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February 11, 2014 eNewsletter - Philadelphia

February 11, 2014

Dear Friends,

It's not a quiet time in the news right now. Between a surging media debate in the Jewish press about "promoting in-marriage" and the start of the Sochi Olympics, we've felt the need to weigh in. What do you think? (Please respond in the comments sections please.) And read on for some celebratory stories, because there’s always something to smile about.

Lindsey Silken

Coming Up in Philadelphia
Judaism Class
Introduction to Judaism in Philly
IFF/Philadelphia’s Director Robyn and wedding blogger Anne have both written about the value of Introduction to Judaism classes. To learn more about an upcoming Intro class in the Philadelphia area, Click Here!

And it’s not too early (or too late) to sign up your child for a Jewish summer camp experience. See a listing of Jewish day and overnight camps that welcome interfaith families. Summer registration opens February 19 at 9am CST.
Talking Sochi with My Nine-Year-Old Son
Jane's son Sammy was as engaged in the news segment on Sochi as he was watching ice skaters and snowboarders. No escaping the subject: It was time to talk politics with her nine-year-old. Read Jane's blog and see what Rabbi Gurevitz has to say on the ethics of the Sochi Olympics.
Pop Culture
Pop Culture
A Bark Mitzvah, Plus Clooney, Damon & Blachett Team Up
Must-see The Monuments Men depicts the efforts to rescue priceless pieces of art from Hitler’s clutches. Starring Clooney, Damon and Blanchett. In lighter Hollywood news, Jason Biggs throws a Bark Mitzvah. Read more
IFF Joins the Debate
If you haven't heard, some voices in the Jewish press want to promote in-marriage; others recommend "audacious hospitality" to interfaith families. CEO Ed Case and President Jodi Bromberg voice their response in an op-ed for eJewishPhilanthropy, and Ed responds on our blog here, and here.
A Jewish and Hindu Wedding?
When Danny who is Jewish and his Hindu bride Jhilam started planning their wedding, they wanted to know if there was a way to include both their cultures. Turns out there was. Read more
Children's Books
Bullying bookStart Young: Don't Tolerate Bullying
Did you know preventing bullying is a Jewish value? Find out where it comes from, and see which books on the subject Kathy Bloomfield has cooked up for you to share with your young children. Read more

From the Blog
Ari officiatingSTAFF BLOG:Rabbi Ari from IFF/Chicago points our attention to the emphasis some rabbis put on an engaged couple’s intention to raise Jewish children rather than their own Jewish life as a couple. Marilyn from IFF/Bay Area also questions the emphasis some are putting on a certain relationship: that of Yair Netanyahu. IFF/Philadelphia’s Rabbi Robyn urges couples to learn about their partners’ heritage through an Intro to Judaism class. And IFF/Boston’s Joshua struggles with his internet identity and how it separates him from the family unit.

WEDDING BLOG: Rabbi Robyn isn't the only one thinking about Intro to Judaism classes. Anne shares what her experience was like as a Catholic taking an Intro class at her fiancé's synagogue, and questions of how to raise their kids begin to arise. Meanwhile, Dana and Chris are checking items off their wedding to-do list.

 Coming Up in Philadelphia
 Pop Culture
 Children's Books
 From the Blog
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Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) 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.
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