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February 27, 2007 eNewsletter


 Web Magazine

February 27, 2007

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Dear friend,

Just as personalities have stages of development, so do relationships. That's especially the case for interfaith relationships. So often religion has little to do with the relationship as it begins, but as time moves on--through moving in together, getting married, having children--religious issues creep more and more to the forefront. In the new issue of our Web Magazine, we share a variety of perspectives on how religious issues evolve through the life cycle.

As she's gotten older, Rosalyn Shafter has started teaching her grandchildren Yiddish to remind them--and herself--who she "really" is. Now she and her husband must decide whether to tell her husband's 95-year-old mother that he converted, in May You Live Until 120! Also read outreach professional Dawn C. Kepler's response .

A Jew-by-choice finds an unlikely moment to share a Hebrew blessing with her daughter: before a driving lesson. Read more in Paula Yablonsky's Behind the Wheel .

Marriage and family therapist Wendy Weltman Palmer lays out the stages of an interfaith relationship, in Marriage within Marriage. Outreach professional Jeanette Bergelson shares some tips on how to deal with difficult life-cycle moments in Advice for Intermarried Couples Facing Life-Cycle Events, while the co-author of When Your Parents Are Seriously Ill, Courtney Nathan, talks to Ronnie Friedland about Illness in an Interfaith Family .

Sometimes an interfaith upbringing or an interfaith marriage can help people connect with their Judaism. In From "Half-Jewish" to Rabbi, Julie Wiener shares the stories of two women who grew up in interfaith homes and are now studying to be rabbis. In Jefferson Airplane Guitarist Searches for His Jewish Soul, Jorma Kaukonen, the original guitarist for the legendary '60s band, came back to Judaism through his (originally) non-Jewish wife.

In 33 years of marriage, Sandy Anderson and her husband have dealt with almost every kind of interfaith complication. Read more in Rhythm of Life .


Purim is Sunday, March 4. Find out why Jim Keen and his interfaith family love this unpretentious, fun-filled holiday in Purim: When You Can Throw a Sponge at the Rabbi's Face .

Arts and Entertainment

Nate Bloom explains how Britney went from dabbling in Judaism to personal disaster, how Christina Aguilera had a Jewish wedding and what interfaith kid Scarlett Johansson told an interviewer who asked about her "non-Jewish" looks. Read more in Interfaith Celebrities: Britney and Christina .


Francesca Segrè was a successful 29-year-old television reporter. But when her mom gets married, she wonders: what am I doing with my life? Read more .

An interfaith couple splits because of religion, in Reuben Bibi's didactic The Decision. Read Lynn Melnick's review .


Noted Jewish sociologist Steven M. Cohen explains why intermarriage is crippling the American Jewish community, in Stop Looking at Intermarriage Through Rose-Colored Glasses. We explain why he's dead wrong, in Don't Write Off the Intermarried.

What's New on the Blogs

On the IFF Network Blog, we've recently written about the untimely departure of Mr. Boston from "I Love New York" and a celebration of black Jews, including Rashida Jones ("Karen") from The Office .

On the Weddings Blog, Bryan and Julie get into the good stuff: plans for the ceremony and pre-marital counseling .

Coming Next

We'll return on March 13 with our issue on the threat of Messianic Judaism.


Micah Sachs, Online Managing Editor

Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • Coming out to your family about your interfaith relationship
  • High Holidays
  • Participating in a ritual because your child/parent/partner wants to
  • Divorce, Blended Families, etc.  

Interested in any of these topics? Contact Web Magazine Editor Ronnie Friedland at .

Connections In Your Area--Featured Events

Purim Snapshot

A variety of organizations throughout the country are hosting interfaith-friendly programs during Purim .


Network News

Fill Out Our Passover/Easter Survey and Win $250!

We want to know your plans for Passover and Easter. Fill out our Passover/Easter Survey and be entered to win a $250 American Express giftcard. The last day to take the survey is Wednesday, Feb. 28, so act quickly!

The Winner of Our Drawing for the User Survey

Congratulations to Lehman Meyer, of Sun Prairie, Wis., for winning the drawing for the iPod after filling out our User Survey. Our User Survey was a great success, attracting 554 responses. For more on some preliminary results from the Survey, click here.

Our Op-Ed on Two Jewries

Micah Sachs' and Edmund Case's op-ed on Steven Cohen's study of intermarriage was reprinted in the Washington Jewish Week ,The (New Jersey) Jewish StandardThe (Philadelphia) Jewish Exponent, the New Jersey Jewish News, the Connecticut Jewish Ledger and Seattle's JTNews .

Help Us Get the Word Out

Most of you find us through a search engine like Google. One of the secrets of Google rankings is the more sites that link to you, the higher your ranking. You can help us improve our Google rankings by linking to on your blogs, websites or discussion boards. We welcome your ideas about how to get the word out--email us at .

Check Out Our New and Improved Discussion Boards

We have launched our new, reformatted, improved Discussion Boards. You no longer need to register to post to our Discussion Boards.

Ways You Can Get Involved

Support Us.  If what we do helps you or others you care about, please make a tax-deductible charitable contribution in support of our work.


Spread the Word.  Ask your friends to subscribe to our  eNewsletter --the more people we reach, the better!




The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." A language, literally meaning "Jewish," once widely used by Ashkenazi communities. It is influenced by German, Hebrew and Slavic languages, and is written with the Hebrew alphabet. It is comparable to the language of many Sephardi communities, Ladino. A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
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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