December 19, 2006
How do you celebrate Christmas? For some interfaith families, a menorah and a tree co-exist side-by-side. For others, it's Hanukkah at home, and Christmas at the relatives. For some, making a Jewish choice means giving up Christmas altogether. In the new issue of our Web Magazine , we share perspectives on Christmas from across the spectrum.
For years, Sue Eisenfeld's family did both holidays. Last year, her non-Jewish husband decided to make a statement against the season's rampant commercialism: no more Christmas. Now she's the one who misses it. Read more in The Spouse Who Stole Christmas .
Gina Hagler converted to Judaism 10 years ago and is raising her children Jewish. But she misses the tree, the tinsel and the stockings. Lately, she's been thinking about Bringing Christmas Back .
But Dawn Kepler, the director of Building Jewish Bridges in Oakland, Calif., has some advice for Hagler: Don't Bring Christmas Back .
Alice Hale has the opposite dilemma to Hagler. She converted and wants to get rid of Christmas--but her children love it. Find out how she deals with this unique December dilemma in Learning to Let Go of Christmas .
Suzanne Koven follows a familiar pattern of interfaith families: Hanukkah at home and Christmas at the in-laws. But her 12-year-old son's question got her to thinking: What Will We Do About Christmas? (After the Grandparents Are Gone). Read a response from Rosanne Levitt, the founder of San Francisco's Interfaith Connection, in Planning "Far Enough."
Julie Wiener's new column explores how she and her non-Jewish husband keep Christmas at bay (but also how she and her 3-year-old daughter are dazzled by the tree in their apartment building's lobby). Read more in "In the Mix": (Out of the) Home for Christmas .
One of the more unlikely holiday stories comes from Susan Freudenheim, who teaches her husband's devoutly Catholic family about gelt and latkes, in The Greatest Game: Playing Dreidel in Iowa .
Sue Fishkoff of the JTA has written a wonderful story about our Third Annual December Holidays Survey. See what Steven Cohen and Sylvia Barack Fishman have to say about our study's controversial conclusions in Survey: Interfaith Families Raising Jewish Kids Can Negotiate Christmas .
Arts and Entertainment
We're excited to announce our newest regular feature, Nate Bloom's column "Interfaith Celebrities." Bloom is the creator of Jewhoo! and the world's foremost expert on Jewish celebrities. In his new column he'll dish about Jewish stars with interfaith roots and intermarried celebrities. This week, he gives us a scoop about Daniel Radcliffe, tells us how Jack Black is celebrating Hanukkah and lets us in on the latest between "The O.C."'s Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson. Read more in Interfaith Celebrities: Is Harry Potter Half-Jewish?
Christopher Guest's new comedy For Your Consideration satires Oscar frenzy through the device of a shticky Jewish comedy called Home for Purim. Find out whether one interfaith couple thinks it belongs in the same company as Guest's previous comic classics Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman.
Christmas music: you may love it, you may hate it, but did you know that more than half of the 25 most popular holiday songs of all-time were written or co-written by Jews? Find out more about The Jews Who Wrote Christmas Songs .
And speaking of "The O.C.," if it's December, it must be Chrismukkah time. Read Cheryl Coon's review of the latest book on the silly trend .
More on Christmas
For more resources and articles on Christmas and Hanukkah, visit our December Holidays Resource Page .
We'll return on Thursday, January 4, with an issue on interfaith families and Jewish preschools.
Micah Sachs, Online Managing Editor
Write for Us!
We're looking for writers on the following topics:
Divorce and stepfamily issues, including talking to your ex about your child's religious upbringing
Communicating in your interfaith relationship
Secular Judaism: How you practice it
Interested in any of these topics? Contact Web Magazine Editor Ronnie Friedland at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Connections In Your Area--Featured Events
Women of Tzadik Celebrate Hanukkah!
The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, N.Y., is hosting a concert on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m., featuring artists such as Basya Schechter (pictured), Jewlia Eisenberg and Ayelet Rose Gottlieb. Tickets are $15 for members, $20 for non-members. For more information, click here .