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Recent Activities

Recent Press for IFF

Jan. 6, 2009. CEO Ed Case was recently interviewed on New England Cable News about the fallout from the Bernard Madoff scandal. InterfaithFamily.com has also received press for its resources and research on the "December Dilemma." CEO Ed Case was quoted in a story on blackamericaweb.com, Director of Web Strategy Micah Sachs was quoted in The Tennessean and the Fifth Annual December Holidays Survey was cited in The Oklahoman.

Meet Our New Wedding Bloggers

Dec. 23, 2008. We'd like to welcome our newest wedding bloggers, Alx Block and Lula Jones. Lula is an independent graphic designer, and Alx is a sales associate at the Jewish Publication Society.

Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families Published

Dec. 9, 2008. We recently published our Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families, a comprehensive resource guide to the Festival of Lights. It's a great introduction to a joyous Jewish holiday: the history, the symbolism, the spelling--plus handy dreidel game tips.

IFF Gives Presentation on Online Marketing

Dec. 9, 2008. On Dec. 2, Director of Web Strategy Micah Sachs and COO Heather Martin gave a presentation on online marketing at Outreach Training Institute's Thinking Outside the Box: Creative Strategies for Reaching Out to the Unaffiliated, a one-day workshop for Jewish communal professionals hosted by Reform Jewish Outreach Boston. The workshop was held at Temple Shalom in Newton, Mass.

December Holidays Survey Receives Record Response

Dec. 9, 2008. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to announce the publication of the results from its Fifth Annual December Holidays Survey (PDF). (Also available in Word format) The survey received a record 1,229 responses, more than 40 percent more than last year. The survey showed that interfaith families raising Jewish children who participate in Christmas celebrations make clear distinctions between the holidays, are giving clear priority to Hanukkah over Christmas and are celebrating Hanukkah at home and Christmas at relatives.

Where in the World is Rabbi Lev Baesh?

Nov. 25, 2008. Rabbi Lev Baesh, director of the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy, led several sessions at Limmud Stockholm, a multi-day Jewish learning experience for Jews and non-Jews of all stripes.

IFF in the News

Nov. 25, 2008. Director of Web Strategy Micah Sachs was quoted in an article in The Forward about inter-organizational collaboration at 90 Oak St. in Newton, Mass., headquarters of InterfaithFamily.com, JFL Media, Gateways and other Jewish non-profits. Meanwhile, Rabbi Lev Baesh, director of the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy, was quoted in an article on same-sex interfaith relationships in The (New York) Jewish Week.

Guide to High Holidays for Interfaith Families Published

Sept. 29, 2008. We recently published our Guide to the High Holidays for Interfaith Families (PDF), a comprehensive resource guide with information on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and how to adapt and celebrate the holidays with your interfaith family. It's also available in Word format.

Rabbi Baesh Speaks in Connecticut

Sept. 29, 2008. Rabbi Lev Baesh, director of the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy, spoke at Temple Beth Hillel in Bloomfield, Conn.

IFF in Slingshot… Again!

Sept. 16, 2008. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to announce that it has been included in the Slingshot guidebook to innovative Jewish organizations for the fourth straight year! We were also one of only a handful of non-profits awarded a grant from the Slingshot Fund for two years in a row.

Ed Case Speaks at Celebration of Barry Shrage

Sept. 16, 2008. On Sept. 14, CEO Ed Case was pleased to make a presentation at the celebration of Combined Jewish Philanthropies President Barry Shrage's 20 years of leadership of CJP, Boston's Jewish federation.

IFF's Recent Speaking Engagements

Sept. 3, 2008. In August, CEO Ed Case was a panelist with Brandeis University Professor Sylvia Barack Fishman at the Wexner Graduate Fellow Summer Institute in Stowe, Vt. Also, Rabbi Lev Baesh, director of the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy, in conjunction with PJ Library, led two workshops at CAJE.

Meet Our New Network Director

Aug. 19, 2008. We'd like to welcome Robin Schwartz as our new network director. She is responsible for supervising all of our Connections activities. A graduate of Columbia University, Schwartz has extensive experience in higher education administration and community outreach and development in diverse parts of the Jewish community.

IFF in the News

Aug. 5, 2008. CEO Ed Case was recently quoted in an extensive article on intermarriage in the San Diego Jewish Journal.

Guide to Death and Mourning in Interfaith Families Published

July 22, 2008. We recently published our Guide Guide to Death and Mourning for Interfaith Families, a comprehensive resource guide with information on Jewish mourning rituals, appropriate etiquette for visitors to Jewish funerals and shiva and how to handle difficult situations like when the non-Jewish parent of a Jewish person dies. It's also available as a PDF and Word document.

IFF Launches Its First Video Blog

July 8, 2008. We have recently launched our first video blog, Rabbi Reuben's Ruminations, produced in partnership with Jewish TV Network. It features Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, of Kehillat Israel Reconstructionist Congregation in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and author of several books, including Making Interfaith Marriage Work (Prima Publishing, 1994), A Nonjudgmental Guide to Interfaith Marriage (Xlibris.com, 2002) and There's an Easter Egg on Your Seder Plate (Praeger Publishing, 2007). In Rabbi Reuben's Ruminations, the rabbi will discuss common issues interfaith families and interdating couples face.

The RCJC Holds Its First Conference

May 28, 2008. On May 18, in partnership with The Interfaith Project (TIP) at Temple Shir Tikvah in Winchester, Mass., the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy co-sponsored a conference for New England area rabbis and cantors titled "Best Practices for Jewish Clergy Officiating at Weddings of Interfaith Couples."

Ed and Lev Speak

May 13, 2008. CEO Edmund Case recently spoke to the Minneapolis Federation's House of Delegates at a presentation on innovation in the Jewish community. Rabbi Lev Baesh, director of the Resource for Center for Jewish Clergy, spoke at Congregation Etz Chaim in Kennebunk, Maine, this month as well.

Lev's Busy Month

April 29, 2008. Rabbi Lev Baesh, director of the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy, led discussions at the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival in Northampton and Springfield, Mass., in April, and also spoke this month at Beth David Reform Congregation in Gladwyne, Penn.

New Passover Resource Guide Available

April 15, 2008. InterfaithFamily.com has created a new Guide to Passover for Interfaith Families (also available in Word format) in time for Passover 2008. The guide includes definitions and explanations of all the major terms, rituals and quirks of Passover, as well as a bibliography of useful haggadahs.

IFF Co-sponsors Presentation of Interfaith Family Play

April 15, 2008. On Sunday, April 13, InterfaithFamily.com was proud to co-sponsor the presentation of the play "Both Sides of the Family" at the Turtle Lane Playhouse in Newton, Mass. The play, presented by the Charenton Theater Company of Ohio, was sponsored by the Interfaith Collaborative, a coalition of Boston-area organizations that specialize in Jewish outreach to interfaith families.

IFF in the News

April 15, 2008. Managing Editor Micah Sachs was quoted in an AP article on the do's and don'ts of Passover seders that was republished by msnbc.com, the (Merrimack Valley, Mass.) Eagle-Tribune, the (Chicagoland) Daily Herald, the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, the College Station (Texas) Eagle and numerous other papers.

Rabbi Lev Baesh, director of the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy, was also interviewed by Rabbi Jim Egolf for his podcast blog.

IFF Writes a Pair of Op-Eds

April 1, 2008. President Ed Case recently wrote an op-ed for The (New York) Jewish Week, Intermarriage: How Jewish Outreach Helps, in response to a recent report about the behavior of intermarried families in the Boston area. Rabbi Lev Baesh wrote an op-ed for JTA, Studies suggest rabbis should reconsider opposition to performing intermarriages, which was reprinted by j, the Jewish news weekly of Northern California and Jewish.com.

New and Improved Resource Center for Jewish Clergy

April 1, 2008. In time for the convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis--the rabbinical organization of the Reform movement--InterfaithFamily.com has launched a new password-protected clergy-only section of the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy. The new section includes 13 essays on rabbinic officiation written by some of the country's leading rabbis as well as a private discussion board. The public section of the Resource Center also includes links to publicly available resources inside and outside of InterfaithFamily.com, including studies that address rabbinic officiation. To apply for a username and password, take the Jewish Clergy Survey.

Abbe Cohen Dvornik

Announcing the Winner of the Passover/Easter Survey Drawing

March 18, 2008. Congratulations to Abbe Cohen Dvornik of Somerville, Mass., on winning the drawing for the $250 American Express giftcard after filling out the 2008 Passover-Easter Survey.

 

Passover-Easter Survey Results Available

March 18, 2008. Results of the 2008 Passover-Easter Survey are now available. The survey attracted 625 respondents. The report What We Learned from the 2008 Passover/Easter Survey focused exclusively on the 278 respondents who were in interfaith relationships and raising Jewish children. Highlights include:

  • 99 percent plan on hosting or attending a seder.
  • nearly two-thirds plan on following dietary restrictions for most or all of the eight days of Passover.
  • more than half are not participating in Easter celebrations at all.
  • only 36 percent plan on hosting or attending Easter dinner.
  • less than 1 percent plan on telling the Easter story.
  • Easter activities are more prevalent in households where the mother is not Jewish.

IFF in the News

March 18, 2008. President Ed Case was quoted in the Boston Globe story Jews tackle intermarriage debate. InterfaithFamily.com was also featured in JTA's Reform Rabbis Renew Debate on Officiating at Intermarriages, and Rabbi Lev Baesh, director of the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy, was profiled in India New England.

Also The Telegraph, JTA Managing Editor Ami Eden's blog, and Jewlicious recently wrote posts about our video contest.

Asher Martin

Meet Asher Martin

Feb. 19, 2008. InterfaithFamily.com's unofficial family continues to grow. CEO Heather Martin gave birth to a son, Asher Martin, this morning.

Ruth Abrams

Meet Ruth Abrams

Feb. 19, 2008. Ruth Abrams, InterfaithFamily.com's new online editor, started today. Abrams completed a BA at Oberlin College in 1988 and a PhD at Brandeis University in 1997. The subject of her dissertation was the role of Jewish women in European feminism from 1880-1920. She taught Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst from 1996 to 2000. She has wide-ranging experience as a Jewish educator, from work with children in religious school to adult education programming, and has a background as an academic editor and as a writer in non-profit contexts. She is a member of Havurat Shalom in Somerville, Mass., where she lives with her husband Ben and son Aaron. Abrams can be reached at rutha@interfaithfamily.com.

IFF Teams With JBooks

Feb. 5, 2008. InterfaithFamily.com and JBooks have partnered for Interfaith Literature Week. From Feb. 1 to Feb. 8, IFF published essays relating to, and reviews of, books dealing with interfaith relationships of all kinds. JBooks will follow suit in a few weeks. Highlights include From Taboo to Afterthought: A Literary History of Intermarriage, by Rabbi Philip Graubart, Which Comes First: The Parent or the Egg?, a review of There's an Easter Egg on Your Seder Plate, by Tracy Hahn-Burkett, Out With the New, In With the New, a review of The New American Judaism, by Micah Sachs, and Peter Bebergal's and Scott Korb's essays on writing The Faith Between Us.

IFF Partners with BBYO

BBYO, the largest provider of identity-building and leadership development programs for teens, is teaming up with InterfaithFamily.com in an effort to provide a comfortable environment for Jewish teens of all backgrounds.

"When BBYO approached us about working together to serve the needs of teenagers from interfaith families, we jumped at the opportunity,” said Micah Sachs, Managing Editor of InterfaithFamily.com. "By partnering with BBYO, we can help Jewish teens from diverse backgrounds explore Judaism--and make connections with others like them."

As a part of the partnership, BBYO’s growing ranks of involved Jewish teens and their parents, will be able to combine resources and ideas with InterfaithFamily.com’s core audience of intermarried adults with children. Youth leaders and adult advisors at BBYO will become savvier about the particular issues faced by children of interfaith families and will learn how to deal more sensitively with their needs, while InterfaithFamily.com will provide a safe environment for teens and parents from interfaith families to share their unique stories with each other.

Announcing Our Video Contest

Jan. 22, 2008. InterfaithFamily.com launched its first-ever video contest on Jan. 15. IFF is looking for users' best, most thought-provoking, most moving, most educational, funniest videos on life in an interfaith family. Prizes total more than $5,000 and first prize is $2,500. A panel of judges will determine the winners based on the criteria of creativity, originality, understanding of the issues interfaith families with and quality. The contest ends April 30 and winners will be announced June 3.

December Holidays Press

Dec. 26, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com has received a lot of press during the December holidays. A story on CNN.com, Christmas or Hanukkah? Interfaith Families Say Both, quoted our tips for handling the December holidays. President Ed Case was quoted in The Art of Mixed-Faith Mixing on MSN.com as well as Juggling the Holidays in Chicago Parent. The Chicago Sun-Times (No "Holly Jolly"?) made note of The Jews Who Wrote Christmas Songs (2007), while Interfaith Families Find Ways to Juggle the Holidays (Gaithersburg (Md.) Gazette) referenced the 2007 December Holidays Survey. Surviving the 'Challadays' was reprinted in the Los Angeles Daily News. Finally, Managing Editor Micah Sachs' essay on dealing with the holidays was also published in Big Apple Parent.

Other recent press includes coverage of the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy in the Baltimore Jewish Times (Star Crossed: Rabbis Facing "Loaded" Question of Intermarriage) and an article on interfaith weddings in New England Gala Weddings.

IFF in the New York Times

Dec. 11, 2007. Managing Editor Micah Sachs was quoted in A Holiday Medley, Off Key, by Julie Scelfo, in the New York Times. Also, the (Long Beach, Calif.) Press-Telegram published a story citing the results of the 2007 December Holidays Survey. The Buffalo News also reprinted our 10 tips for handling the December holidays (not online).

Media Coverage of 2007 December Holidays Survey

Nov. 27, 2007. Sue Fishkoff of JTA wrote a brief about the results of the 2007 December Holidays Survey, which so far has been republished by The (Philadelphia) Jewish Exponent. Also, an advice column by Managing Editor Micah Sachs on dealing with the December dilemma has been published in Parent Guide News (New York City area), Parents & Kids (Boston area) and the Messenger Post newspapers (Rochester, N.Y., area).

Becky Voorwinde
IFF Announces Winner of December Holidays Survey Drawing

Nov. 27, 2007. We would like to offer our congratulations to Becky Voorwinde, the winner of the drawing for the $500 American Express giftcard following our December Holidays Survey.

Report on 2007 December Holidays Survey Available

Nov. 27, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com has published a report on the 2007 December Holidays Survey. This year's survey was the most successful yet! Eight-hundred-sixty people responded to the survey--100 more than last year's record--and 285 of them were in interfaith couples raising Jewish children. The report confirmed the results from previous years: interfaith families raising Jewish children who participate in Christmas celebrations make clear distinctions between the holidays and are giving priority to Hanukkah over Christmas, as both a family celebration and a religious holiday. Interesting results this year include:

  • Fewer than half of interfaith families raising Jewish children have Christmas trees at home. 
  • Interfaith families where the woman is not Jewish do a lot more Christmas "stuff" at home than families where the woman is Jewish. 
  • Nearly half of inmarried Jewish families participate in Christmas celebrations in some way.

For more, read What We Learned from the 2007 December Holidays Survey. (Also available in Word format.)
 

Victoria Leikin
IFF Welcomes New Community Connections Coordinator

Nov. 13, 2007. We're pleased to welcome Victoria Leikin as our new community connections coordinator. Victoria has a wealth of experience working at the JCCs of Greater Boston and will be responsible for maintaining and growing our Connections in Your Area system. You can contact her at connections@interfaithfamily.com.

Ronnie Friedland

Ronnie Friedland to Leave InterfaithFamily.com

Nov. 1, 2007. With very mixed emotions we want our readers to know that Ronnie Friedland is leaving InterfaithFamily.com to move on to a new position at Care.com, a website addressing relationships issues including care of children, elders and pets. Ronnie is the founding editor of InterfaithFamily.com and her contributions to our organization are immeasurable. She created an unparalleled content resource that has helped countless people in interfaith relationships explore Jewish life in many ways. We will greatly miss her talents but wish her only the best in her new endeavor. Ronnie can continue to be reached at editor@interfaithfamily.com.

Resource Center for Jewish Clergy in Press

Oct. 17, 2007. Rabbi Lev Baesh and the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy were featured in The (Boston) Jewish Advocate.

Slingshot '07-'08
IFF Once Again Named One of 50 Most Innovative Jewish Non-Profits

Oct. 9, 2007. For the third consecutive year, InterfaithFamily.com has been named one of North America's most innovative Jewish non-profits in Slingshot, the annual guidebook published by a division of The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. This year for the first time, a group of young philanthropists started a Slingshot Fund. Of the 50 organizations included in Slingshot, InterfaithFamily.com is one of eight that are receiving inaugural grants. The (New York) Jewish Week covered the announcement. For more information, click here.

IFF in Ha'aretz

Sept. 25, 2007. President and Publisher Ed Case was quoted in a story on intermarriage in the U.S. by Shmuel Rosner, American correspondent for Ha'aretz, an Israeli daily newspaper.

IFF in the Press

Aug. 14, 2007. "Consider Yourself Part of the Family," an op-ed on the controversy surrounding Noah Feldman's essay on intermarriage and Modern Orthodoxy in the New York Times magazine, by Online Managing Editor Micah Sachs, was published in the New Jersey Jewish News. Sachs was also quoted in a story on a Jewish dating service in the The (Charleston, S.C.) Post & Courier.

Introducing the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy

July 31, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to announce that the Rabbinic Circle has been renamed the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy to reflect better the center's inclusion of cantors and other Jewish clergy in addition to rabbis. Rabbi Lev Baesh will be its first director, and the center will provide information on officiation and assistance for interfaith couples.

InterfaithFamily.com at Jewish Newspaper Conference

July 10, 2007. Online Managing Editor Micah Sachs attended the American Jewish Press Association's annual conference in San Francisco June 26-29. On Friday, June 29, Sachs led a roundtable on "Jewish Newspapers: Roles and Responsibilities."

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

July 10, 2007. Publisher and President Ed Case will be speaking at (Conservative) Congregation B'nai Torah in Trumbull, Conn., on Tuesday, July 17. He was featured in an interview with The Connecticut Jewish Ledger. Also, while in St. Louis to speak at the Ayecha Diversity Symposium as part of the CAJE conference in August, Case will speak at (Conservative) Congregation B'nai Amoona on Monday, August 6.

IFF in the Press

July 10, 2007. "8 Tips for Planning an Inclusive Interfaith/Multi-Cultural Wedding," by Micah Sachs, was published in the June 2007 issue of New England Bride . Also, JTA's brief on our hiring of Rabbi Lev Beash was published by the (Minneapolis) American Jewish World, Washington Jewish Week, j., the Jewish news weekly of northern California, and the (Providence, R.I.) Jewish Voice & Herald , among other publications.

Announcing Our Rabbinic Circle Director

June 19, 2007. We are very pleased to welcome Rabbi Lev Baesh as the first director of InterfaithFamily.com's Rabbinic Circle. Starting July 9 Lev will respond to the many inquiries we get for help finding rabbis to officiate at interfaith weddings. He will also help all rabbis--whether they officiate or not--with providing assistance to interfaith couples.

IFF in the News

June 19, 2007. The hiring of Rabbi Lev Baesh was covered by the JTA, and we were also quoted in a story in The (New York) Jewish Week , "Intermarriage Seen Roiling Reform Ranks."

New Funding from Skirball Foundation

June 19, 2007. We are very grateful to The Skirball Foundation for a new $100,000 grant, payable over four years, for general operating support. Thank you!

Conference Report Now Available

June 5, 2007. The report on the first-ever conference of InterfaithFamily.com's Professionals Advisory Circle is now available.

Congratulations, Bryan and Julie!

June 5, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com would like to congratulate our wedding bloggers, Bryan Daneman and Julie Guess, on their recent wedding May 27, 2007. Mazel tov!

Web Magazine Founder Moves to Advisory Board

June 5, 2007. Yossi Abramowitz, who founded the Web Magazine we took over from Jewish Family & Life! in January 2002, has moved from our Board Board of Directors to our Advisory Board. Abramowitz can be reached via his blog, www.Peoplehood.org .

First-Ever Conference of Professionals Advisory Circle Was a Success

May 22, 2007. The first-ever conference of InterfaithFamily.com's Professionals Advisory Circle, a network of more than 60 professionals who do outreach to interfaith families, was a success. Forty members of the PAC, plus various presenters and representatives from Jewish family foundations, attended the conference and retreat, titled "Nurturing Outreach: Embracing the Other, Taking Care of Ourselves," which took place May 8-10 at the Capital Camps and Retreat Center in Waynesboro, Pa. Among the attendees at the conference were Kathy Kahn, the Reform movement's national director of outreach; the Reform movement's entire national outreach staff; Rabbi Charles Simon, the executive director of the Conservative movement's Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs; and Roseanne Levitt, one of the pioneers of the field, who founded Interfaith Connection in San Francisco in 1986.

Conference highlights included:

  • A presentation on the history of outreach, by Levitt.
  • A session on the latest research and statistics on intermarriage and outreach, led by Dr. Sherry Israel of Brandeis University.
  • A Biblical text study on creating a midrash for outreach, led by Rabbi Brian Field.
  • An interactive "sociograms" exercise lead by Eve Coulson and Rabbi Sam Gordon.
  • Presentations about the relatively well-funded and comprehensive outreach programs offered in Boston and San Francisco.

A summary report on the conference is forthcoming.

User Survey Results Now Available

May 22, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com has released the results of its User Survey conducted in January and February. For more on the results, read Survey Shows High Level of Satisfaction with InterfaithFamily.com.

Jewish Outreach Institute Conference in October

May 22, 2007. The Jewish Outreach Institute (JOI) will be holding a national conference, "Opening the Tent: Visions and Practices for a More Inclusive Jewish Community," Oct. 14-16 in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit joi.org/conference.

Ed Case to Speak at Jewish Education Conference

May 22, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com President and Publisher Ed Case will be speaking at a symposium on Jewish diversity sponsored by Ayecha at the Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education (CAJE) for Jewish educators in St. Louis on Aug. 6. Case will be speaking on "Diversity at Home: The New Jewish Family."

IFF's Letters to the Editor

May 8, 2007. Our letters to the editor of The (Philadelphia) Jewish Exponent and The (Boston) Jewish Advocate were recently published.

IFF Welcomes the Newest Addition to Our Family

April 24, 2007. We would like to congratulate Amy Rovin, our Community Connections Coordinator, and her husband Michael, for giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, Roxy Faye Rovin, on April 6. She weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces.

InterfaithFamily.com in the New York Times, and Other Press

April 11, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com's 2007 Passover/Easter Survey was mentioned in a New York Times article, "A Difficult Journey of Devotion to One Faith and to a Spouse of Another Faith." The JTA's story on the survey was reprinted in the Baltimore Jewish Times, New Jersey Jewish News, Connecticut Jewish Ledger and other publications. Barbara Meltz, parenting columnist for The Boston Globe , also wrote about the survey in her blog, Child Caring .

IFF at Outreach Workshops

April 11, 2007. President Ed Case spoke about recent intermarriage research and parenting in an interfaith family at the Interfaith Family Weekend and Conference in Philadelphia on March 25. The conference was sponsored by Faithways, the outreach arm of Jewish Family and Children's Service. Ronnie Friedland attended Comforting the Bereaved: Issues of Loss and Mourning in the Interfaith Family, a workshop from the Outreach Training Institute of the Union for Reform Judaism Northeast Council , in Newton, Mass., on March 28. Read about it on the IFF Network Blog .

Congratulations to Winner of Survey Drawing

 

April 11, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com would like to offer its congratulations to Nicole Zappala, of San Francisco, who was the winner of the drawing for the $250 American Express giftcard after filling out the 2007 Passover/Easter Survey.

IFF Issues Report on 2007 Passover/Easter Survey

March 22, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com recently released a report on the 2007 Passover/Easter Survey titled What We Learned from the 2007 Passover/Easter Survey. The report looked explicitly at the 236 respondents to the survey who indicated they were in an interfaith relationship and raising their children solely in the Jewish religion. The report found that these families are doing many more Passover activities than Easter activities, treating Passover as a more religious holiday than Easter and keeping the two holidays separate. It also found some significant differences between Christian and Jewish respondents and households where the woman is Jewish vs. households where the man is Jewish.

Passover/Easter Survey A Huge Success

March 13, 2007. Our recent Passover/Easter Survey received 684 responses. We would like to thank everyone who participated. Results, as well as the winner of the drawing for the $250 American Express giftcard, will be announced in the March 22 issue of our eNewsletter.

First Conference of Our Professionals Advisory Circle

March 13, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to announce the first conference of its Professionals Advisory Circle, to be held May 8-10 at the Capital Camps and Retreat Center in Waynesboro, Pa. The theme will be "Nurturing Outreach: Embracing the Other, Taking Care of Ourselves."

IFF in the News

March 13, 2007. Publisher and President Ed Case was interviewed for a recent package of articles on the adult children of intermarried couples, by Sue Fishkoff of JTA. Managing Editor Micah Sachs was quoted in a Cape Cod Times article about interfaith weddings.

User Survey Receives 554 Responses

 

Meyer Lehman, winner of the drawing for a free iPod.
Feb. 27, 2007. Our recent User Survey received 554 responses, including Meyer Lehman of Sun Prairie, Wis., the lucky winner of the drawing for a free iPod. Preliminary analysis shows that the following percentages of respondents in interfaith relationships said that their use of InterfaithFamily.com led to or improved their experiences of:
  • celebrating Jewish holidays: 69%
  • incorporating Jewish traditions into life-cycle events: 60%
  • incorporating Jewish rituals into their life: 64%
  • participating in an outreach program: 38%
  • deciding to raise their children Jewish: 31%

We will be issuing a more complete report in the months ahead.

Our Op-Ed on Two Jewries Has Been Reprinted

Feb. 27, 2007. Edmund Case's and Micah Sachs' column on Steven M. Cohen's "A Tale of Two Jewries: An 'Inconvenient Truth' for American Jews" was reprinted in a number of publications, including the Washington Jewish Week, The (New Jersey) Jewish Standard, The (Philadelphia) Jewish Exponent, the New Jersey Jewish News, the Connecticut Jewish Ledger and Seattle's JTNews.

Passover/Easter Survey a Success

Feb. 13, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com's Passover/Easter Survey has received an unprecedented response. As of Monday, Feb. 12, more than 550 people had taken the survey. Everyone who takes the survey will be entered to win a $250 American Express giftcard. Refer a friend, and you will both receive an additional entry into the drawing.

Meet Our New Administrative Assistant

Feb. 13, 2007. We are pleased to welcome the newest member of our staff, Susan Edni, as administrative assistant. Susan is from London where she was a medical defense legal executive for more than 10 years. She's also taught English in Israel, but is now happily ensconced in the United States with her husband Udi and her two children.

InterfaithFamily.com Responds to New Study on Intermarriage

Feb. 13, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com has been one of the most vocal critics of sociologist Steven Cohen's controversial new study on intermarriage, A Tale of Two Jewries: The "Inconvenient Truth" for American Jews. We were quoted in stories on the study in the JTA and The (New York) Jewish Week, and wrote an op-ed for JTA.

Recent Speaking Appearances

Feb. 13, 2007. Publisher and President Ed Case spoke at Congregation Shirat Hayam in Swampscott, Mass., on Friday, Feb. 9. He was also interviewed for "Beyond the Pale," a radio program on WBAI in New York.

User Survey a Success

January 30, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com's User Survey has been a great success. As of Friday, Jan. 26, more than 450 people had taken the survey. Everyone who takes the survey is eligible to win a free iPod. The survey closes Friday, Feb. 16, and we will announce the winner of the iPod in the Feb. 27 issue of our Web Magazine. Users will be able to see how their recommendations help us shape our content and approach over the coming year.

Still in the News

January 30, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com continues to be in the news. The 200th issue of our Web Magazine and our fifth anniversary as an independent non-profit were covered by The (New York) Jewish Week and the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Our op-ed "Latest Surveys Are Reponsible for Good News, Not Bad" was published in j, the Jewish news weekly of northern California. We were also featured in a story on interfaith families raising Jewish children in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles and a story on children of interfaith marriages in JVibe, The Magazine for Jewish Teens, and mentioned in a JTA article on interfaith burial and a Cleveland Jewish News piece on interfaith divorce. In addition, our letters to the editor have recently been published in the (New Jersey) Jewish Standard, The (Pittsburgh) Jewish Chronicle, the Cleveland Jewish News, the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix and the Canadian Jewish News.

Recent and Upcoming Speaking Engagements

January 30, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com was pleased to participate in the 2007 RAVSAK Annual Leadership Conference in Los Angeles on Jan. 16. RAVSAK is the association of Jewish community day schools, and Publisher and President Edmund Case presented at a session on the needs and concerns of interfaith families who send their children to day schools. On Feb. 9, Case will speak at Congregation Shirat Hayam in Swampscott, Mass., to kick off a new initiative to create a center for outreach to interfaith families on the North Shore of Boston.

The Web Magazine Celebrates Its 200th Issue--and InterfaithFamily.com Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary

 

Our original logo, which was used from 1998 to March 2001.

January 16, 2007. On Tuesday, Jan. 16, InterfaithFamily.com published the 200th issue of its Web Magazine. The Web Magazine began publication in November 1998 as one of numerous online publications of Jewish Family & Life! In January 2002, InterfaithFamily.com became an independent non-profit and added an advocacy arm and Connections in Your Area, a searchable database of more than 375 programs that are welcoming to interfaith families.

To celebrate the 200th issue of our Web Magazine and our fifth anniversary as an independent non-profit, we asked some of our writers and supporters to pick their favorite articles and our staff picked their favorite articles out of the more than 1,500 we've published over the years. Our 200th issue also includes a history of InterfaithFamily.com and an interview with Anita Diamant, the author of The Red Tent, and one of our earliest supporters.

Coinciding with the issue, we have also reformatted and relaunched our Discussion Boards, added a new Weddings Blog and have begun conducting a User Survey to determine how to improve and enhance InterfaithFamily.com

InterfaithFamily.com Launches User Survey

January 16, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to launch a new User Survey designed to determine how to improve and enhance InterfaithFamily.com and learn more about our users. Everyone who takes our User Survey can enter to win a free iPod.

New Discussion Boards Are Now On-line

January 16, 2007. We have reformatted and improved our Discussion Boards. Users no longer need to register to post to the Discussion Boards. We have also changed the categories to reflect better our users' needs and interests.

InterfaithFamily.com Welcomes New Bloggers

 

January 16, 2007. Bryan Daneman, a Jewish man, and Julie Guess, his United Methodist fiancée, will blog regularly about planning their interfaith wedding in May 2007 on our new Weddings Blog.

InterfaithFamily.com Continues to Be in the News

January 4, 2007. InterfaithFamily.com continues to be in the news. Recent articles on our Third Annual December Holidays Survey appeared in the Orange County Register and the Canadian Jewish News, while the story from the Detroit Free Press has been reprinted throughout the country. We were chosen as a "Web Source of the Week" by the New Jersey Jewish News and were mentioned in a recent JTA article on burial options for intermarried couples. We were featured in an article on growing up in an interfaith family in the January/February 2007 issue of JVibe. Our letters to the editor were published recently in the Intermountain Jewish News (Denver) and the Jewish Week (New York). Publisher and President Ed Case was interviewed for a segment on the December holidays on KCBS-FM. And our article "How to Market Community Day Schools to Interfaith Families," in Ha-Yidion, the magazine of RAVSAK, is now online. For a complete list of December Holidays coverage of InterfaithFamily.com, click here. For a complete list of press coverage of the 2005 Greater Boston Jewish Community Study, click here.

InterfaithFamily.com in the News

December 19, 2006. We've been in the news lately--a lot. The JTA did a story yesterday on our Third Annual December Holidays Survey, following up on a brief from the previous week (which was published in the Cleveland Jewish News and the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, among other places). Our survey was also covered in stories by Beliefnet, the Tulsa World and the Portland Press-Herald (Maine). Julie Wiener of the Jewish Week (New York) mentioned the survey in her most recent "In the Mix" column. The story on the survey in the Detroit Free Press was reprinted in the News-Democrat (Belleville, Ill.), the Reading Eagle (Penn.), Providence Journal, the Florida Ledger (Lakeland), the Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tenn.), the Centre Daily Times (Pa.), the Bradenton Herald (Fla.) and the Monterey County Herald. President and Publisher Ed Case was recently interviewed for "Your Morning" on CN8, the Comcast Network, and "Busted Halo with Father Dave Dwyer" on Sirius Radio. We also got a nice shout-out from Miss Conduct in her column in the Boston Sunday Globe Magazine.

InterfaithFamily.com Launches New Hanukkah E-Card

 

December 19, 2006. On Tuesday, Dec. 12, we unveiled our first ever Hanukkah e-card. To date nearly 1,500 people have viewed or sent the card. To see the card, click here.

Results of 2006 December Holidays Survey Now Available

December 5, 2006. The results of our Third Annual December Holidays Survey are now available online. The report focuses on the 342 respondents who said they are in an interfaith relationship, raising children and are raising their children Jewish. The findings show that these families are keeping their holidays separate, see Christmas as almost an entirely secular holiday and are engaging in many more Hanukkah activities than Christmas activities in the home. Click here to download What We Learned from the Third Annual December Holidays Survey, and click here to download the press release, New Study Answers if You Can Be Jewish and Celebrate Christmas.

Congratulations to Kelly Goldberg

December 5, 2006. We would like to congratulate Kelly Goldberg, of Farmington Hills, Mich., for being the lucky winner of the random drawing for a $500 American Express giftcard. All respondents to the Third Annual December Holidays Survey were entered into the drawing.

InterfaithFamily.com in the Press

December 5, 2006. Our Third Annual December Holidays Survey was featured in a story in the Detroit Free Press. Our letter to the editor of the Detroit Jewish News was recently published. And Publisher and President Ed Case was quoted in "The Interfaith Family: How to Handle the Holidays," in 2006 Holiday Happenings, an insert in a number of papers published by Community Newspaper Company, a Massachusetts-based newspaper chain.

60% of Interfaith Households in Boston Are Raising Their Children Jewish, Says New Study

November 21, 2006. The recently released 2005 Greater Boston Jewish Community Study revealed that 60 percent of interfaith households in the Boston area are raising their children Jewish. Publisher and President Ed Case was quoted in stories on the news in the Boston Globe, JTA and The Jewish Week. He also co-authored an op-ed in The Forward with Kathy Kahn, director of the Union for Reform Judaism's Department of Outreach and Synagogue Community. Titled "Engaging the Intermarried," the op-ed argues that Boston's strong support of outreach over the last 10 years was a key factor in the extraordinary results and that other communities can use Boston as a template. For a full list of press on the study, click here.

InterfaithFamily.com in Other Press

November 21, 2006. "How to Market Community Day Schools to Interfaith Families," by Publisher and President Ed Case and Online Managing Editor Micah Sachs, was published in the Chanukah 2006 issue of HaYidion, the magazine of RAVSAK, the Jewish Community Day School Network. Also, Ed Case's letter to the editor was published in a recent issue of Boston's Jewish Advocate.

IFF's President Attends the UJC General Assembly

November 21, 2006. President and Publisher Ed Case was in Los Angeles last week for the United Jewish Communities General Assembly, where there was a great deal of interest in the Boston survey results and in the outreach programs funded by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Boston federation.

New Funding for InterfaithFamily.com

November 7, 2006. We are pleased to announce that the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund of San Francisco, an early and long-standing supporter, has awarded InterfaithFamily.com renewed funding of $95,000 for general operating support. We are extremely grateful to the members of the Board of the Fund and to Dr. Debbie Findling, our program officer.

Our Board is Expanding

 

November 7, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com's Board of Directors has grown this year, most recently with the addition of Mamie Kanfer, who lives in Minneapolis, Minn. Earlier this year, Steve Kris from Denver, Colo., and Kristin Hendler, from Boston, Mass., joined the Board.

New Guide to Birth Ceremonies for Interfaith Families Now Available

November 7, 2006. Our new Guide to Birth Ceremonies for Interfaith Families is now available. This 47-page booklet includes information on Jewish birth ceremonies such as brit milah and simchat bat as well as dozens of ideas for readings and rituals suitable for interfaith families. The booklet includes information from our contributors and readers as well as our partner MyJewishLearning.com. We would like to thank everyone who submitted birth ceremony ideas and congratulate Michele Missner of Appleton, Wis., for winning the drawing for the $100 giftcard to Barnes and Noble. The Guide is available for download in both PDF and Word formats.

December Holidays Survey a Huge Success, Take Two

November 7, 2006. We would like to thank everyone who took our December Holidays survey. The survey was a huge success; 758 people responded, which is nearly double the number--396--that responded to our 2005 survey. We will announce the winner of the $500 American Express giftcard in our Dec. 5 eNewsletter and we will release information from the survey in the coming weeks.

December Holidays Survey a Huge Success

October 24, 2006. Only two days after releasing our third annual December Holidays Survey, more than 500 people had responded. If you haven't taken the survey yet, you have until Oct. 31 to fill out the survey and be entered into our drawing for a $500 American Express giftcard. Refer a friend, and if your friend fills out the survey and provides address and contact information, you will each receive an additional entry for the drawing for the giftcard.

InterfaithFamily.com To Present at Princeton, N.J., Conference on Intermarriage

October 24, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to be one of the presenters at "Yours, Mine, Ours: A Community Program Exploring Interfaith Relationships," a conference on interfaith relationships for couples, outreach professionals and Jewish lay leaders. The conference is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 5, at Friend Center at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. For more information, contact (609) 987-8100 or debral@jfcsonline.org. NOTE: This event has been canceled.

InterfaithFamily.com Still in the News

October 24, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com continues to garner press attention. The Jewish Week columnist Julie Wiener mentioned us in her most recent "In the Mix" column on intermarried life. We have also had numerous letters to the editor recently published: the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent published our letter to the editor on the JTA story on rabbis honoring non-Jews during High Holidays services; the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle published our response to Susan Jacobs' article on interdating; and The Jerusalem Post published our letter responding to Binyamin Netanyahu's statements equating assimilation and intermarriage.

InterfaithFamily.com in the News

October 10, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com has been in the news a lot lately. Publisher and President Ed Case was quoted in a Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh story on talking to teens about interdating, in a Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles story about High Holidays in interfaith families and in an article in Hadassah magazine on conversion. Online Managing Editor Micah Sachs was quoted in a story in the online edition of the Vancouver Sun on the rise in intermarriage in Canada. We also had a letter published in the Washington Jewish Week criticizing the paper's biased review of Inside Intermarriage. We also sent a letter to numerous papers, including the Washington Times, critiquing a recent Associated Press article on conversion in the Jewish community and sent a letter to the Boston Jewish Advocate responding to a Lappin Foundation spokesperson's comments on intermarriage.

The Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation Awards Grant to Enhance InterfaithFamily.com's Secular/Humanistic/Cultural Content

September 26, 2006. The Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to InterfaithFamily.com to enhance our secular/humanistic/cultural content for interfaith couples and families. We are extremely grateful to Jesse Rasch for the foundation's support and his expression of confidence in our work.

InterfaithFamily.com Included in Slingshot for Second Consecutive Year

September 26, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is honored to again be one of 50 innovative Jewish organizations included in Slingshot, a directory created by 21/64, a non-profit consultancy based at The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies describe Slingshot as "a listing of the 50 most innovative Jewish organizations and projects--those with the right mix of big vision, effective leadership and creative strategy to make sense of the bewildering changes in generational identity and community in America today." This year more than twice as many organizations were nominated, so we're especially pleased to be included. InterfaithFamily.com was also featured prominently in the JTA story on Slingshot. For the text of our entry in Slingshot, click here.

Professionals Advisory Circle Speaks with Noted Demographer

September 26, 2006. The InterfaithFamily.com Network Professional Advisory Circle's most recent telephone conference call took place on September 18. The call featured a presentation by noted demographer Ariela Keysar on the implications for outreach of her recent research on secularism. For more information on joining the Circle, email connections@interfaithfamily.com.

The Debut of the IFF Network Blog

September 12, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to announce the launch of the IFF Network Blog, where the staff of InterfaithFamily.com will write regularly about news of interest to interfaith families, outreach professionals and others interested in the intermarriage debate in the Jewish community. Online Managing Editor Micah Sachs recently blogged from Salt Lake City, Utah, where he attended the Religion Newswriters Association conference.

Micah Sachs Interviewed for Article on New Intermarriage Documentary

September 12, 2006. Online Managing Editor Micah Sachs was recently interviewed for an article on Out of Faith, a new documentary on intermarriage, in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Out of Faith tells the story of a Holocaust survivor struggling over her grandchildren's marriage to non-Jews.

InterfaithFamily.com Attends Journalists' Conference

September 12, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com was an exhibitor at the Religion Newswriters Association conference September 6 to 9 in Salt Lake City, Utah. One-hundred thirty journalists who cover religion for the secular press attended the event.

InterfaithFamily.com Publishes 2006 High Holidays Snapshot

September 12, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com has published a nationwide snapshot of interesting High Holiday events tailored to the needs of interfaith families. For more High Holiday events (including synagogue services), visit Connections In Your Area.

Longtime InterfaithFamily.com Contributor Publishes New Book on Intermarriage

August 29, 2006. A new book by a longtime contributor to InterfaithFamily.com is coming out in September. Jim Keen's Inside Intermarriage details his experience as a Protestant man raising his children as Jews with his Jewish wife, and includes many of his columns for InterfaithFamily.com. Read our review and an excerpt from the book and listen to a podcast of Editor Ronnie Friedland's interview with Keen. A 15 percent discount off the listed price ($14.95) of Inside Intermarriage is available to InterfaithFamily.com subscribers through the Union for Reform Judaism Press website. If you register with InterfaithFamily.com today, you will receive the discount code in your confirmation email. If you are already a subscriber, simply visit My Profile.

Congratulations to Winners of the J., Jewish News Weekly of Northern California Readers Choice Awards

August 29, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com would like to congratulate the following organizations for being recognized by the J., the Jewish news weekly of northern California 2006 Readers' Choice Awards as the best interfaith programs in the San Francisco area: Congregation Emanu-El and Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco, Building Jewish Bridges and Kehilla Community Synagogue in the East Bay, Congregation Beth Am and Temple Emanu-El in South Bay/the Peninsula and Congregation Kol Shofar and Congregation Rodef Shalom in Marin County/Sonoma County. Check out Connections in Your Area for more great programs like them.

We Offer Our Condolences to the Family and Friends of Pam Waechter

August 15, 2006. The outreach community was deeply saddened by the death of Pam Waechter, a colleague who had served as outreach coordinator to the intermarried at Seattle's Jewish Family Service. She was killed by a gunman at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle on July 28. We hope that the memories of this remarkable woman comfort you during this difficult time.

InterfaithFamily.com Launches Its First Blog, Peace Within These Walls

August 15, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com has launched its first blog. In Peace Within These Walls, Rachel Freedenberg, a religiously observant Jewish woman, will write about her relationship with her boyfriend, the atheist son of devout Christians. Rachel Freedenberg is a copy editor for J., the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

InterfaithFamily.com Is Looking for Your Birth Ceremony Ideas

August 15, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is creating a resource on birth ceremonies for interfaith families. Send us your ideas for readings, prayers or other rituals that can be used at baby-naming ceremonies or the bris or simchat bat, and you'll be entered into a drawing for a $100 giftcard from Barnes and Noble or BookSense. We're calling for readers and members, both family members and rabbis/cantors/educators, to share suggestions for how non-Jewish relatives can participate in the ceremony, "programs" with explanatory materials you've used, and other ways to make everyone feel welcome and included. Please email your suggestions to editor@interfaithfamily.com by Tuesday, September 12.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation Awards Grant for Conference of InterfaithFamily.com's Professionals Advisory Circle

August 15, 2006. The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to InterfaithFamily.com to support a conference of our Professionals Advisory Circle, a group of professionals who conduct programs of outreach to interfaith families. We are extremely grateful to Lynn Schusterman, Executive Director Sandy Cardin and Schusterman Fellow Jennifer Kraus for the foundation's support and their expression of confidence in our work.

Professionals Advisory Circle June Conference Call Now Available

August 15, 2006. The InterfaithFamily.com Network Professionals Advisory Circle's quarterly telephone conference call on June 26 featured a discussion of what outreach professionals need to enhance their work. To hear an audio of the call, click here. For more information on joining the Circle, email connections@interfaithfamily.com.

Printable Version of Entire Web Magazine Issue Now Available

August 15, 2006. In response to your requests, you can now print new issues of our Web Magazine in their entirety by clicking on the "Print entire issue" link in the upper righthand corner of the Web Magazine.

InterfaithFamily.com Creates New Resource for Talking about Israel in Your Interfaith Family

July 25, 2006. We are terribly concerned about the current situation in Israel and wants to express our support for the State of Israel and our hope for peace for all residents of the region. In light of recent events, InterfaithFamily.com has created a new Resource Page on Israel and Interfaith Families and a new resource, Thirteen Tips for Talking about Israel in Interfaith Families. It's also available in easy-to-distribute PDF and Word formats.

Spring 2006 Issue of The Connection Is Now Available

July 25, 2006. The Spring 2006 issue of our bi-annual printed newsletter, The Connection, has been mailed to more than 1,900 Network members and friends. If you're not already a member, please join the Network--click here to learn more about it. To access the newsletter online, click here .

Edmund Case Talked with Ha'aretz

July 25, 2006. Edmund Case, the president and publisher of InterfaithFamily.com, recently took part in a weeklong dialogue with Shmuel Rosner, U.S. correspondent for Ha'aretz, an Israeli daily newspaper.

InterfaithFamily.com Announces New Rabbinic Circle

June 27, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to announce the formation of its new Rabbinic Circle. The Rabbinic Circle will advise InterfaithFamily.com on how it can better serve rabbis who work with interfaith couples and families and who are looking for ways to engage more of them in their synagogues. The Rabbinic Circle also puts rabbis who welcome interfaith families in touch with each other, including rabbinic colleagues from different Jewish denominations. For more information, and to provide initial input and advice, visit www.interfaithfamily.com/rabbiniccircle.

InterfaithFamily.com Announces New Resource Concerning Rabbinic Officiation at Intermarriages

June 27, 2006. At the convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (the association for Reform rabbis) in San Diego last week, InterfaithFamily.com held an information session where it announced it will create a new resource on its website for rabbis dealing with the question of officiation at intermarriages. Initial plans call for essays by rabbis explaining the ways they deal with requests to officiate, how they reached their decisions, what liturgies they use if they do officiate and how they announce changes to their congregations. Portions of the resource will be password-protected, available to rabbis only. The rabbis who attended the information session also expressed interest in research on the impact of officiation, and in the creation of "follow up" materials that rabbis can give to interfaith couples to encourage them to connect to local Jewish communities after they marry. For more information, visit www.interfaithfamily.com/rabbiniccircle.

InterfaithFamily.com to Launch Wedding Blog

June 27, 2006. Starting this fall, InterfaithFamily.com will be launching its first blog, written by our readers. We're looking for interfaith couples who are planning a wedding some time in 2007. Two to three couples will be chosen to blog; if you are selected and continue to blog on a regular basis, we'll give you a wedding gift: your choice of a personalized ketubah or a Lucite cube or mezuzah containing the broken glass from your wedding ceremony. If you would like to apply to blog for us, please fill out our online blog application.

InterfaithFamily.com Welcomes New Editorial Intern

June 27, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to welcome Sarah Litvin as our new editorial intern for the summer. Sarah is a senior majoring in Jewish studies at Oberlin College in Ohio.

Fundraising Drive a Great Success

June 6, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to report that in the three weeks since our online fundraising drive was announced on May 16, we received over 80 charitable contributions totalling over $10,000. Together with the Rubinstein Foundation's gift and other donations, we are very close to meeting the Children of Harvey and Lyn Myerhoff Family Philanthropic Fund's $25,000 challenge grant to support our marketing efforts. InterfaithFamily.com would like to thank everyone who donated to the appeal.

InterfaithFamily.com Launches New Resource Pages

June 6, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is excited to introduce a new, better way for interfaith families to find the help and information they need. Our Resource Pages are organized by topic--such as Weddings, Parenting, Marriage and Relationships, etc.--and include ceremony ideas, recommended articles, links to our article Archive, recommended books and websites and helpful articles from MyJewishLearning.com .

InterfaithFamily.com to Exhibit at Boston's Israel Day

June 6, 2006. On Sunday, June 18, InterfaithFamily.com will be exhibiting at Boston Celebrates Israel: Talk, Walk & Rock for Israel in downtown Boston.

InterfaithFamily.com Launches Fundraising Drive

May 23, 2006. On May 16, InterfaithFamily.com launched a fundraising drive. If we can raise $25,000, the Children of Harvey and Lyn Meyerhoff Family Philanthropic Fund has generously agreed to give us a $25,000 grant to help us get out the word about what we do. Every donation received before June 1 will go towards this goal. In effect, every $1 you give is worth $2 to us. To donate, go to www.interfaithfamily.com/donate.

Lawrence J. and Anne Rubenstein Charitable Foundation Awards Grant to InterfaithFamily.com

May 23, 2006. We are pleased to report the Lawrence J. and Anne Rubenstein Charitable Foundation has awarded InterfaithFamily.com a $15,000 grant for general operating support. The grant will be received in two installments of $7,500 each over two years. We are very grateful to the Lawrence J. and Anne Rubenstein Charitable Foundation for its support.

InterfaithFamily.com Will Be a Co-Presenter at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

May 23, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com will be a co-presenter of La Petite Jerusalem at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival later this summer.

New Bar/Bat Mitzvah Ideas and Primer for Interfaith Families from InterfaithFamily.com

May 9, 2006. The InterfaithFamily.com Network is pleased to make available a unique new resource for interfaith families planning a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Thank you to all our readers and contributors who made valuable suggestions. The winner of the $100 gift card to Barnes & Noble bookstores was Pam Saeks of Cincinnati, Ohio. To access Bar/Bat Mitzvah Ideas and Primer for Interfaith Families, click here.

InterfaithFamily.com to Exhibit at the Hillel Summit 2006

May 9, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to be exhibiting at "Inspiring Values, Creating Leaders": The University and the Jewish Community Summit 2006 May 21-23 in Washington, D.C., convened by Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. For registration information visit www.hillel.org/summit.

Visit Us at the Central Conference of American Rabbis Convention

May 9, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to be exhibiting at the Central Conference of American Rabbis Convention June 18-21 in San Diego. The Central Conference of American Rabbis is the rabbinical body of the Reform movement.

InterfaithFamily.com Exhibited at the Jewish Community Centers of North America Biennial

May 9, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com was recently an exhibitor at the Jewish Community Centers of North America Biennial May 7-10 in Philadelphia.

InterfaithFamily.com Welcomes New Community Connections Coordinator

April 25, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to expand its Connections In Your Area system with the addition of Amy Rovin as Community Connections Coordinator. Amy will help Jewish organizations get themselves and their programs listed on the Connections system and will respond to individuals seeking to connect to them. Her past experience includes almost five years as Director of Jewish Student Life at the University of Rhode Island Hillel. Visit Who We Are/Staff to read more about Amy's background and experience.

InterfaithFamily.com Participating in Reclaiming Mikveh Conference

April 25, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to be a national Partner with the Reform movement's Northeast Council's "Reclaiming Mikveh" conference June 4-6 in Boston. Edmund Case will participate in a "Meet the Authors" reception and book signing on Monday June 5. For more information contact Maria Benet at mbenet@urj.org or 781-449-0404.

Professionals Advisory Circle Third Quarterly Conference Call

April 25, 2006. Rabbi Sam Gordon, a champion of outreach to interfaith families and founder of Congregation Sukkat Shalom in Wilmette IL, spoke with the InterfaithFamily.com Network Professionals Advisory Circle on March 20, 2006 about what synagogues can do to be welcoming to interfaith families, and about rabbinic officiation at intermarriages. To hear an audio of the conference call, click here.

InterfaithFamily.com Featured at a Jewish Funders Network Conference Reception

April 11, 2006. We were very honored to be featured at a reception hosted by the Samuel Bronfman Foundation and attended by over 40 representatives of leading Jewish family foundations at the Jewish Funders Network conference in Denver on April 3, 2006. Edgar M. Bronfman hosted the reception, and Adam Bronfman, chair of the conference, introduced Edmund Case, who spoke on the power and impact of personal narratives of interfaith families raising Jewish children. To read Ed's comments, click here.

The Children of Harvey and Lyn Meyerhoff Philanthropic Fund Approves Challenge Grant to InterfaithFamily.com

April 11, 2006. The Children of Harvey and Lyn Meyerhoff Philanthropic Fund has approved a $25,000 challenge grant to InterfaithFamily.com, designated for marketing support. We are extremely grateful to the Fund's trustees and to Alice Kolman, Director of the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, for their generosity and their expression of confidence in our work.

InterfaithFamily.com Welcomes New Online Managing Editor

April 11, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to expand its editorial staff with the addition of Micah Sachs as Online Managing Editor. Micah previously served as Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of the San Diego Jewish Journal. Ronnie Friedland continues as Web Magazine Editor. Visit Who We Are/Staff to read more about Micah's background and experience.

The Results of Our Second Annual Passover/Easter Survey

March 28, 2006. Even though Easter falls in the middle of Passover this year, 85% of the 270 respondents to our second annual Passover/Easter Survey said they will keep their holiday celebrations separate. Demonstrating that many interfaith families raising their children as Jews treat Passover but not Easter as a religious holiday, only 9% plan to tell the Easter story as part of their celebration, compared to 69% who will tell the Passover story. For the complete survey results, click here.

InterfaithFamily.com is Looking for Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah Ideas

March 14, 2006. In response to many requests, the InterfaithFamily.com Network is creating a resource for interfaith families having a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. We're calling for readers and members, both family members and rabbis/cantors/educators, to share suggestions for how non-Jewish relatives can participate in the service, "programs" with explanatory materials you've used, and other ways to make everyone feel welcome and included. To share your experiences, email us at network@interfaithfamily.com.

Visit Us at the PEJE Conference

March 14, 2006. We're exhibiting at the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education conference in Boston March 19-21.

Second Annual Passover/Easter Survey

February 14, 2006. The Network is conducting its second annual survey about interfaith families and the Passover and Easter holidays. This year Easter Sunday falls in the middle of Passover, and we want to know how that will affect our readers.

New Media Coverage

February 14, 2006. The New Jersey Jewish News launched a new year-long series, The Next Big Think. Edmund Case wrote one of the three inaugural essays, The Next Big Thing is Now: Outreach to the Intermarried. The other two writers are Rabbi Daniel Gordis of the Mandel Foundation and Rabbi Brad Hirshfield of CLAL.

In addition, our letter to the editor, Mean-Spirited Approach, responding to an op-ed essay by Steven Bayme and Jack Wertheimer supporting aggressive promotion of conversion, was published in the New York Jewish Week.

And, the Winter 2006 issue of Essence magazine, published in Israel by Ha'aretz, included a feature story about InterfaithFamily.com.

The Samuel Bronfman Foundation Awards Grant to InterfaithFamily.com

January 31, 2006. The Samuel Bronfman Foundation has awarded InterfaithFamily.com a new grant of $50,000 for general operating support. We are extremely grateful to Edgar M. Bronfman, Adam Bronfman and the Foundation's executive director, Dana Raucher for their generosity and their expression of confidence in the importance of our work.

InterfaithFamily.com is Looking for Your Story about Rabbis Officiating at Weddings

January 31, 2006. Some people say that whether or not a rabbi officiates at an intermarriage has no lasting or major impact on a couple's involvement in Jewish life. We wonder about that--so we're asking our members and readers to Tell Us Your Story. What was your experience like looking for a rabbi to officiate, or co-officiate, at your wedding? What was the impact on you of finding--or not finding--a rabbi to officiate, or co-officiate? We'll compile the stories and report on what you have to say.

San Francisco Appearances

January 31, 2006. Edmund Case spoke on "The Seven Deadly Attitudes Jews Have about Intermarriage: A Roadmap to a More Welcoming Community" at Congregation Emanu-El at Shabbat Services on January 27, 2006, at the invitation of InterfaithFamily.com Advisory Board member, Rabbi Stephen Pearce. On January 31, Ed made a presentation to the San Francisco federation's interfaith advisory committee on new ways to market the Bay Area's extensive outreach programs.

Media Coverage of Our December Survey

January 17, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com was very busy in December. It seemed that every newspaper in the country wanted to write a story about the fact that Hanukkah started on Christmas Day We spent a lot of time talking to the press. Many publications, including Newsweek, The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel and at least 70 other papers--maybe even the one in your area--quoted Ed Case and/or mentioned InterfaithFamily.com's tolerant, welcoming approach. You can access the stories at December Media Coverage .

InterfaithFamily.com at Project Welcome's Wedding Fair

January 17, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com is pleased to participate in Project Welcome's Jewish Wedding Fair on January 29, 2006 at the Peninsula JCC in Foster City CA. At this free, day-long event for anyone interested in a Jewish wedding, participants will meet Jewish wedding vendors and representatives of local synagogues and agencies, and attend workshops on topics including Interfaith Ceremonies, What Makes a Wedding Jewish, How to Pick a Ketubah and Jewish Sex.

InterfaithFamily.com at Synagogue Renewal Conference

January 17, 2006. InterfaithFamily.com was invited to attend "Synergy: Using Research on the Synagogue of Today to Enhance the Synagogue of Tomorrow." This excellent full-day leadership conference, sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York and led by our Advisory Board member Dru Greenwood, presented the latest research on synagogue renewal efforts and, of particular interest to us, included workshops on attracting and engaging newcomers in congregational life.

 

Hebrew for "Head of the Year," the Jewish New Year. With Yom Kippur, known as the High Holy Days. A ceremony created by the Reform movement as a way for young adults to show their decision to embrace Jewish study and reaffirm their commitment to Judaism. Confirmation is typically held at the end of the tenth grade. Hebrew for "daughter of the commandments." In modern Jewish practice, Jewish girls come of age at 12 or 13. When a girl comes of age, she is officially a bat mitzvah and considered an adult. The term is commonly used as a short-hand for the bat mitzvah's coming-of-age ceremony and/or celebration. The male equivalent is "bar mitzvah." Hebrew for "daughter's celebration," a modern term for a naming ceremony for baby girls. Hebrew for "covenant of circumcision," a ritual for Jewish boys when they are 8 days old. It is commonly known as "bris," which is the Ashkenazi or Yiddish pronunciation of "brit." Hebrew for "Day of Atonement," the final of ten Days of Awe that begin with Rosh Hashanah. Occurs during the fall and is marked by a 24-hour fast. One of the most important Jewish holidays. Plural form of the Hebrew for "telling," it's the text that outlines the order of the Passover seder. There are many, many versions of this book, which dates back almost 2,000 years. Because we are commanded to expand upon the story, the Haggadah contains ancient interpretations, as well as stage directions and explanations, for the Passover meal. Hebrew and Yiddish for "good luck," a phrase used to express congratulations for happy and significant occasions. Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." Hanukkah (known by many spellings) is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd Century BCE. It is marked by the lighting of a menorah and the eating of fried foods. The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." Yiddish for "spin," a four-sided spinning top played with during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Hebrew for "document," a legal document that is both a prenuptial agreement and a certification that a Jewish marriage has taken place. Hebrew for "doorpost," it now refers to a small box containing a scroll (of the Hebrew text of the Shema prayer) which is affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes. Strictly speaking, mezuzah only refers to the scroll itself, not the case in which it's housed. Hebrew for "story," a way of interpreting biblical stories that often fills in the gaps left in the biblical narrative and expands on events of characters that are only hinted at. The Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday. Hebrew for "collection," referring to the "collection of water," is a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism. Today it is used as part of the traditional procedure for converting to Judaism, by Jews who follow the laws of ritual (body) purity, and sometimes for making kitchen utensils kosher. Hebrew for "my master," the term refers to a spiritual leader and teacher of Torah. Often, but not always, a rabbi is the leader of a synagogue congregation. Hebrew for "seven," refers to the seven days of mourning following the funeral of a family member. The first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), or the scroll that contains them.
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