Full of helpful advice for families starting to think about their child's bat or bar mitzvah, Bar & Bat Mitzvah For The Interfaith Family will be a helpful primer to all families (not just interfaith!).
This booklet explains the history of Hanukkah, the symbolism and significance of lighting candles for eight nights, the blessings that accompany the lighting of the candles, the holiday's foods, the game of dreidels, and more!
Connecting Interfaith Families to Jewish Life in Greater Cleveland by providing programs and opportunities for interfaith families to experience Judaism in a variety of venues, meet other interfaith families, and to connect to other Jewish organizations that may serve their needs.
This is an interactive, fun, and low-key workshop for couples who are dating, engaged or recently married. The sessions will give you a chance to ask questions about faith, to think about where you are as an adult with your own spirituality and to talk through what's important to you and your partner.
A great way for Jewish professionals and volunteers who work with and provide programming for people in interfaith relationships to locate resources and trainings to build more welcome into their Jewish communities; connect with and learn from each other; and publicize and enhance their programs and services.
When a friend or loved one experiences loss, it can be hard to know how to support them. If that loved one is Jewish, and you are unfamiliar with Jewish mourning practices, it can be even harder to help. This video from G-dcast explains mourning rituals within Judaism and offers advice about how to help a mourner.
If you’ve never been to a Jewish wedding, you may not be familiar with the ritual dance, the Hora. But chances are, you’ve seen this circle dance that involves lifting the bride and groom in the air on chairs on TV or in a movie. It’s a joyous dance for everyone to take part in.
Watch this video, and at your next Jewish wedding, when the song Hava Nagila starts playing, you’ll know what to do!
What is this breaking the glass thing all about? One of the most recognizable traditions in a Jewish wedding, signaling the end of the ceremony and time to rejoice, many of us don’t actually know the meaning behind breaking the glass. This is partly because there is no one definition of this ritual.
There are many different interpretations of this tradition, so G-dcast collected three to animate in this short video.
Learn more about breaking the glass here, and find many more tips for creating an inclusive ceremony here.
Marriage is about making a strong partnership. The marriage contract, or ketubah, formalizes some of these agreements and there are many different ways to make it personal to your ceremony and relationship.
Whether or not you’ve attended many (or any) Jewish weddings, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of or seen a “chuppah” – the Jewish wedding canopy. It is a symbol of intimacy that partners share, and the home they will create.
If you’re planning a wedding or attending one, (whether or not you have ever heard of a chuppah) this animated short will briefly explain what a chuppah is and some historical Jewish wedding traditions.
While certain traditions appear in most Jewish weddings, there is always room for reinterpretation and reinvention.
Want to learn more about the chuppah and inclusive Jewish wedding ceremonies? Click here.
What exactly does a Jewish wedding ceremony entail? What are the customs and how might they differ from couple to couple? For a quick primer on this subject, check out the video below from G-dcast. And if you want more specifics on Jewish wedding ceremonies for couples who come from different faith traditions, check out our Weddings for the Interfaith Couple booket. If you’re looking for a clergy member to officiate your wedding, try our free referral service. And for more information on wedding planning, this guide has links to lots of other resources.
Margee’s same-sex marriage was an expression of love, Judaism and equality. She and her partner created gender-appropriate language, altering some of the words in the ceremony that “can be interpreted in a way that is not necessarily empowering for same-sex couples.” They “reframed” traditional language and with their union, affirmed that despite not being what some people would consider a traditional Jewish couple, they were indeed a Jewish couple. Margee and her partner are just like many couples who are minorities in the Jewish community, and they found a way to make their wedding Jewish, beautiful and authentic for their union. Mazel tov!
Having kids is sometimes hard. Giving birth to a baby is REALLY hard. Judaism has a ritual to mark getting through the experience. This next video from G-dcast teaches us how to say the Gomel, a Jewish blessing that is recited upon emerging safely from danger. This blessing is appropriate for new mothers to say to mark the end of their great accomplishment.
The following videos are interviews with real couples about some alternative rituals they performed after their babies were born.
When a baby boy or girl is born, they can be welcomed into the Jewish community through a ceremony. For boys the ceremony is known as a brit milah, or bris and for girls the ceremony is known as a brit bat. In addition to saying many blessings for the child, parents give a toast explaining the values with which they intend to raise their child and announce the name of their child. In this short video, you can learn how Hudi and his wife decided to think creatively about this ceremony. Instead of a speech they chose to sing a song.
When Diane’s son was born, they weren’t able to host a Jewish bris or baby naming. They still wanted to celebrate the arrival of their son, so when their baby boy turned 1 they hosted an intimate baby naming ceremony at home. Guided by a rabbi, they invited their family and friends into their living room to celebrate and announce Aidan’s Hebrew name. Judaism has a lot to say about names and choosing the right one: Learn about Diane’s choices in regards to Jewish tradition and how she personalized her son’s baby naming.
Lifecycle events can feel like giant OMG moments, but we’re here to help! InterfaithFamily has partnered with G-dcast (you might remember their fantastic Torahlog video series, which we shared last year) to present their new series of Lifecycles videos, short animated videos and personal stories that give overviews of specific events and traditions.
Over the next year, we will be sharing these wonderful gems right here on this Lifecycles blog. (But if you’re impatient, you can check out the link above to their entire series on YouTube.) For starters, check out this video on Jewish Baby Naming! Some expectant parents spend literally years picking out baby names and others figure it out in an instant when they see their new child for the first time. Judaism has a lot to say about names and choosing the right one. Watch and discover!