Send to Friend  Bookmark  Print

July 10, 2007 eNewsletter



 Web Magazine

July 10, 2007

Print entire issue

Dear friend,

The 1990 National Jewish Population Survey revealed that nearly half of all marriages involving Jews from 1985-1990 were intermarriages. At the time many people recognized that the most important issue wasn't who married whom but how the children of these couples would be raised.

Well, the children of the late '80s are the adults of the mid-'00s. One of the most fascinating features of this new generation is the tremendous variety of ways they see their Jewishness. Some see themselves as ethnically Jewish but not religiously Jewish. Others, religiously Jewish but not ethnically Jewish. Others, half-Jewish. In the new issue of our Web Magazine on Growing Up in an Interfaith Family , we have perspectives from across the spectrum.

What leads some children of intermarriage to identify as Jews while other's don't? Ron Lux investigates .

Growing up with a hodgepodge of religious traditions left Jasmin Singer with little taste for faith. Until Rocky the cat died. Read more in Better Left Undefined .

Judith van Praag is the child of a Dutch Jewish father and a French Christian mother who met in the years after World War II. Judith went to Sunday School and became close with her synagogue's rabbi. But nearly 50 years later, Judith finds she still has to "prove" her Jewishness to some. Read more in What Am I If Not Jewish?

When you come from such rich cultures as Italian and Jewish, how do you choose? Read Felice Indindoli Bochman's Chicken Soup Theology .

The daughter of an Israeli Jewish mother and an Iranian Muslim father is less concerned about the religious divide than the political one, in Tiffany Collins' Born Without a Name .

The son of a Jewish dad and a Christian mom, Keenan Steiner never saw himself as Jewish. But his friends at college sure do. Read about his Jewish awakening, in Chillin' with My Faux Jew 'Fro .

Jon Block, the child of a Jewish-Chinese marriage, didn't fully understand why he went on the free birthright israel trip to Israel. He didn't get the girl, and he got embarassed by the tour leader, but he learned a lot about what it means to love Israel. Read more .


Heather Miller wanted to be a Jewish American Princess when she grew up. She got to be the next best thing: a rabbi. Read more in Julie Wiener's From "Half-Jewish" to Rabbi .

The Internet is opening up a whole new way for children of intermarriage to connect. Read more in Faces of Change .

Arts and Entertainment

Amanda Bynes, co-star of the upcoming film Hairspray, talks about growing up interfaith, John Travolta's "glow" and her grandmother's matzoh brei in She's the Man: A Q&A with Amanda Bynes , by Nate Bloom.

Kyra Sedgwick, star of TNT's "The Closer," is featured in the newest installment of Bloom's Interfaith Celebrities. Plus, an update on hardball phenom Ryan Braun and Jewish-Maori director Taika Waititi (he sometimes goes by Cohen).

Half-Israeli, half-Ojibwa, Tamara Podemski is a name in her native Canada. Now she's seeking fame south of the border. Read more .

A new film examines marriage--and life--as a less violent form of cold war. Read more in Won't You Be My Neighbor? by Suzanne Koven.

Additional Resources on Growing Up in an Interfaith Family

For more on weddings, see our Growing Up in an Interfaith Family Resource Page .

What's New on the Blogs

On the IFF Network Blog, we wrote about intermarriage in the Bible and outreach by trolley .


In Fit to Print?, in our June 19 issue, we reported that The (New York) Jewish Week printed interfaith wedding announcements. They do not.

Coming Next

Our next issue, on divorce, will come out a week later than usual, on July 31.


Micah Sachs, Online Managing Editor

Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

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



Network News

IFF at the AJPA

Online Managing Editor Micah Sachs attended the American Jewish Press Association conference in San Francisco June 26-29. Sachs led a roundtable on "Jewish Newspapers: Roles and Responsibilities."

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Publisher and President Ed Case will be speaking at (Conservative) Congregation B'nai Torah in Trumbull, Conn., on Tuesday, July 17. He was featured in an interview with The Connecticut Jewish Ledger. Also, while in St. Louis to speak at the Ayecha Diversity Symposium as part of the CAJE conference in August, Case will speak at (Conservative) Congregation B'nai Amoona on Monday, August 6.

IFF in the Press

"8 Tips for Planning an Inclusive Interfaith/Multi-Cultural Wedding," by Micah Sachs, was published in the June 2007 issue of New England Bride . Also, JTA's brief on our hiring of Rabbi Lev Beash was published by the (Minneapolis) American Jewish WorldWashington Jewish Week, j., the Jewish news weekly of northern California, and the (Providence, R.I.) Jewish Voice & Herald , among other publications.

Photographer Seeking Interracial Couples

Paul Margolis, a photographer in New York City, is looking for interracial couples where one or both partners are Jewish for a photo-documentary project. If you, or someone you know, is interested in being a subject, contact Margolis at or (212) 560-2226.

Ways You Can Get Involved

Join the Discussion. Can a person be half-Jewish?

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!




An international program that sends thousands of young Jews to Israel each year for free. Hebrew for "son of the commandments." In modern Jewish practice, Jewish boys come of age at 13. When a boy comes of age, he is officially a bar mitzvah and considered an adult. The term is commonly used as a short-hand for the bar mitzvah's coming-of-age ceremony and/or celebration. The female equivalent is "bat mitzvah." Hebrew for "daughter of the commandments." In modern Jewish practice, Jewish girls come of age at 12 or 13. When a girl comes of age, she is officially a bat mitzvah and considered an adult. The term is commonly used as a short-hand for the bat mitzvah's coming-of-age ceremony and/or celebration. The male equivalent is "bar mitzvah." Yiddish for "fried matzah," a common Passover breakfast dish that can be savory or sweet, ranging in style from closer to an omelette to closer to French toast, made of matzah and egg. Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." The Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday. 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. The first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), or the scroll that contains them.
Send to Friend  Bookmark  Print