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February 15, 2011 eNewsletter

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February 15, 2011

Dear friend,

I don't want to jinx it, but it almost feels like spring in New England. The milder temperatures are certainly helping, as is the melting snow, but it's also the buzz around HQ as we get ready for the spring holidays.

We invite you to take our Passover-Easter Survey about interfaith families' experiences participating in Passover and Easter celebrations. We're also asking some questions about what attracts interfaith families to Jewish resources, programs and organizations. People of all backgrounds are welcome to take this survey and anyone who is a member of the Network is eligible to win the drawing of a $500 American Express giftcard!

And please help us spread the word: We're hiring a new Chief Advancement Officer. While we're headquartered in Newton, MA, we are open to hiring a remote employee.


Question: What do you have to believe to be Jewish? Answer: The short answer to this question is: nothing. But of course, that is just the beginning of the story. Rabbi David Wolpe discusses the fraught concept of Jewish belief and the differences between Judaism and Christianity. Read more in Should We Teach Judaism by Beliefs or by Rituals?

On the blog, Ed Case takes a look at conversion standards in Israel and examines what "the knowing acceptance" of the Torah, a requirement of conversion, means. Read more in Serious But Not Fully Observant Jews.

Rabbi Jason Holtz shares a sermon he wrote that looks at the biblical sources for welcoming interfaith families, and what that means for our Jewish community today. Read more in Welcoming Interfaith Families.

Popular Culture

In his bi-weekly column, Nate Bloom takes a look at the 2011 Oscar Awards, highlighting the large number of interfaith and Jewish nominees. Read more in Interfaith Celebrities: The 2011 Oscars.

On the blog, I looked at a recent episode of House, which focused on Dr. House and Dr. Cuddy's interfaith relationship. Read (and watch) more in House, MD.


Anita Diamant offers a professional view on deciding on a birth ceremony that satisfies the needs of both interfaith parents and their families. Plus, a sample ceremony. Read more in Welcoming Babies into Intermarried Families: Choosing Ceremonies?

Ethan and Mia, our latest recently-engaged interfaith couple to blog about their wedding process, wrote their first blog post! Read more in Hi from Ethan and Mia.

Barbara Pash spoke with members of a discussion group for grandparents of interfaith grandchildren. They meet to share experiences and learn how to share their Jewish heritage with their grandkids (and adult children) while respecting religious differences. Read more in Our Experiences: Baltimore's Grandparents Circle.

From the Blog

Did you see how the Groupon Superbowl fiasco was compared to intermarriage? What about the Knesset's "Jewish Identity Day"? How about the intermarriage attitudes of Europe's Jewish start-ups? Or the positive views of intermarriage in Ha'aretz? Read more in Attitude Antennae.

If you like what you've seen in this eNewsletter, please join our Facebook page for articles, conversations, and news in between emailings!


Benjamin Maron, Managing Editor | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 |


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. The first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), or the scroll that contains them.
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