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June 19, 2007 eNewsletter



 Web Magazine

June 19, 2007

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Dear friend,

Wedding season is upon us. In two-and-a-half weeks, it will be July 7 (7-7-07), which Time suggests may be the most popular wedding date in history . (This may or may not be a sign of the impending apocalypse.) If you're planning a wedding for that auspicious date, it's probably too late to take full advantage of the offerings in our new Weddings issue , but for the rest of you, there's a lot in here you'll like.

We've revised our most popular downloadable resource, Wedding Ceremony Ideas for Interfaith Couples. Now titled Guide to Wedding Ceremonies for Interfaith Couples (PDF), it includes comprehensive information on how Jewish weddings work, suggestions on how to find a rabbi to officiate, new ideas for rituals and readings and ideas for ceremony order. It's also available for download as a Word document .

One-half of our wedding-blogging duo of Bryan and Julie has written about their recent wedding. Find out how the long-awaited day went in The Blogging Bride , by Julie Daneman.

Ever considered sending your wedding or engagement announcement to a Jewish newspaper? We talked with 21 Jewish newspapers  about their policies on printing interfaith wedding announcements. Their responses may surprise you.

No one was more surprised than Magin McKenna when she fell in love with a self-described "big Jesus freak." Read more in The "P.G."--Preacher's Girlfriend .

East meets East Side in a Jewish wedding with Japanese flourishes, in Paul Golin's My Jewpanese Wedding .

Does planning a wedding sometimes seem like a journey from crisis to crisis? It certainly was for Faye Rapoport DesPres and her new husband, who had to overcome two mothers' illnesses, one rabbi's rejection, knee surgery and another rabbi's last-minute hospitalization before getting married. Read more in When Life Gets in the Way of Planning a Wedding .

As she prepared for her wedding to a Nepalese Hindu man, Heather Lazar reflected on the influence her family's photos have had on her life. Read more in Picture This: Old Photographs, New Life .

Naomi Rockler-Gladen wants a Jewish wedding. Her fiancé, a devout-Christian-turned-agnostic, wants nothing to do with religion. Can they make it work? Read more .


Starting in July Rabbi Lev Baesh will join the staff of as its first Rabbinic Circle director. Read more in JTA's story .

To Officiate or Not?  Only one rabbi in Boston's North Shore officiates at interfaith weddings--although others offer advice and support.

Arts and Entertainment

Angelina Jolie stars as the Buddhist wife of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in A Mighty Heart. Read Michael Fox's review  andinterview with the director, Michael Winterbottom .

Are Brittany Murphy and Simon Cowell Jewish? Plus, a few more crumbs on R. Crumb, and the conversion story of Mare Winningham (St. Elmo's Fire ) in the latest installment of Nate Bloom's Interfaith Celebrities .

Adam Gopnik, the brilliant, intermarried writer for The New Yorker , talks about his connection to Jewishness in Doctor, Doctor! There's a Joke in My My Judaism , by Susan Freudenheim.

Additional Resources on Interfaith Weddings

For more on weddings, see our Interfaith Weddings Resource Page .

What's New on the Blogs

On the IFF Network Blog, we wrote about anti-Semites who loved Jews and Cassandra vs. Nero .

Coming Next

Our publishing schedule changes during July. Our next issue, on growing up in an interfaith family, will come out a week later than usual, on July 10. Have a great Fourth of July!


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

Meet Our Rabbinic Circle Director

We are very pleased to welcome Rabbi Lev Baesh as the first director of our Rabbinic Circle . Starting July 9, Lev will respond to the many inquires we get for help finding rabbis to officiate at interfaith weddings. He will also help all rabbis--whether they officiate or not--with providing assistance to interfaith couples. Need a rabbi to officiate at an interfaith wedding? Press the button below.

IFF in the News

The hiring of Rabbi Lev Baesh was covered by the JTA , and we were also quoted in a story in The (New York) Jewish Week"Intermarriage Seen Roiling Reform Ranks."

New Funding

We are very grateful to The Skirball Foundation  for a new $100,000 grant, payable over four years, for general operating support. Thank you!

All the News About IFF

Our quarterly update for supporters and friends of went out last week. You can read it by clicking here .

Ways You Can Get Involved

Join the Discussion. Do you think interfaith couples are more likely to participate in the Jewish community if a rabbi officiates at their wedding?

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!




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." 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.
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