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February 1, 2011 eNewsletter

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Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, Tex. invites you to join with other families to celebrate Shabbat. Child-friendly services are followed by dinner, crafts and games. More details can be found here.



February 1, 2011

Dear friends,

I feel like this is maybe a first since I've started working at we don't have a holiday right around the corner, with holiday content already being featured in the eNewsletter. And that's a bit of a relief! (Though, we both know that I have one eye on the calendar, realizing just how close Passover (and Purim before that) is. But we'll save that for another eNewsletter.)

Read on for a really great array of articles, touching on life cycle events, family relationships and dynamics, and perspectives on interfaith relationships from clergy. And don't forget to check out the Change and Growth at section below for two great job openings!

Change and Growth at

We want to send best wishes in her new endeavors to Robin Schwartz, who left at the end of January.

We are looking to fill a revised Director of Network Activities position.

We also have an opening for a new Chief Advancement Officer position.

If you know anyone who you think might be interested in either position, please forward the links to them. Thanks!

Popular Culture

In his bi-weekly column, Nate Bloom takes a look at the romantic music of Valentine's Day. Inspired by his popular The Jews Who Wrote Christmas Songs column, he's taking a look at love songs by Jewish and interfaith songwriters. Read (and listen to) more in Happy Valentine's Day Music.


Rabbi David Gruber co-officiated at a Hindu-Jewish wedding recently. He shared the experience, highlighting how these two faiths, one Western and one Eastern, came together in one ceremony, and how many parallels exist between the wedding rituals of both. Read more in Where There Is Love There Is Life: Hindu Jewish Wedding.

Reverend Walter H. Cuenin offers a few points for reflection based on his thirty years of experience as a priest who has been involved in many interfaith weddings. Read more in A Catholic Priest's Perspective on Interfaith Marriage.

Interfaith Families

Leah R. Singer wondered how she would explain death to her 3-year-old daughter after her Yia Yia (Greek for "grandmother") died. The result is a helpful look at approaches to discussing death, mourning and the afterlife with young children. Read more in How Do You Explain Death to Young Children?

Rabbi Barbara Aiello has helpful suggestions and hands-on activities for grandparents wanting to share their Jewish heritage with grandchildren of interfaith families. Read more in How Grandparents Can Share Their Jewish Heritage with Interfaith Grandchildren.

From the Blog

We looked at the ongoing "who's a Jew debate." Editors of the Forward took a step backward, expressing dismay at the inclusion of people like Gabrielle Giffords in the Jewish community. Read more in Who Isn't a Jew?

But that wasn't the only source of news this week... We looked at intermarriage, Israel, gay soldiers, and so much more in a news round up. Read more in Hodge Podge!

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 |

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The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." 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. 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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