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February 25, 2014 eNewsletter

February 25, 2014

Dear Friends,

The results of our 2013 User Survey are in, and President Jodi Bromberg shares the findings that InterfaithFamily positively influences users' Jewish engagement. See the full report here.

There is a wealth of conversation this week on our blogs, so read on for staff takes on why they signed Reboot’s pledge to "unplug" on March 7, guest blog posts about parenting and being a welcoming congregation, and more.

Lindsey Silken

IFF Network Blog
What Does it Mean to Be Welcoming?
"Why are we making it so complicated when we sit together as Jews to assess how welcoming our congregations are?" guest blogger Gina Hagler asks. Read more
Pop Culture
Pop Culture
Hollywood Engagement
Hear what Jamie Chung has to say about her recent engagement to Bryan Greenberg. And get the rest of the news from Hollywood, including Seth Meyers’ new late night timeslot and Olympic gold for American Charlie White. Read more
Pledge to Unplug
Members of our staff, including President Jodi Bromberg and Marilyn Wacks from IFF/SF Bay Area make the National Day of Unplugging pledge to disconnect on Shabbat March 7-8, and explain why it’s so important to take this time for our family, ourselves and our pets. Read more and sign the pledge
Confessions of a Peeking Parent
Jodi Rosenfeld learns that one of the hardest parts of teaching ritual to her children is trusting that they get it. Read more
ConversionWhy Doesn’t Judaism Promote Conversion?
Judaism doesn’t actively promote conversion the way some other religious groups do—why not? Rabbi Allison Berry responds in this “Ask a Rabbi” column from Read more

From the Blog
WelcomeSTAFF BLOG: Rabbi Ari from IFF/Chicago discusses why and how to tell your congregants not to leave. Wendy from IFF/Philadelphia wonders if pride in one's heritage can sometimes unintentionally turn into prejudice against others'. And IFF/Boston’s Joshua writes about the importance of kavod—respect.

WEDDING BLOG: Anne feels as though she has the whole package in her fiancé Sam and explains why his Jewishness is part of that. And Dana and Chris reflect on whether they'll raise a future Olympian someday, and what else their child will learn from them—including religion.

PARENTING BLOG: Jane's son's subscription to Sports Illustrated means the Swimsuit Issue drops in their mail, too, and she found herself dropping it in the recycle bin. Jessie also finds herself unprepared for an adult conversation with her daughter when forced to confront and explain a tragedy.

 IFF Network Blog
 Pop Culture
 From the Blog
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We increasingly miss out on the important moments of our lives as we pass the hours with our noses buried in our smart phones. If you recognize that in yourself, join us for the National Day of Unplugging, sign the Unplug pledge and start living a different life: connect with the people in your street, neighborhood and city, have an uninterrupted meal or read a book to your child. A 24 hour period – this project of Reboot starts on the first Friday in March.
Learn more here


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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