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March 5, 2013 eNewsletter - Boston

 
InterfaithFamily
March 5, 2013
Dear Friends,
The countdown is on to Passover! Will you be marking the holiday this year, starting the evening of March 25? We've got resources to help you learn and prepare. Read on!
Boston
Do your kids get antsy at the seder table? Learn hands-on activities, songs, and some surprising tips that will help keep everyone, including the little ones, engaged this Passover. Join the Sunday School for Jewish Studies in Newton, March 10, for this interesting and helpful workshop!
Passover
Looking forward to Passover? Our booklet, Setting The Passover Table Made Easy, explains and reviews the seder, helping anyone host or participate in the ritual meal. Tips for Interfaith Families: How to Make a Seder Inclusive is an annual favorite. Have other suggestions to add? Leave a comment! Looking for recipes? We've compiled the best recipes from years past.

Marisa Elana James keeps kosher for Passover. Her housemate, who is Christian, celebrates Easter. Like many households and (chosen) families, they had to figure out how to make the spring holidays work together — and they did! Read more in My Kosher-For-Passover Easter Dinner.

How do you make charoset, that fruity nutty spread, for Passover seder? On the Parenting Blog, Chana-Esther shares her family's Egyptian-Italian recipe! Read more in A Charoset Blended Recipe.
Grandparents
Did your (adult) child intermarry? How are you sharing Judaism with their kids, your grandchildren? Rebecca Goodman, Director of InterfaithFamily/San Francisco, is curious about what works (and what doesn't). Read more in Grandparenting in Interfaith Families.
Identity
What's in a name? If you could choose a new name or add additional names, would you? Ren Faught, who was raised in an interfaith family without Judaism, discusses the importance of the Hebrew name she picked when she converted. Read more in My Name Is My Prayer.

Lisa W. Rosenberg grew up with three identities: Jewish, black, ballet dancer. And it wasn't until college that she realized that not everyone saw her identities coexisting as seamlessly as she had. Read more in Being "Both": Claiming Dual Identity as a Biracial Jew.

"Soon after we were married, we realized we didn't speak the same language." Sounds like this couple (one, a Dominican American Jew by choice, the other, descending from a long line of rabbis) didn't struggle over religion, but rather the impact of culture on their communication styles. Thankfully, they found common ground in food. Read more in Gefilte Fish Con Maduros: A Multicultural Jewish Family.

Purim's come and gone, but Chana-Esther's shared her thoughts on the Parenting Blog: "We celebrate Purim by hiding behind masks and pretending to be what we aren't (or briefly live a fantasy of who we would like to be), just as Esther pretended she wasn't Jewish. My husband got to enjoy the party being openly non-Jewish." Read more in Purim, Revealing the Hidden.
Animated Weekly Stories
Designer Ralph Lauren, Purim, comedian/actress Jackie Hoffman, and priests — together at last?! Torah portion Tetzaveh focuses on fashion, costumes, and what we're concealing. Read (and watch) more in Project Runway: Priest Edition.

Wandering the hot desert for forty years? How frequently would the Israelites have bathed? How often would they have seen something aside from sand and sky? Is it any wonder Torah portion Ki Tissa focuses on the importance of the senses of smell and sight? Which of your senses is the most important to you in understanding the world? Is this also the sense that helps you tap into your spiritual self? Read (and watch) more in Sight and Smell, Bodies, and Losing Faith.
Jewish Community
A Conservative rabbi in New York City is talking about a radical shift in his denomination's approach to conversion, stemming from their approach to intermarriage. What do you think? Read more in A New Conservative Approach to Conversion and Intermarriage.

Did you read the powerful New York Jewish Week op-ed by Rabbi Heidi Hoover, "Israel Doesn't Want a Reform Convert Like Me"? What do you think? Ed Case, CEO of InterfaithFamily, shares his thoughts on the blog. Read more in Israel Doesn't Want Reform Converts?

Are attitudes about intermarriage changing? Ed Case thinks so, but recent articles in the Forward make him question progress... Read more in Are Attitudes Towards Intermarriage Changing, Revisited.

If synagogues changed their membership model to view congregants as sharing participants with things to both give and take, would that draw in new members? Ari Moffic, Director of InterfaithFamily/Chicago, proposes a new membership model on the blog. Read more in Membership Possibilities: the Give and Take Model.

Wendy Armon, Director of InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia, has some advice and tips for Jewish professionals on furthering their welcome and inclusion of interfaith couples and families. Do you have other tips or recommendations to add? Read more in An Open Letter to Jewish Professionals.
Pop Culture
Mazel tov to Kathy Kane (aka Batwoman) and Maggie Sawyer (aka Captain Sawyer) on their engagement! If anyone has connections at DC Comics, please let them know that we'd be willing to help them find an officiant for their interfaith wedding. Read more in Comic Wedding.

In his regular pop culture column, Nate Bloom declares the new Oz The Great and Powerful to be an "interfaith-y" film; introduces the hunger and food education/advocacy documentary, A Place at the Table; and welcomes the ABC series, Red Widow. Read more in Interfaith Celebrities.
It's only March, but we're looking ahead to Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) in the spring. Are you the descendant of Holocaust survivors? Have you or other relatives intermarried? We'd love to hear your stories — contact me!
Sincerely,
Benjamin Maron,
Director of Content and Educational Resources
 Boston
 Passover
 Grandparents
 Identity
 Animated Weekly Stories
 Jewish Community
 Pop Culture
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One of 54 sections of the Torah read, during Shabbat services, in order on a weekly basis throughout the year. Hebrew and Yiddish for "good luck," a phrase used to express congratulations for happy and significant occasions. Derived from the Hebrew word "cheres," which means clay, it's a mixture of fruit, nuts, and wine eaten as part of the Passover seder. Symbolizing the mortar that the Hebrew slaves used to build the cities for Pharaoh in Egypt, it's one of the symbolic food items on the seder plate. The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." 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.
Hebrew for "fit" (as in, "fit for consumption"), the Jewish dietary laws. Hebrew for "lots," referring to the lots cast by Haman, the story's antagonist, to determine the date on which to kill the Jewish people. It's a spring holiday commemorating the Jewish people's triumph. The story is told through the biblical Book of Esther; the namesake heroine, a Jewish woman, marries the Persian king. Their interfaith relationship is central to the story. Hebrew for "order," refers to the traditional course of events, or service, surrounding the Passover and Tu Bishvat meals.
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