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July 29, 2014 eNewsletter

July 29, 2014

Dear Friends,

We continue to hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and we continue to believe in the positive value of trips to Israel for interfaith couples. We’re still planning and looking for participants in the InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia 2014-15 trip to Israel. We’re also supporting a new initiative to offer trips to Israel for newlywed couples (ages 25-40) within the first three years of marriage — including interfaith couples. Please fill out this short 2-3 minute survey by August 6th — your answers will help to shape this exciting new program.

And if you’re just looking for a distraction or a heartwarming, inspiring or uplifting story, read on. Lastly, we're pleased to introduce you to our new Director of InterfaithFamily/Boston, Rabbi Jillian Cameron!

Lindsey Silken

Seesaw Illustration
My Children Married Outside Judaism
A father grapples with how to reclaim a relationship with his children who both married outside of Judaism, and whose spouses he has not welcomed into his home. Read more
Pop Culture
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maggie Gyllenhaal on Parenting
Gerri Miller speaks with Maggie Gyllenhaal about her upcoming miniseries The Honorable Woman, and raising kids in an interfaith family. Plus, news on Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo’s big day, and more. Read more
Jewish Holidays
Elizabeth & Her Husband The Jewish Valentine's Day
Never knew there was a summer holiday called Tu B’Av? Learn about this holiday of love and its roots in diversity. Read more
Pregnancy & Birth Ceremonies
Newborn Unique Considerations for Interfaith Parents
Different denominations of Judaism have different rules about birth ceremonies. Find out what to expect and what the options are for welcoming your baby into the community. Read more
Wedding Blog
Anne and SamI’m Doing It For Me
Why is Anne is taking Judaism and Hebrew classes at her fiancé’s synagogue? For herself. To understand him better. To understand her future children better. What more could a partner ask for? Read more
Robyn FrischConverts Not Necessarily Wanted
Rabbi Robyn Frisch responds in an open letter to Chancellor Eisen, who calls for "the rabbis of the Conservative movement to use every means to explicitly and strongly advocate for conversion." Read Robyn's response

Staff Blog
Challah Rabbi Mychal from IFF/San Francisco Bay Area recalls the first time she broke bread with her in-laws and shares her own challah recipe. Wendy from IFF/Philadelphia recaps a fun night of Love, Religion & Cocktails with young couples in the area. April from IFF/Boston knows the best place to find spiritual cleansing in Boston. And IFF/Chicago's intern, Shannon, finds herself defending her religion to strangers who don't think her name sounds Jewish.

Wedding Blog: Dana and Chris are married! Time flies, but luckily the newleyweds took a minute to fill us in on how it all went (hint: beautifully!). Meanwhile, Ryan has the mikveh on his mind as he thinks about cleansing before the big day. But he's also found a couple of surprising non-religious ways to cleanse his mind, body and soul.

 Pop Culture
 Jewish Holidays
 Pregnancy & Birth Ceremonies
 Wedding Blog
 Staff Blog
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Ner Tamid
Featured Event
from Our Network

On August 10, learn about Congregation Ner Tamid in its new Marietta, GA, home. Weekly Religious School classes begin on Sunday, August 17 with PreK-Grade12, including Hebrew in the upper grades, Confirmation and B’nai Mitzvah. Learn more


In Judaism, this refers to a ceremony created by the Reform movement as a way for young adults to show their decision to embrace Jewish study and reaffirm their commitment to Judaism. Confirmation is typically held at the end of the tenth grade. In Christianity, confirmation is either considered a sacrament or a rite ceremonially performed in a church. In some denominations and churches, confirmation is understood as bestowing the Holy Spirit. In others it signifies entering adulthood. In still others, it results in church membership. 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." Hebrew for "commandment," it has two meanings. The first are the commandments given in the Torah. ("You should obey the mitzvah of honoring your parents!") The second is a good deed. ("Helping her carry her groceries home was such a mitzvah!") A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
Hebrew for "collection," referring to the "collection of water," is a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism. Today it is used as part of the traditional procedure for converting to Judaism, by Jews who follow the laws of ritual (body) purity, and sometimes for making kitchen utensils kosher. A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.)
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