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July 19, 2011 eNewsletter

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July 19, 2011

Dear Friends,

I mentioned, in a recent e-Newsletter, that June is usually LGBT Pride month. Around the office, however, we might need to change that to July. Spurred by some exciting news (see below!), we've redesigned our LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) content, highlighting articles, guides, booklets and more by and for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, their families and friends.

For this, and more, keep reading...

Contest Winner

Congratulations to Allison Fox of New Jersey who won our Officiation Request $500 American Express Gift Card drawing! Through June 30, any request for clergy that we received was automatically entered.

Though the contest is over, our Jewish Clergy Officiation Referral Service remains free and easy to use.

Families At Home

Rabbi Reena Waseman Judd found that most people she talks with believe that "if a person chooses Judaism and marries a fellow Jew, the family is not an interfaith family." But she finds that the family she and her husband, a Jew-by-choice, have created very much remains an interfaith home and family. Read more in Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother: Reflections on Being Part of An Interfaith Family.

Eric Pliner, through his relationship with his partner, Adam, came to realize that being Jewish wasn't a black or white issue. In fact, the home they share, filled with Shabbat meals and Jewish study, would still be just as Jewish, even if Adam didn't convert to Judaism. Read more in In Between.

In The Community

Rabbi Daniel Kohn, an educator and rabbi-in-residence for a Jewish day school, looks at successful ways to include and welcome interfaith families in Jewish days schools. Read more in Interfaith Families and Jewish Day Schools.

Joanna Rothman, new to the IFF staff and jumping right in, blogged about how our site is a great resource for event planners. Read more in Event Planners: Take Note!

I blogged about three events in the Jewish community, including a NY Federation retreat that seemingly ignored interfaith families, the possibly high inclusion rate of intermarried couples and their families in the Russian Jewish community, and the role mixed heritage families play in shaping our history. Read more in Hodgepodge Triad.

Pop Culture

Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic let their imaginations run a little wild as they offered tips to the possibly Jewish Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, on how to have a Jewish home as a royal. Read more in Cohen, Levi, Israelite or Royal.

I blogged about the interesting name choice for Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied's new son. Read more in Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied Picked a Name.

Nate Bloom, in his bi-weekly column, says goodbye to Harry Potter, takes a look at Ziggy Marley and the Rastafari movement, and explores two different Holocaust-themedproductions, one on the big screen and the other on stage. Read more in Interfaith Celebrities.

Same-Sex Marriage

I blogged about the excitement in the office when, shortly after the New York State Senate passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage, we received a request via our Jewish Clergy Officiation Referral Service for a rabbi to officiate at what will be the first gay (and interfaith!) marriage in NY. Read more in NY: First Gay Marriage!

Ed Case chimed in with a whole lot of feelings about the upcoming nuptials, and his own personal journey coming to accept and advocate for same-sex marriage. Read more in Happy and Proud.

Do you have an interesting story to share about a life-cycle event? About your extended (uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, grandparents, grandchildren) interfaith family? Are you LGBT and in an interfaith family? If so, I'd love to hear your story pitches! Contact me!

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Benjamin Maron, Managing Editor
PO Box 428, Newton MA 02464


The Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday. A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) 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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