I’m not an “Interfaith Rabbi”

“Meet Robyn,” my friend, who is Jewish, said with a smile as she introduced me to her Christian daughter-in-law. “She’s an interfaith rabbi.” Ugh! I cringed on the inside—the same way I do when someone calls me a Reformed rabbi (rather than a Reform rabbi) or a “Rent-A-Rabbi.” I thought to myself: I’m not an […]

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Proud to be LGBTQI and Interfaith

Rabbi Mychal Copeland served as director of IFF/Bay Area until June, 2017 and is the incoming rabbi at Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco. When I met my first girlfriend at 22 years old, I fell head over heels. My mind was swirling for at least a year—processing how this person would change my life, when and […]

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Hybrid Identity, Every Person Counts, Shifting Boundaries and Intermarriage on TV

This post originally appeared on www.edumundcase.com and is reprinted with permission Rabbi Darren Kleinberg has written a very important essay published in eJewishPhilanthropy this week, Hybrid Judaism: The Transformation of American Jewish Identity. Kleinberg was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi in 2005 but describes himself as no longer Orthodox. He writes that identity is not a psychological […]

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We’re All Mudbloods

I was almost too old for Harry Potter when JK Rowling introduced her masterpiece to the world in 1997. I may have been almost too old but that didn’t stop me from spending the next 10 years voraciously reading, re-reading and waiting impatiently for the next book to arrive. When the final book was finally […]

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Start by Dropping the ‘Non-Jew’

This article was cross-posted on HuffingtonPost.com. As the editorial director at an organization that works toward the inclusion of interfaith couples and families in Jewish life, I read and hear a lot of commentary on the future of Judaism and how interfaith families fit into it. Over and over I hear or read Jewish professionals […]

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How Do We Accept the Things We Cannot Change?

A few weeks ago, I bonked my head while getting ready for bed and got a concussion. This was not my first time experiencing brain damage. I bruised my tender brain two-and-a-half years ago after a small car accident when I was living in Philadelphia. The air bag went off and temporarily knocked me out. […]

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My Transdenominational Family

When I think back to where I first experienced my love of Judaism, I remember instantly my many summers at Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Indiana. Camp was my first experience of celebrating Shabbat with friends (I can still smell the fried chicken and the Shabbat candles), of singing songs in Hebrew at the […]

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When sacred text hurts others, how do we apologize?

This essay was reprinted with permission from J. Weekly. Earlier this month I was the rabbi at the Fellowship for Affirming Ministries’ biennial conference at City of Refuge Church in Oakland. I was invited to blow the shofar for the new Hebrew month of Av, and I lit candles to usher in Shabbat before the […]

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Jason Segel: “The Dumbest Thing You Can Do For a Kid”

In Marc Maron’s recent podcast “WTF,” he interviews Jason Segel (of How I Met Your Mother fame) at length and touches on his interfaith upbringing early on. (The interview itself begins at 14 minutes in, and the conversation turns to religion at about 15 ½ minutes.) Segel’s father is Christian and his mother is Jewish, […]

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TransJewish?

Does the huge conversation about Rachel Dolezal, who resigned as president of the Spokane, WA, chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People after it was revealed that she identified as African-American while her parents are White, have any relevance to efforts to engage interfaith families in Jewish life and community? I’m […]

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