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It’s the first week of December which means only one thing: TV shows and newspapers are flooded with stories on the “December dilemma.”
Yesterday morning, the Today Show had a segment featuring Jewish-Christian couples and advice from Rev. Sherri Hauser, of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, and Rabbi Irwin Kula, best known for his recent book Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life. One of the couples was Mark and Helena McMahon, who we know well from her great work as manager of the Interfaith Connection at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, an outreach program for interfaith couples. Interestingly, the segment made no mention of that fact. Among the few nuggets of wisdom: “Relationships and faith are living things, so expect them to change” (Hauser) and “Conflict is always an invitation to growing” (Kula).
In today’s New York Times, I was quoted in Julie Scelfo’s A Holiday Medley, Off Key.Â The article looks at the push-and-pull of holiday celebrations in interfaith couples, paying particular attention to ways in which the holidays can become a competition between partners. Continue reading
In today’s The Virginian-Pilot, Steven G. Vegh has a smart little article about converts to Judaism who miss Christmas.
Interestingly, though, our recent 2007 December Holidays Survey showed that 63 percentÂ of conversionary families plan on participating in Christmas celebrations in some way, although only six percent plan on celebrating in their own home. Half plan to celebrate at the home of relatives. While many converts may miss having Christmas at home, they often continue to celebrate at the home of relatives.
WhileÂ skeptics may see this as a sign that even conversionary families are “infected” by the Christmas bug, even born-Jewish families are not immune to participating in Christmas. The survey also found that a third of born-Jewish families plan to participate in Christmas celebrationsÂ in some way, be it at the home of relatives or friends, at a work function or as part of a public activity. And for what it’s worth, 31 percent plan on watching It’s A Wonderful Life.
In Friday’s post, I said Bob Dylan “grew up as a non-participating Jew.”
Leave it to my friend, the sage of Jewish celebrity trivia, Nate Bloom, to correct my error. Turns out Dylan was quite a bit more Jewishly involved than I thought, according to this email message from Bloom: