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December 11, 2012 eNewsletter - Boston

 
InterFaithFamily
December 11, 2012
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Dear Friends,
It's that time of year again. Yes, Hanukkah and Christmas — but I meant year-end charitable gifts. Please include InterfaithFamily in your plans. Every recipient of this message making a $5 contribution would add up to a big help, keeping our resources freely available for all.

 

Hanukkah
Tonight's the 4th night of Hanukkah, and maybe you're starting to feel the drag. Maybe you're looking for ways to create some family time for the remaining nights, to excite your kids about the holiday. Galit Breen has suggestions for theme nights with a focus on family. Read more in Eight Nights of Hanukkah Family Time.

If theme nights aren't your speed, maybe you want to huddle around the computer screen with family and friends, while you enjoy all the new Hanukkah videos (music and others) that the season has brought. With over a dozen included here, there's bound to be something for everyone. Read (and watch) more in Watching Hanukkah 2012.

Will you be visiting your child's classroom to explain Hanukkah to the kids this year? Joanna Brichetto shared some excellent and helpful tips for making the presentation go smoothly. Read more in Hanukkah Parent School Visits.

Tired of latkes? Want to try another Hanukkah treat? Michael Natkin, a chef and cookbook author, shared an easy recipe for the Sephardic treat buñuelos, donuts. Read more in Delicious and Easy Sephardic Donuts.

Ari Moffic blogged about some of the challenges about Hanukkah that she hears from interfaith families. Do you have others? Do you have suggestions or tips for overcoming these challenges? Read more in Hanukkah Can Be Hard.
December Dilemma
"Some people see 'Chrismukkah' simply as a cute greeting for friends of interfaith households, and on one level, it is," wrote Samantha Facciolo. "However, on another level, it suggests an unnatural blending of holidays that gives me pause. Growing up in an interfaith home, I celebrate both Jewish and Catholic holidays with my family. However, I would never intentionally mix traditions associated with one faith or the other." Read more in A Decorated December.

"As a child and family therapist, the never-ending mantras are of clarity and consistency. But the reality of human existence is murky and biased. The scales are never perfectly balanced, the division never 50/50, and to have that expectation is to set up for disappointment." All of which is to say... Johanna Hammer wanted to know how we balance holidays in intermarried families. Read more in Cancelling Christmas.

In a guest blog post, Sara Beth Berman, an educator at a Reform day school in Atlanta, wrote about the conversation she had with her middle grade students about the December holidays. Check out the multimedia presentation too! Read (and watch) more in My Jewish December.

So sweet: after Sarah R. explained to her son that his best friend celebrates a different December holiday (Christmas), he made a unique present for his friend. Read more in A Christian BFF.

And Sarah R. also blogged about her son's excitement for Christmas — shared with the other kids during Shabbat services. Read more in Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah Come Light the... Christmas Tree?

Ari Moffic wondered why, if so many Jewish and/or interfaith couples and families have Christmas trees in their homes, it's still such a sticky issue. Read more in Trees Are Sensitive.

David Levy (Managing Editor at JewishBoston.com) said, "If Manischewitz can market Chanukah gingerbread houses, I declare the 'December Dilemma' officially solved." What do you think? Read more in Has This Product Solved The December Dilemma?
Spirituality
When her boyfriend was injured, Jordyn Rozensky was faced with a new issue in their interfaith relationship: how to pray for him. Could her Jewish prayers work for her partner who was not Jewish? Read more in How To Pray.
Weekly Torah
The drama never stops as we continue reading the weekly Torah portions. On the Animated Torahlog, Nechama Tamler wrote about family conflict in two portions in Genesis:
  • Some major questions to consider in this week's Torah portion: How are our identities linked to our names? How are our relationships with our closest loved ones? How does God work in our lives? And what does this text want us to learn from the enigmatic story of Jacob's wrestling match? Read (and watch) more in Brothers: Wrestling or Embracing
  • Our opening scene sets the stage for what is actually a novella, the first in the Torah, the story of Joseph and his adventures. Andrew Lloyd Weber famously wrote a hit musical about some of our story, and we've got the rest here. Read (and watch) more in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Drama.
Parenting
SLP shared, on the Parenting Blog, that she nearly broke her TV while watching Private Practice. The reason? A discussion between two characters, an intermarried couple, soon-to-be parents, and their approach to their children's future religion. Read more in Private Practice.

Wendy Armon asked, how do we model tolerance and respect of others for our children? Read more in The Struggle to Tolerate the Intolerant... One Parent's View.

And Heather Martin wrote, after her son shared an incident he'd had with a schoolmate, about responding to your kids when they face hatred, intolerance, or ignorance due to their differences. Read more in We Must Be Doing Something Right.
Pop Culture
Nate Bloom dished on Monsters Inc., Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen as mother and son in The Guilt Trip, the powerful The Central Park Five documentary, and, on the lighter side, Ed Asner teasing Mark Feuerstein (who's dressed up as a cow this Hanukkah). Read more in Interfaith Celebrities.
IFF/Your Community
You've probably heard that we're now on the ground in Philadelphia, but if you missed it, check out this article from the Jewish Exponent. (Plus a few others highlighting the need for inclusion and welcome for interfaith couples and families.) Read more in Welcoming in Philadelphia.
Are you a recently engaged interfaith couple with an interest in blogging for us? Or do you have an interesting story to share about a life-cycle event? About your extended (uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, grandparents, grandchildren) interfaith family? Are you LGBT and in an interfaith family? If so, I'd love to hear your story pitches! Contact me!
Sincerely,
Benjamin Maron,
Director of Content and Educational Resources
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Hanukkah
December Dilemma
Spirituality
Weekly Torah
Parenting
Pop Culture
IFF/Your Community
Featured Event
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Join the Jewish Cultural Sunday School of the Boston Workman's Circle for a Hanukkah party on Sunday, December 16. All families with young children are invited to this annual party that will include candle blessings for peace and justice, kids activities and crafts, and a latke lunch.
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Of the culture of Jews with family origins in Spain, Portugal or North Africa. 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. 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 Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday. A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) Yiddish word for a potato pancake, traditionally eaten during Hanukkah. 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. The first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), or the scroll that contains them.
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