January 30, 2007
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Latino-Jewish intermarriage has a long and not particularly glorious history. Widespread intermarriage between Christians and Jews in medieval Spain helped spark the cultural hysteria that led to the Inquisition. But today, people of Latino descent--Mexicans, Spaniards, Puerto Ricans, Portuguese, etc.--routinely marry Jews. In the new issue of our Web Magazine , we explore the conflicts--and common ground--between Jewish and Latino cultures.
Franklin Velazquez grew up on the Lower East Side in a neighborhood populated by both Puerto Ricans and Jews. Raised Roman Catholic, he felt drawn to the Judaism of his neighbors. As a married man and father of two children, he decided to convert. Learn about the fallout in the Lonely Journey of the Puerto Rican Jew .
Rachel Rockenmacher met her Portuguese husband when he was performing music on a street corner in Harvard Square. Find out how they make their interclass, interethnic, intercultural, interfaith marriage work in Salt Cod on Shabbat .
Monica Sandoval-Sapherstein and her future husband met as 22-year-olds on the dance floor during Halloween. They enjoyed learning about each other's culture, but what happens When the Families Meet ?
Sheryl Santiago and her Puerto Rican husband have been married for years and have two children. Learn the secrets to their successful intermarriage in Interfaith Questions Faced by a Jewish-Puerto Rican Couple .
In Havana, Cuban Jews don't ask "Are you Jewish?" Ruth Nemzoff says the American Jewish community could learn a lot from our southern neighbors. Read more in What We Can Learn from Cuban Jews .
In southern California, a group of converts is revitalizing a dying synagogue. Read more in Roberto Loiederman's Grupo Hispano Celebrates a Buen 5767 .
Arts and Entertainment
Roberto Juan Rodriguez, a Catholic percussionist, combines Jewish melodies and Cuban rhythms. "People ask me if I'm Jewish," he says. "I say, 'No, but I'm getting closer.'" Read more in Klezmer with a Side of Salsa .
Pink should stop and think before she speaks, says Nate Bloom, in the newest installment of Interfaith Celebrities . Also covered: Woody Guthrie, Sarah Silverman and rising soccer star Jonathan Borstein--the child of a Mexican mom and a Jewish dad.
Aubrey Graham, the son of a black father and a Jewish mother, plays a disabled high school student on the long-running kids' hit "Degrassi: The Next Generation." Read more .
What do Jews believe? What do Christians believe? Ron Lux says a pair of complementary books, Questions Christian Ask the Rabbi and Understanding Your Neighbor's Faith, can answer most of your questions in How Hungry Are You?
After the Cuban revolution, basic foodstuffs, including many spices and most fruits and vegetables, became scarce. As available ingredients changed, so did Cuban cuisine. While visiting the country last year, Tina Wasserman came up with a series of recipes combining Jewish cooking and Cuban ingredients. Read more in Cooking: Malangas and Mangoes with a Cuban Minyan .
As Publisher and President Edmund Case recently told a conference of leaders from Jewish community day schools, interfaith families sending their children to day school have some unique needs. They also have unique stories. Read about some parents who send their children to day schools, including a single Christian woman who is raising her adopted children Jewish because their birth mother was a Jew, in Dan Pine's article .
What's New on the Blogs
On our new Weddings Blog, Julie has recently written about how her and Brian's families feel about their relationship.
On the IFF Network Blog, we've talked about black Jews, David Ben-Gurion's concern for the children of intermarriage and MTV's "True Life: I'm in an Interfaith Relationship."
We'll return on February 13 with our issue on Interdating.
Micah Sachs, Online Managing Editor
Write for Us!
We're looking for writers on the following topics:
Secular Interfaith Families
Coming Out About Your Interfaith Relationships
Babies: Issues that emerge when babies are born
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
Connections In Your Area--Featured Events
Tu B'Shevat Snapshot
A selection of events from around the country celebrating the Jewish New Year of the Trees. Tu B'Shevat is often considered the Jewish Arbor Day or Jewish Earth Day.