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April 17, 2012 eNewsletter - Chicago

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April 17, 2012

Dear Friends,

Not yet on our Network? We're running a contest for individuals, Jewish professionals and clergy, and organizations in the Chicagoland area: Join our Network by April 20th, and you could win a Kindle Fire! Know someone who'd enjoy receiving out bi-weekly eNewsletter? Tell them to sign up by April 20th and they'll also be entered to win!

Congratulations to Nancy Brown, who filled out our Passover/Easter survey and won the prize drawing! The results of our survey are available now.


What topics would you suggest other interfaith couples discuss before marriage? Interfaithways, the interfaith family support network serving the greater Philadelphia area, compiled these discussion topics/questions. Interfaith couple or not, they're good to think about with your partner. Read more in What To Discuss Before the Wedding About Life After the Wedding.


Danielle Eskow, a Conservative rabbinical student, feels strongly that "one of the most challenging questions facing today's generation is how the religion embraces Jews who are in interfaith relationships, raise children in interfaith homes or are of patrilineal Jewish descent." Her response? Creating accessible, open approaches to Jewish education for all. Read more in Equal and Meaningful Learning for Any Jew, Anytime, Anywhere.


Alina Adams's husband is African-American. She's Jewish, born in the former Soviet Union. Their three children are Jewish African-Americans — something neither their father nor mother ever were. With the Passover story and slavery as a backdrop, she's teaching her kids that these things are a part of who they are, but they are not an indicator of who they will become. Read more in Branch vs. Branch: A Mixed Family Tree.

Parenting Blog

Do you, like mom Chana-Esther, wonder where your family fits in? Being in an intermarriage, raising kids in an interfaith home, can be difficult enough. But what if one parent is Orthodox and the other is not Jewish? Read more in Where Do We Fit In?

SLP, a mom in Chicagoland, wondered if tortillas are Passover-friendly? Should a shankbone cause joy? Must you clean your car of crumbs for Passover? Read more in A few Passover stories.

What did your Passover seder look like? Julie Daneman shared her family's seder experience, through the eyes of a mom and toddler. (Who knew a "kippah" was called a "hehmut"?!) Read more in Wild Pesach.


Inspired by the latest edition of Contact, Ari Moffic, of InterfaithFamily/Chicago, weighed in on the complex issue of Jewish identity and how it impacts the interfaith community. Read more in Thoughts on Jewish Identity.

Pop Culture

Nate Bloom shares the scoop on Drake's bar mitzvah as a music video, the stars of HBO's NYC Girls, and Adam Goldberg and Leelee Sobieski as NYC 22's rookies. Read more in Interfaith Celebrities.

Are you, or is a family member, Hindu, Muslim, Quaker, Buddhist or of another religion/faith? Do you have an interesting story to share about a ritual, spring holiday or life-cycle event with your interfaith family or interfaith relationship? I'd love to hear your story pitches! Contact me!

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Benjamin Maron, Managing Editor





Hebrew for "son of the commandments." In modern Jewish practice, Jewish boys come of age at 13. When a boy comes of age, he is officially a bar mitzvah and considered an adult. The term is commonly used as a short-hand for the bar mitzvah's coming-of-age ceremony and/or celebration. The female equivalent is "bat mitzvah." The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) Hebrew for "skullcap," also known in Yiddish as a "yarmulke," the small, circular headcovering worn by male Jews in most synagogues, and female Jews in more liberal congregations. Traditional Jews were kippot (plural of kippah) all the time. 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 "order," refers to the traditional course of events, or service, surrounding the Passover and Tu Bishvat meals.
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