Let’s Stop Using the Word “Problem” When Talking About Interfaith Marriage

Recently I read two thought-provoking articles in the Jewish press: Rabbi Elliot Cosgove’s article in the New York Jewish Week, “Mikveh Can Solve Conversion Problem” and Rabbi Shaul Magid’s article in The Forward “Why Conversion Lite Won’t Fix The Intermarriage Problem.”  Like so many articles dealing with issues related to interfaith marriage, the headlines of […]

READ MORE

Using My Words

I type this while holding a squirmy, feverish 3-month-old in my lap. Shh, shh, shh, I tell him. It’s OK, just relax and rest bubbeleh. I rub his back and pull him closer, patting his head, whispering, “Just lay your keppe down on mommy’s shoulder.” He has no idea what I’m really saying, but the […]

READ MORE

See Me for Who I Am

I am a lot of things in this diverse world. I am a female, a daughter, granddaughter, sister, fiancé, niece, friend, Catholic, dietitian, animal lover, coffee and chocolate enthusiast… in no particular order. While I identify as many different things, there are many things I am not and won’t try to be. As I continue […]

READ MORE

Traditions are Languages, Too

Traditions are languages, too. Or at least, this is what my six-year-old daughter Laurel would have me believe. This week, I opened up her teacher’s monthly newsletter, scanning, as usual, for mentions of my own child. The final page usually includes what Laurel calls “jokes,” except they’re actually words “out of the mouths of babes” which […]

READ MORE

Time to Junk Jewish Jargon?

You’re at a social or family gathering when someone starts throwing around a bunch of Jewish gobblygook you don’t understand. One guy is talking about a cool, new “minyan” in town and you’re picturing this guy. Someone else is talking about her “boobie” and you wonder if this is really too intimate a conversation for […]

READ MORE

Three Terms I Hope Not to Hear in the New Year

As the new year approaches, I’ve been thinking back over the past year—particularly about certain terms I’ve heard used in 2014 that bother me. Following are three terms I hope to hear less of in 2015. NON-JEW: While “non-Jew” is an easy short-hand term and it’s clear what it means, this term can be offensive. […]

READ MORE

Interfaith Language Sensitivity

We here at InterfaithFamily believe, like the rabbis of old, that language is extremely important. The rabbis of the Talmud wrote about the power of words. God created the world with words. God said, “Let there be…” and there was. The rabbis said that to embarrass someone was akin to killing their soul (bringing blood […]

READ MORE

Symbols and Rituals and Traditions. Oh my.

These last few months have been busy with dress fittings, selecting the menu, arranging the seating chart, creating the invitations, ordering the suits, and other wedding plans. Sam and I continually remind ourselves that the wedding is only one day and we should focus on preparing for a marriage. This lifelong commitment to each other begins […]

READ MORE

Let Us Build a City: Interfaith Weddings as an Act of Translation

Shannon practiced saying “Shanah tovah” during the week leading up to Rosh Hashanah. “How do you say that thing?” she said. “What thing?” I replied, all innocence. “You know, that thing you say that means ‘happy new year.’” “Oh, that thing.” I told Shannon how to say it and listened as she repeated it. That […]

READ MORE

For Every Two Jews, There Are Three Perspectives

A humorous look at the many different customs, traditions and practices found in one small Jewish community.

READ MORE