The Million-Dollar Question: What Makes Someone a Jew?

Review of What Makes Someone a Jew?, Lauren Seidman?s children?s book celebrating the diversity of the Jewish population.

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Naming Our Past, Present & Future

Giving your child a Hebrew name is a long-standing tradition in Judaism. Sometimes families have elaborate gatherings as part of a bris while others choose more intimate family ceremonies (we chose the latter). With our siblings and parents together, we could not help but reflect on the long journey to that moment over the last […]

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How We Met…Our Baby

We each have our own story about when we saw, held or heard our children for the first time and we all arrived in those moments in different ways. I was born on Father’s Day in 1980 as the first child in my family, so it was only fitting that I became a father under […]

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Does The Good Dinosaur Have a Not-So-Good Message About Family?

The new movie, The Good Dinosaur, a Pixar Entertainment film directed by Peter Sohn, debuted in theatres on November 25. I took my 6-year-old and 8-year-old to see it at a sold-out movie theatre. Perhaps it is because I have been working with interfaith couples and families in an intense way for over four years […]

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Our Sukkah without Walls

This year our sukkah is unkosher. It has no walls. According to traditional Jewish law, a sukkah is supposed to have walls – four of them, actually, though one of them can be the side of a house if it’s been built up against a house. The walls can be made out of any material, […]

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Patrilineal Descent: Should the Baby be Taken to the Mikveh for Conversion?

Do you know which of the following children would be considered Jewish without going through a conversion according to halacha (traditional Jewish law)? a)      A child born from the sperm of a Jewish male and the egg of a Jewish female, who was carried by a surrogate who was not Jewish and then raised by […]

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My Name is Shannon, and I’m a Jew

By Shannon Naomi Zaid My internship with the Jewish United Federation and InterfaithFamily has put me in religious Jewish settings that I wouldn’t have normally found myself in. During one of these times, working an InterfaithFamily booth at an event, an issue was brought to my attention that I’d never thought existed: prejudice based on […]

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The Facts on the Ground

– 20% of all children will die before the age of five. – 98% of all people are malnourished. – Life expectancy is 48.4 years. This is what life looks like in the Democratic Republic of Congo. DR Congo is my adopted country because that is where my adoption is supposed to happen. On an […]

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Not Yet

A few weeks ago I was scheduled to meet two boys who, if all went well, would become my sons. The boys are currently in foster care but are available for adoption. I thought I was one short step away from creating my family. My adoption agency which works with Child Protective Services started talking […]

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The Call

According to the Talmud, when the Israelites lived in the wilderness the miracle of (bread) was given every morning at dawn and every morning a dew rose and encased the , protecting it until it could be harvested. Without this protection the Israelites would have starved. I always assumed that miracles were large, cinematic and […]

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