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February 19, 2013 eNewsletter - Chicago

February 19, 2013
Dear Friends,
Saturday evening, February 23, through Sunday is Purim! A holiday that combines Mardi Gras, Halloween, and New Year's Eve with a meaningful history. Learn about the holiday, or get a refresher, with our Purim booklet.

Before you scroll down to see the fantastic articles and resources in this newsletter, please take a moment to fill out our annual survey about interfaith families' experiences participating in Passover and Easter celebrations — you could win $500 for doing it before February 22!
There's still time to register for this winter's Chicagoland workshop!
  • Love and Religion, a four-session workshop over four weeks for newly married or seriously dating interfaith couples to talk about how to have religious traditions in their lives together. The first session meets in person and the next three meet online with multipoint video conferencing. The next Love and Religion - Online workshop starts on February 28, 2013. Click here for more information and to register.
InterfaithFamily/Chicago is doing a monthly drawing to reward one of our Network members. We're holding three monthly drawings — February is your last month to enter! You could be the lucky Network member who wins a $25 American Express giftcard. You must be a member of the Network to qualify. Join here! Forward this to your friends to join too!

Congratulations to Amanda Shapiro of Chicago, winner of January's giftcard!

All couples with at least one partner who is Jewish and who are also considering having children should check out the resources at the Center for Jewish Genetics. The Center's mission is to empower community members to seek out information and prevention strategies for Jewish genetic disorders and hereditary cancers.

Interfaith families and couples in the Deerfield area: take a moment to view BJBE's new listing on the Network. This is an open, progressive Reform congregation on Lake Cook Road. Check out their vast program offerings, early childhood program, and focus on spirituality.

Join Ari Moffic, director of InterfaithFamily/Chicago, at St. Elisabeth's church in Glencoe on March 10 for Interfaith Roots, an opportunity to ask about and discuss our different faith backgrounds.
Have your kids seen Shalom Sesame's video about Purim, starring Grover? What did they think? Was it a helpful way to explain the holiday? Read (and watch) more in For Kids: The Story of Purim.

Once your kids have the story down, move on to the lessons of the holiday. Stephanie Carey Maron reviews Nate, his dads, and the lessons learned in the new children's book, The Purim Superhero. Read more in Life Lessons of The Purim Superhero.

Is Grover not your speed? Looking for a more "adult" version? Nancy Gorod shares the full Purim story which "reads like a screenplay for a program on the CW Network" — far more gritty than the version you might have been taught as a kid! Read more in The Purim Story In All Its PG-13 Glory.

Sticking with the adult themes, Wendy Armon, director of interfaithFamily/Philadelphia, reminds us that Purim is not just a children's holiday. Read more in Purim: Not Just for Kids.

Despite the fun and costumes, sometimes precisely for those reasons, some find Purim offputting. On the Parenting Blog, musingsofawritermom shares her experiences with Purim. Read more in I Don't Like Purim.
As a grandparent, how do you share Judaism with your grandchildren? Does your approach differ if their parents are intermarried? Grandmother Sharon Morton offers her tips: sharing stories, teaching philanthropy, practicing social action, and being happy. Read more in Leaving a Jewish Legacy to Our Grandchildren.

Habits are formed over 20ish days. February is a short month. This month, mom SLP, is trying to do one kind thing for another person every day and hoping to make a habit of it. Want to join her in making the world a better place? Read more in Slipping and Sliding.
Animated Weekly Stories
Have you heard the term "People of the Book" as a nickname for the Jewish people? Nechama Tamler wonders if there are differences between cultures that revere reading and cultures with more of an oral tradition. What kinds of changes do you imagine take place when people go from listening to words to the act of reading them? And how might that affect an understanding of rules, laws, and structure? Read (and watch) more in Sentences and Laws.

You had me at "dolphin cloth"? This week Nechama continues her blogging with the instructions for how to build the place where God will "dwell among us." But, what does it even mean that there's a place where God will dwell? And why "among" us? Read (and watch) more in Who Dwells Where?
Ari Moffic responds to couples who wonder if they can use a ketubah at their wedding if one partner is not Jewish. Plus, links to our resources on choosing an interfaith ketubah! Read more in Love Is In The Air.

Rebecca Goodman, director of InterfaithFamily/San Francisco, examines both sides of a debate: should the Reform Movement's rabbinical school permit interdating or intermarried applicants? What do you think? Read more in Rabbis and Intermarriage.
Pop Culture
This Sunday, February 24, the 85th Academy Awards will air live on TV. Will you be watching? Nate Bloom shares the scoop on the Oscar nominees, their Jewish connections, and their films. Read more in Interfaith Celebrities.
It's only February, but we're looking ahead to Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) in the spring. Are you the descendant of Holocaust survivors? Have you or other relatives intermarried? We'd love to hear your stories — contact me!
Benjamin Maron,
Director of Content and Educational Resources
 Animated Weekly Stories
 Pop Culture
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Hebrew for "document," a legal document that is both a prenuptial agreement and a certification that a Jewish marriage has taken place. A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) Hebrew for "lots," referring to the lots cast by Haman, the story's antagonist, to determine the date on which to kill the Jewish people. It's a spring holiday commemorating the Jewish people's triumph. The story is told through the biblical Book of Esther; the namesake heroine, a Jewish woman, marries the Persian king. Their interfaith relationship is central to the story.
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