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June 4, 2013 eNewsletter

 
InterfaithFamily
June 4, 2013
Dear Friends,
In America, June is often held up as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) Pride month. Coincidentally (well, maybe not), two of our articles focus on this community. In their own way, four of the articles, including those speaking to LGBTQ experiences, highlight Jewish journeys. Each is unique, but we can likely all see ourselves, or someone we know, in these stories.
InterfaithFamily News
This week, we're excited to welcome three new staff members to the IFF team. Lindsey Silken joins us at the Boston headquarters as our new Managing Editor, Rabbi Robyn Frisch joins InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia as Director, and Marilyn Wacks is the new Project Manager at InterfaithFamily/San Francisco Bay Area. We're thrilled to see our team grow around the country!
Jewish Journeys
Lyssa Friedman's relationship to Judaism has shifted over the years. In some ways, she didn't choose Judaism. She did choose her partner, Daphne, who wasn't Jewish. Until Daphne chose to convert to Judaism. How do we support our partners' Jewish journeys, while still discovering our own? Read more in I Chose a Non-Jew — and the Non-Jew Chose Judaism.

It might not have been the text many of us would have turned to. But for Dan Bindschedler, reading The Alchemist, ultimately a Christian text, helped him reconnect with Judaism. Read more in The Alchemist: Or, How I learned To Connect With My Jewish Roots.

Though nervous her husband would be seen as 'different' or 'other' in a synagogue setting, finding a synagogue home community became important for Heather Subba and her interfaith family. Read more in Going Home Again.

A gay rabbi, Amber Powers has insight into the special and differing needs and expectations gay and lesbian interfaith couples have of synagogues. While some communities are welcoming to LGBT couples, and others are welcoming to interfaith couples, not all have couples who are both in mind — but their Jewish journeys and ability to find a home in the Jewish community is equally important. Read more in Bridging Differences in Gay and Lesbian Interfaith Partnerships.
Animated Weekly Stories
Will the Promised Land be flowing with milk and honey, or giants and battles? This week's guest narrator, Jay Michaelson, invites the spies of Parshat Shelach Lecha to look inside themselves and see what the true story behind the challenges to come is... Read (and watch) more in Spies and Confidence.
Blogs
So many people had negative experiences with their own Jewish education, be it Hebrew school or Jewish day school. When it comes time to making decisions about how our children will receive Jewish education, these flashbacks to our own childhood can influence our choices. Wendy Armon, like so many other parents, wants to make sure her kids — and yours — receive a positive experience. Read more in The Challenge of a Jewish Education — A Plea to Educators.

Rebecca Goodman writes on the Network Blog, "The beauty of Judaism is that each individual can find his/her own connection." Inspired by a recent confirmation ceremony at a Bay Area synagogue, she blogged about how accessible Judaism can be for all different people with different relationships to God. Read more in Accessible Judaism.

On the Parenting Blog, Chana-Esther is back from her trip to Israel and wondering if she's an "imposter." Why? There are some mitzvot (commandments) that she does not have to follow as an intermarried woman. But she's drawn to following some of the modesty laws, most recently covering her hair. Read more in Hair-Covering Imposter.

Melissa Cohen shared on the Parenting Blog her love of Shabbat. A Jew-by-choice, Shabbat's full day off "was what sold me on Judaism in the first place." But as her family has grown she wonders, "why is it so hard?" Read more in Shabbat.
Pop Culture
Nate Bloom takes a look at the "Jewish movie family" of Will and Jaden Smith in After Earth. Plus, the nominees for this year's Tony Awards. Read more in Interfaith Celebrities.
Happy Pride month!
Sincerely,
The Staff,
InterfaithFamily
 InterfaithFamily News
 Jewish Journeys
 Animated Weekly Stories
 Blogs
 Pop Culture
 Featured Organization
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Featured Organization
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Have you visited the oldest and largest synagogue in the Richmond, VA area? Congregation Beth Avabah ("House of Love") is a warm and welcoming Reform community.
 
 
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. 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." Plural form of the Hebrew word "mitzvah" which means "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!") 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.) 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.
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