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January 8, 2014 eNewsletter - Chicago

January 8, 2014

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! Thanks to all of our donors, big and small, whose support over the last year gives us a lot of momentum entering 2014. I personally plan to provide you with insightful new articles, blogs and multimedia which you'll be introduced to with this email newsletter in the year to come. To kick it off, we’re exploring the holiday of Tu Bishvat this month, and reflecting on last month's interfaith Christmas experiences. We’re also welcoming a new couple to our wedding blog and checking out the newest flicks in theaters now.

Lindsey Silken

Coming Up in Chicago
Intro to Judaism
Join the URJ's upcoming Intro to Judaism class starting the first week in February. This 16-week class is for anyone interested in exploring Judaism: singles, interfaith couples, those considering conversion and Jews looking for adult-level basics. Learn more

A Go Green Playdate! PJ on the Town is sponsoring a celebration for the New Year for Trees at the DuPage Children's Museum. Music, activities and private use of the museum. Learn more
Last Christmas
The Last Xmas Supper
Growing up, Brianne’s interfaith family always ate Christmas dinner with their close friends—and she dreaded it, especially as she began keeping kosher. But at their very last celebration, she found herself appreciating the ritual after all. Read more
Wedding Bloggers
Anne & Sam
Anne & Sam are Getting Hitched
We’re thrilled to welcome another new couple to our wedding blog. Anne begins by interviewing her fiancé about what it was like dating someone not Jewish (Anne is Roman Catholic). Then she shares how they celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah as an engaged couple. Read more
Pop Culture
Wolf of Wall Street
Hollywood Now: DiCaprio, Stiller & Russell
From Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie in The Wolf of Wall Street to Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and David O. Russell in American Hustle, the big screen is lighting up right now with interfaith stars. Plus, see which actors are depicting the musical brothers of Saving Mr. Banks and more! Read more
Kids' Books that Matter
Book cover
Tu Bishvat for Tots
This is a great time to teach your kids about the environment through Tu Bishvat “The Birthday of the Trees” coming up on January 16. Read more
Tu Bishvat
Plant a treeHow to Help The Earth
Not sure what Tu Bishvat has to do with trees? Read up about the holiday, learn how to have a Tu Bishvat seder and use our holiday booklet for more ideas about how to celebrate—it’s a great resource for program providers too! Read more

From the Blog
Father and daughterSTAFF BLOG: Rabbi Robyn from IFF/Philadelphia addresses what happens when your child gets engaged to someone who is not Jewish. Speaking of parenting, Joshua from IFF/Boston aks: Are you a lazy dad? Meanwhile, Marilyn from IFF/SF Bay Area tells us why her Shabbat/Hanukkah in Paris was so welcoming. And Rabbi Ari from IFF/Chicago comments on the viral holiday card that split Christmas and Hanukkah down the middle.

PARENTING BLOG: Jessie wonders whether "Jewish values" are different from those of other religions. Jane is on the same wavelength, discussing her close relationship with her in-laws and their shared values that help make the interfaith aspects of their family easier.

WEDDING BLOG: Dana and Chris share how they got their parents together to celebrate what may have been the best Thanksgivukkah ever.

Happy New Year
 Coming Up in Chicago
 Wedding Bloggers
 Pop Culture
 Kids' Books that Matter
 Tu Bishvat
 From the Blog
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Hebrew for "15th of [the month of] Shevat," both a date and the name of a holiday celebrated on that date. A holiday that falls in January or February, it's the New Year for trees. A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) Hebrew for "fit" (as in, "fit for consumption"), the Jewish dietary laws. 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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