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December 3, 2013 eNewsletter

December 3, 2013

Dear Friends,

Thanksgivukkah finally came and went and I hope it was memorable for your family. Now that Hanukkah is almost over and we're nearing Christmas, I’ve selected some stories about gearing up for December in interfaith homes. I have also stepped in as the wedding blogger this week while I search for a new writer. Please email me if you are planning an interfaith wedding and are interested in blogging!

There's still time for holiday giving this year—if you make a donation to InterfaithFamily in the next two days, we'll send a Hanukkah e-card on your behalf. Please support the work we do and give a gift today.

From all of us at InterfaithFamily, may the last two nights of Hanukkah shine bright!

Lindsey Silken

Tree and Menorah
Make Room for the Menorah
Nicole loves Christmas, but wants to make room in her life—and house!—for her boyfriend's Hanukkah traditions. It isn’t quite as simple as she anticipated. Read more
Interfaith Dating
The Gift of Why
Emily always saw herself settling down with a Jewish guy. But her concerns disappeared when she met her Catholic boyfriend and she has since started embracing the question “Why?” Read more
Top XMas Songs by Interfaith Artists
Which Christmas songs were actually written or performed by Jews with interfaith backgrounds? See the Billboard Top 25 songs and their interfaith connections. See the list
Kids' Books
Live Generously
Kathy Bloomfield talks about teaching generosity to your kids, and offers up some fresh reads to share with them on this timely subject. See the book recommendations
Wedding Officiation
Wedding CeremonyLanguage Barriers
When Rabbi Gruber moved to Texas, he not only had to learn Spanish, but he had to learn how to use it in his interfaith wedding ceremonies where more and more couples want Spanish incorporated. Read more
Christmas & Hanukkah
Christmas Tree
The Tree Question
How do people in interfaith families decide whether to have a Christmas tree? This time of year can be tricky for many. Use our three essays and discussion questions as a guide to get the conversation headed in the right direction. Read the essays

From the Blog
BakingOn the Staff Blog: If you're anything like IFF/Chicago's Rabbi Ari, you needed a de-stressing holiday mantra over Thanksgivukkah (or for the whole month of December). Luckily, she has one to share. And Joshua from IFF/Boston has some ideas for holiday giving that are timeless. Interfaith Family Shabbat events in our Your Communities have been a hit. Wendy shares what she thinks one Philadelphia synagogue gained from their event. Rebecca from IFF/SF Bay Area wonders whether the shift of today's Reform Jews from religion to culture is a shift from ritual to ethical Judaism?

Parenting & Wedding Blogs: Jessie weighs in on a story about a woman's delight in her Lexington, MA, grocery store's new Hanukkah grocery bags. Meanwhile, Jane experiences a gift to both herself and her husband and son when she goes on a woman's retreat with her synagogue. While we're in-between wedding bloggers, Lindsey, who happens to be recently engaged, steps in to share what she thinks of wedding planning and how it's similar to holiday planning.

 Interfaith Dating
 Wedding Officiation
Christmas & Hanukkah
 From the Blog
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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. A bread that comes in a few different varieties; its most common variation is a braided egg bread, though there are water challahs that don't have eggs, and there are whole-wheat challahs which sometimes also don't have eggs. It is customary to being Sabbath and holiday meals by saying blessings and eating challah. 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.)
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