July 11, 2006
Travelling means many things to many people. For some it means relaxation. For others it means learning about a new culture. For some it means discovering yourself. For others it means escaping your troubles back home. Samuel Johnson said of travel that "a man must carry knowledge with him if he would bring home knowledge." It's in that spirit that we share our new Web Magazine issue on Travel.
For Amy Elkes, travelling meant escape. Escape from the questions, opinions and criticisms she faced in the States for her relationship with her non-Jewish fiancé. In Japan, where she took a job for a year, there are few Jews and fewer hangups about interfaith relationships. Read more in A Year without Questions .
Europe is a different story. While living in Copenhagen, Steven Michalove and his Danish wife couldn't agree on what Jewish sites to see: he wanted to see sites commemorating the resistance against the Nazis; she wanted to see sites commemorating the tragedies Jews have suffered in Europe. Learn how they overcame their differences in Destination Europe .
Israel can be a touchstone for interfaith couples and the children of interfaith families. For Faye Rapoport, Israel is like a second home and she wants to share it with her French Canadian fiancé. There's just one problem: He's afraid of flying. Read more in This Land Is My Land, but Maybe Not Your Land .
Zack Kushner, on the other hand, visited Israel with his new wife--a self-defined areligious "scientist"--and found that Everything Old Is New Again . And that's not always a good thing.
Meanwhile, Joelle Asaro Berman, the daughter of an Italian mother and a Jewish father, went to both her homelands, Sicily and Israel, within the span of several weeks. Consciously or not, the proximity of the trips forced comparison. Which felt more like home? Find out in Memoirs of a Pizza Bagel .
Poland has a complicated Jewish history. It was once the home to more than three million Jews and was the site of a great Jewish renaissance; during World War II, 90 percent of the Jewish population was destroyed. Now there's a rebirth of interest in klezmer and Yiddish, with one difference: many of the performers and audience members aren't Jewish .
What do you think? Please join our online discussion on the topic "How does your non-Jewish partner feel about visiting Israel?"
Focus on Half-Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes
For years, half-Jew has been a derogatory term for the children of interfaith couples, and many proud, involved Jews have downplayed their mixed heritage. But Laurel Snyder wants to change all that with her new anthology Half-Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes. Read her story, read an excerpt and read a review of this important book.
Also in This Issue
Home to a large secular population and a powerful ultra-Orthodox community, Israel can be a confusing place for an interfaith family to visit. Now some American Orthodox are running into problems getting accepted as Jews, in Israel's Top Rabbinate Rejects Orthodox Conversions as Well .
Look for our next issue on Hindu-Jewish Relationships on July 25.
Micah Sachs, Online Managing Editor
Write for Us!
We're looking for writers on the following topics:
1) Are you in a Jewish-Buddhist relationship or a Jewish Buddhist?
2) Did your interfaith family connect to Judaism through an outreach program? Did one individual make a difference in your or your partner's connection to Judaism?
If you want to write on these topics, please send an email to Ronnie Friedland at email@example.com .
Connections In Your Area--Featured Event
The Armchair Traveler: Jewish Destinations Around the World
Whether you are planning a vacation or just wish you were, this class is for you. Explore the best of Jewish touring around the world at the Washington, D.C., Jewish Community Center. Journey from Israel to Istanbul and from Rome to Rhodesia and delve into the richness and diversity of Jewish history. The class will take place on three Wednesdays: July 12, 19, and 26, from 7:30-8:30 pm. For more information, click here, or contact Sarah Gershman at (202) 777-3237 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register.