli news website Arutz Sheva […]

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IFF Wins a Rockower Award

InterfaithFamily.com is a member of the American Jewish Press Association, which sponsors an annual conference and a journalistic competition, the Simon Rockower awards, every year. The staff at the AJPA let us know we would be receiving a Rockower Award months before I went to the AJPA conference in Chicago last week, but we didn’t […]

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Resisting Anti-Semitism

Several people sent me links to blog about this New York Times article about how the state of Missouri wants to deal with a neo-Nazi group. They’ve decided that if the neo-Nazis want to perform community service by adopting a stretch of highway, they have to live with that for legal reasons, but they don’t […]

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The Jews of Iquitos

We have a constant editorial dilemma chosing articles for InterfaithFamily.com. Converts to Judaism are part of our natural constituency–conversion creates an instant interfaith family, after all–and yet if we feature too many articles by or about conversion, we could make people in interfaith marriages feel pressured to convert. We want to be welcoming to people […]

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In My Own Name

Yesterday a white supremacist walked into the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and shot a security guard, who died of his wounds. This past month, the FBI arrested men who were plotting to blow up synagogues in the Bronx in New York. It feels like a scary time to announce to the world that we […]

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Life Lessons From New Israeli Cemetery

This morning, I read a news story about a new cemetery in Kfar Saba, in Israel. The Jerusalem Post article about the cemetery notes that this cemetery will provide options for interfaith couples who want to be buried together. Civil burials have been legal in Israel since 1996, when the Knesset passed an Alternative Burial […]

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Statistics on Jewish and African-American attitudes toward intermarriage

Why didn’t I take statistics in graduate school? Who knew that instead of teaching history I’d be working for a non-profit where statistics are vitally important and constantly contested. Take the recent flurry of posts from major bloggers about Jewish and African-American attitudes toward intermarriage. The bloggers’ exchange kicked off with a light post by […]

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June is Hope Month

June is LGBT Pride Month in the United States. It couldn’t come at a better time. Last week on Tuesday we got the bad news that the Supreme Court of California had ruled to uphold the legality of Proposition 8, the statewide referendum against same-sex marriage. I live in Massachusetts, one of the five states […]

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An American Girl

An article in the New York Times about the latest American Girl doll caught my eye in the blog Anti-Racist Parent. (I subscribe to their RSS feed because I aspire to be that.) It’s an interesting story — the latest in this line of historically-based dolls is Jewish. Just to give you the background, if […]

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An Exciting Israeli Supreme Court Decision? Not Really.

If you are a Jew by choice or a person who is married to a Jew who would like to become Jewish, it’s a pretty crazy time to live in Israel. On the one hand, Jews by choice, no matter who performed their conversions, are eligible to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return. […]

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Why Do You Think?

This isn’t the first time that I’ve heard that non-Jews sign up for JDate, the internet’s oldest and most prominent Jewish dating service. In an article that ran in last week’s Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, we learn that 2 percent of the people signing up for JDate aren’t Jewish. At least, they aren’t […]

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May Is Jewish-American Heritage Month

Hey! It’s Jewish-American Heritage Month! Apparently President Obama declared it yesterday! I didn’t know that was coming, even though I follow the White House blog feed. The president called on all Americans to recognize Jewish American contributions to society. And I’ve had to come back and edit myself here because–we have this every year! I […]

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Watch Your Language: On Shibboleths, Ghettoes and Bageling

If you want to welcome people to your community, whether your Jewish community, your workplace or your secular institution, you have to talk to them in a friendly way. Sometimes this is very simple–you just hold out your hand, say hello and it’s all good. Sometimes, however, your language can get in the way. It […]

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Rabbinical School and the Interfaith Marriage

New Voices, the National Jewish Student Magazine published a well-reported story on The Coming of the Intermarried Rabbi, mainly about David Curiel, a friend of ours. Curiel forwarded us the URL to the article. Here’s an excerpt: His path to rabbinical school was roundabout indeed. It started in 2003, when he met Amberly Polidor, who […]

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Pop Culture Link Roundup

Yeah, I know, I’m not exactly up to date on pop culture. I know everything that’s happening in a certain corner of the internet, but it’s an awfully geeky corner. Sometimes, though, the goodies come to me. Hillel, The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, ran a short interview with Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg, the […]

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Remembering the Shoah

Today is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. I learned while I was doing the research for our Jewish Holidays Cheat Sheet that the reason it falls now is that the Israeli government wanted the commemoration of the Holocaust to be tied to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. I just read a beautiful book about Catholic Poles […]

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New Passover Seder Resource

My nuclear family is going to my mother-in-law this year for Passover, and we are responsible for the child-friendly content of the second night seder. Even though both of us have worked in Jewish education in different capacities, we’ve never been in charge of leading a seder. We’ve always been participants at family seders that […]

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Kosher for Passover Easter Basket? No, Really

I was really excited, in a silly way, to find out that Lieber’s Candy of Brooklyn makes kosher for Passover marshmallow bunnies and duckies–just like Peeps, only no gelatin! (I found the photo here–go give the kosher food detective some love!) I had this great idea to commission someone to make us an Easter basket […]

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It Was a Great Purim After All

I didn’t mean to let the entire Purim holiday go by without a greeting on our blog! Today I was the designated parent at home with my son, who has the bug that is going around. I think I’ve caught it too. I feel achy and chilled. It’s not a hangover, though it feels like […]

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Purim is Coming

Purim comes but once a year and when it comes you know it’s here–because people get really silly. I am not sure whether this article about Christian salt is for real. Yes, OK, maybe there is someone out there who doesn’t understand that Jews use kosher salt for removing the blood from meat and feels […]

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A Message from Jewish New Orleans

I posted last week to wish everyone Happy Shrove Tuesday! Happy Mardi Gras! and mentioned the city we all associate with that Catholic holiday, New Orleans.  A reader wrote to update me about how things are going in New Orleans from his perspective as member of one of the city’s old Jewish families. I’m going […]

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Such Traditionalists

Even though InterfaithFamily.com represents a whole new attitude in the Jewish community toward interfaith marriage, about some things we are surprisingly traditional. For example, when I write about Jewish food, I do not approve of blueberry bagels. They may be very nice pieces of bread, but they are not bagels. One thing we do that’s […]

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Happy Shrove Tuesday! Happy Mardi Gras!

It’s no secret around my office that I’m in the middle of rewriting a quickie guide to Jewish food. I have to pare down an encyclopedic 3,000 word monster of an anthropological study into something people can use. We are still discussing whether anyone needs to know about calves’ foot jelly. So I took a […]

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Blessing the Sun and Other Talmud Goodies

Look at this! On April 8, the Jewish community will have its first opportunity in 28 years to bless the sun. Apparently, the rabbis in the Talmud, in Tractate Berachot 59a, recorded an earlier Jewish tradition about where the sun was in the sky when it was created. A group of Jewish environmental organizations (including, […]

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Fishy Logic

I get a lot out of the investigative journalism that Shemarya Rosenberg provides for free to the Jewish community, and he mainly gets a lot of undeserved mean and nasty comments for it. But this guest post on Rosenberg’s blog Failed Messiah did not pass the logic test. Based on reading a story by Hillel […]

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Role Models

I really enjoyed this week’s G-dcast. I blogged about this Jewish web resource when it first started publishing. It’s a way to learn about the Torah portion of the week. This week’s portion is Yitro, which is the Hebrew pronunciation of Jethro. The portion is named after Moses’ father-in-law, who was not Jewish. Leah Jones, […]

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The Jewish Writing Project and a Plateful of Gefilte Fish

I had a great phone conversation yesterday with Bruce Black, the editor of The Jewish Writing Project. Bruce is looking for people to write about what it means to them to be Jewish. Here’s how he described what he’s seeking: We come to our writing without pre-conditions, seeking through words a path that will lead […]

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It’s All In the Delivery

So there’s this famous joke about this guy who goes to visit his dad in a nursing home and everyone is getting up and shouting numbers. They get up and say, for example, “27!” and everyone cracks up. The dad explains that they’ve all heard the jokes so many times that they don’t have to […]

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Follow-Up on Yesterday’s Post on Catholic-Jewish Relations

I really liked Leyna Krow’s shorter version of my post on the Jew-ish.com blog out of Seattle. Today, Ha’aretz ran the story that the Vatican spoke officially against Williamson’s Holocaust denial. (Hat tip to Rebecca Lesses.) I think this is going to unfold in some interesting ways for Catholics and Jews. By a weird coincidence, the day […]

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Pope Lifts Excommunication of Anti-Semitic Bishop

On Friday, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the Catholic Church would reintegrate four bishops that the church had excommunicated in 1988 because they were ordained by Archbishop Michel Lefebvre, the founder of a breakaway Traditionalist Catholic sect, Society of St. Pius X. Jewish groups around the world have protested the reinstatement of Richard Williamson, a […]

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A Great Moment to Reflect

Here at InterfaithFamily.com, one of our missions is to encourage the Jewish community to be welcoming to people in interfaith families. A key issue that we don’t often discuss in this connection is race, and this hopeful, inclusive moment seems like a great time to do it. Because the majority of Jews in the United […]

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Jewish Mourning in Mexico–A Comedy?

I’ve been meaning for some time to write about my Twitter pal, Rabbi Joshua Kullock, the rabbi of Guadalajara, Mexico. He blogs at Kol Ha-Kehila. If you are looking for Spanish-language resources to share information about Judaism with Spanish-speaking extended family, Rabbi Kullock does a regular online class on the prophet Amos in Spanish, and […]

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New Online Journal–Helpful?

There’s a new journal out called The Muslim Jewish Journal. I’m always on the lookout for things that might be helpful to people in interfaith Muslim-Jewish families–let me know whether this is one of those things! Thanks for the hat tip from the blog Jews, Christians and Muslims Working Together.

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American Heaven

As a North American Jew, I’m accustomed to reading the endless kvetching of Jewish traditionalists about how American Judaism is inauthentic, assimilated or corrupted. It’s our default position as a community. We often bewail each other’s creativity and spirituality in the process. What I like is learning that all the other religions in the United […]

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Just One More Hanukkah Video

I love this video. It totally captures all the contradictory messages in Hanukkah. Plus it has Y-Love rapping while holding a dreidel. The contrast between Daniel Radosh and Y-Love is so perfect–because I think they are both right. This one is for adults.

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Hanukkah Comes Up From the Minors

I wrote a Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families. Originally, I mentioned in the opening line of the guide that Hanukkah is a minor holiday. Our publisher told me, “To our readers, it’s not minor.” I think that I have joined the ranks of the people for whom Hanukkah is not minor. Why? Because I […]

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More Presents for You, Darling

First of all, I was reading the enormous stack of Jewish newspapers that I surround myself with at my office, when I found this article in the Jewish Journal Boston North about a company that sends “The Intermarriage Holiday Special,” which is Hanukkah gelt, Christmas candle and a half gallon of chicken soup with noodles and/or […]

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Introducing a new blogging couple

I’m very pleased to introduce our new wedding bloggers, Lula Jones and Alx Block. Lula and Alx have each written for us at InterfaithFamily.com. They each wrote a piece about their baby Raiden’s bris and baby naming and Lula also wrote about attending the funeral and shivah for Alx’s grandfather. Lula is an independent graphic designer and  […]

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More December Holiday Links

Ellyn Bache, author of eight novels including Safe Passage, which was made into a movie with Susan Sarandon, sent us an email yesterday. She’s put Holiday Miracles, a novella she wrote about Christmas and Hanukkah in an interfaith family, on the web as a downloadable .pdf file. We put a link to the book at […]

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Lights On PBS

I just saw a notice that there will be a Hanukkah special on PBS this week, and it features some Jewish musicians whose work I really like. It’s called Lights and you can find the local listings for your PBS station on Craig Taubman’s website. The most exciting to me is the Klezmatics, who are […]

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“Sing, Sing a Song…”

I am blogging from a Holiday Inn on the road to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. I had a great time interviewing Judy Caplan Ginsburgh over the phone this week for a piece our site. Judy is a singer who has led many children and their parents in song over many years. She does a […]

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Because He’s Jon Stewart

Many on the internet are so filled with glee about this Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Hanukkah song that they are making comparisons with Adam Sandler. Here it is, hope you think it’s funny. If not, at least you were among the first to find it on the internet: .cc_box a:hover .cc_home{background:url(‘http://www.comedycentral.com/comedycentral/video/assets/syndicated-logo-over.png’) !important;}.cc_links a{color:#b9b9b9;text-decoration:none;}.cc_show a{color:#707070;text-decoration:none;}.cc_title a{color:#868686;text-decoration:none;}.cc_links a:hover{color:#67bee2;text-decoration:underline;} […]

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Very naughty

I do not know how things have come to this pass, but somehow, I have figured out an excuse two very good reasons to embed a Monty Python video on my work blog: 1. Monty Python has just announced their own Youtube channel. They are going to post all of their own material. So this […]

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Holiday Cheer?

Other people are not thinking about the December holidays. I am, though. I am soliciting, writing and editing material for our website about what it’s like to be in an interfaith family in December, when Christmas is. (Did you know that? Christmas is in December.) I’ve also been writing about Hanukkah, which is comparatively small […]

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Shiva, The Movie

I wonder if this movie, Shiva, about a Jewish family from Morocco mourning for a family member will be released in English? I found the trailer, in Hebrew with French subtitles, on the South Jerusalem blog. I think the trailer is interesting to watch even if you don’t know the languages, but you tell me. […]

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More Funky Internet Torah Study Opportunities

I love the internet. I know, I say that all the time. Look at this, G-dcast.com. It combines the trend for Torah study on the internet with the trends in Jewish creativity that I enjoy so much–Jewish music in diverse styles, like hip-hop, multi-vocality, and the use of animation. The creators of the site call […]

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InterfaithCandy.com and Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

On the main site, we are running two opinion pieces, one in favor and one opposed to doing Halloween as a Jew. I admit it. I’ve never been that interested in Halloween. I went through a phase of feeling guilty that Halloween was a watered-down version of this major Celtic pagan holiday Samhain. Then several […]

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Talking Torah on the Internet

There are a lot of nifty ways to study Torah on the internet. It’s a great way to get an introduction to Judaism–you can get weekly commentaries from a Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist or Jewish Renewal perspective. But this new one has me smiling. My old friend Michael Carasik, who is involved in the amazingly […]

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Grandmothers

I miss my grandmother lately, and apparently I’m not the only one. Perhaps it is the season of the year, one in which Jews commemorate dead relatives and friends at memorial (Yizkor) services on Yom Kippur and on Shemini Atzeret at the end of Sukkot. Perhaps it is because of the economic downturn–we wish we […]

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Post Yom Kippur

I don’t know why, but this Yom Kippur was really good for me, like the exhilarating ones I use to have when I was in my 20s. Maybe working here at IFF has made a dent in my spiritual ennui? I was swept up in the traditional prayers, and yet it all–fasting, praying, thinking about […]

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Upcoming and Good

I hope all our readers had a good and meaningful Rosh Hashanah. I have some good and meaningful links for you. Lilith magazine sent us a preview of some articles that they are going to run in their next print issue called Switchbacks on the Road to Judaism. The three writers of the articles in […]

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The Tribe

I loved this short film The Tribe on Jewish identity when I saw it online last week. It’s funny–all that stuff about Barbie, and the animation–but I think what it has to say about Jewish identity will resonate with our readers. I liked the poetry-slam style poem by Vanessa Hidary at the end of the […]

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Jews in the Presidential Campaign and the Blogosphere

I get a lot of Jewish blogs in my RSS reader, and one of the ones I follow, The Velveteen Rabbi, had a link to another blogger who had liveblogged a conference call with Barack Obama. A group of rabbis has started a group called Rabbis for Obama, which the Jewish Telegraphic Agency has called […]

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Books and Other Goodies

My son started kindergarten this week. At our Havurah, we did a ceremony for him and the other new kindergartner in our little community. The other little girl’s mom baked cookies in the shape of the Hebrew alef-bet. Each set of parents came up and said the blessing on part of the Torah reading.Then our […]

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Days of Awesome

There are many advantages to working here at InterfaithFamily.com. One is that Jewish holidays do not sneak up on you. We’re starting with the High Holiday content this week! Can you believe it? It’s the beginning of Elul, the Jewish calendar month before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I wrote a . There will […]

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We Have the Technology

Did you buy yourself an iPhone? Here’s a cool application for you–kosherme.com. You’ll need iTunes to get it. With this program, your iPhone can tell you which blessing to say over any meal or snack, in Hebrew, English and transliteration. They have omitted all blessings that one would say on the Jewish sabbath, because traditional […]

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Sometimes when something feels familiar, it’s not good

When I heard that there was a shooting at a Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, I thought about the shooting at the Seattle Jewish Federation. I didn’t consider for a second that this was something random–I thought that the shooter must be targetting these people because of what he thinks they believe. It’s scary […]

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Jews and Catholics Agree: Something Is Not Kosher In Iowa

Sometimes the most Jewish thing a person can do is to send a donation to a Catholic church. I’ve been following the Agriprocessors scandals since they first broke. The largest kosher meatpacker in the United States in Postville, Iowa first made the news in 2000 with Steven Bloom’s book Postville: A Clash of Cultures in […]

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The Blame Game

Back in April, I read “The Missing” in the World Jewish Digest, and found it absolutely amazing. (The title has been changed: it was “A Jewish Man is Hard to Find.”) The article was advocating that single Jewish women should “panic” if they hadn’t found a Jewish man to marry. (Click the link, I’m not […]

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Shavuot

(In which someone finally answers the question, “What about…Naomi?”) Shavuot begins Sunday evening. Though it’s not a minor holiday in Jewish terms, it doesn’t have as much of a presence in the United States as other, better-known Jewish holidays. To me, that’s a shame, as it celebrates aspects of Jewish belief that I think are […]

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Lag B’Omer How-To Video

My managing editor loves a good barbeque, and wanted to know if we had any good content for Lag B’Omer. “Lag B’Omer!” I said. “Talk about a difficult to explain Jewish holiday!”

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Holy Cannoli–Jews, Burning Books? What Gives?

We’re still not over it. We Jews are still not over our fears of being forced to convert. Jews’ negative feelings about proselytizing are so strong that even in Israel, a country where Jews are the majority, we continue to feel threatened by the idea that someone might force us to convert. To me, this […]

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Mildred Loving Dies at 68

Mildred Loving died this past Friday of pneumonia. An obituary in the Washington Post tells the story of how Loving, an African-American woman, defied Virginia law by marrying her white husband in 1958, and wound up with her name on the 1967 Supreme Court case, Loving vs. Virginia that ended miscegenation laws in the United […]

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Cynical New Israeli Religious Court Ruling On Converts

Through this post at Jewschool, I learned about this Israeli High Rabbinical Court ruling that invalidates all conversions done by the State of Israel’s own Conversion Authority under the current head of that government agency, former Knesset member Chaim Drukman. The High Rabbinical Court ruled this because they examined a woman who had converted 15 […]

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Inside Baseball

My five-year-old son is very subtle. The morning after our Havurah Purim party, my son told me, “You know, not everyone knows what a Purimspiel is.” “But you do, honey, because we saw one last night. It was the play people were acting out, about Queen Esther.” He nodded. “But not everyone knows what that […]

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More Sweet Stuff

I like any opportunity to show how Jewish culture can be integrated with other cultures and make a beautiful hybrid. I don’t know what culture should take responsibility for marshmallow Peeps, but I think you’ll join me in enjoying Peeps for Passover. Yes! The 10 Plagues, acted out by PEEPS! (No, no, Peeps are not […]

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Taking it seriously, making it sweet

InterfaithFamily.com has been in the press lately, and I just wanted to share some of the articles and some quotes with you. Julie Wiener wrote a column this past week on why her interfaith family is committed to lighting Shabbat candles. She found out she’s not unusual: Interestingly, there are quite a few of us […]

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Shalom TV: “agonized and worried”

Shalom TV, which bills itself as a “mainstream Jewish television network”, sent us an email entitled “Intermarriage Threatens Jewish Future.” Oy vey. The enclosed press release described a roundtable discussion between some of the Jewish communal experts who are most alarmed by interfaith marriage. In the Jewish community, we generally celebrate diversity of opinion on […]

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Web 2.0 Gives Us a Look At Some Jewish Art

I started here at InterfaithFamily.com at the end of February, and learned as part of my orientation here that I was going to be responsible for finding images to include with our stories and with my posts here on the blog. I’m not a creator of visual art myself; I can just about draw a […]

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Happy Purim

Purim is a silly holiday.  It’s a deeply spiritually meaningful Jewish holiday, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a holiday whose observance involves a lot of being silly. For example, we have Purim Torah, a sort of high level satirical joking. (Or sometimes not really so high level.) Then there are Purim costumes, which in some communities […]

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Jewish-Irish Cultural Links

My 5-year-old son is really interested in holidays, especially ones that have special costumes. How do you explain St. Patrick’s Day to a Jewish boy–who lives in Boston? We passed people wearing green clothing and sparkly hats on the street yesterday, probably on their way to the famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is the […]

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The Grandmother Clause

In a recent NY Times article about Israeli society, Gershom Gorenberg described the increasingly negative attitude of the Israeli rabbinate toward North American Jews. The story shows how a Jewish Israeli kibbutznik who was the child of an American immigrant had trouble getting the rabbinate to recognize that she was a Jew so she could […]

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A hot knish with a side of awesome sauce…

I find a lot of great stuff on The Jew and the Carrot, a blog about Jews and food, like this blurb about Natalie Portman’s new project. She’s going to star with Irrfan Khan in Mira Nair’s next movie, Kosher Vegetarian. The title alone sends me, and it’s a movie about a relationship between a […]

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And they all lived Jewishly ever after…

A New York Times article on the new president of the New York Board of Rabbis had us shaking our heads here in the InterfaithFamily.com office. It’s kind of funny that the Orthodox and Conservative rabbis can handle female or gay rabbis on the 700-rabbi board, but heaven forbid they should include anyone who would […]

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First look at Pew Forum US Religious Landscape Survey

I’m taking a look at the preliminary findings of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life US Religious Landscape survey. (You can download it as a .pdf file here.) This survey showed that 69% of Jews were in-married and 31% reported being married to a person of a different religious background. The Pew Forum […]

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What You Think

Since the Sept. 26 issue of our Web Magazine last year, we’ve been running polls alongside the table of contents. We typically get around 20 responses. While nothing like a statistically reliable sample, they do provide an interesting barometer of our readers’ opinions on interfaith issues. For example, in our last issue on interfaith weddings, […]

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The Good News

We were asked a few weeks ago by the j, the Jewish news weekly of northern California, to write a response to this misguided column on the state of American Jewry by Michael Freund. Our response is here, and also reprinted below, in its entirety: Latest surveys are responsible for good news, not bad by […]

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