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May 15, 2012 eNewsletter

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May 15, 2012

Dear friends,

It's no secret that raising children is both joyous and frustrating. In today's newsletter, we look at some of the added challenges and blessings of raising children in interfaith families. Not a parent? Not a problem! There's still a full offering of other articles, sure to be of interest.


Support groups exist for mothers who aren't Jewish and are raising Jewish kids. But what if, like one of our Parenting Bloggers, Chana-Esther, you're a Jewish mother in an interfaith family and you're looking for support? Where do you turn? Chana-Esther has decided to start a new group in her community, but would love your suggestions and input: does your community offer something like this? What would you want from this type of group? Read more in Interfaith Parenting Support Group.

Christina Pertus Hendelman struggled with her decision to convert to Judaism and raise her children as Jews. Her son's birth triggered conflicts: she was opposed to the idea of a bris. But when it came time for preschool, something started to change... Read more in When Children Raise Jewish Parents.


Acknowledging that her family's schedule, like many families', is crazy and busy, Julie Daneman wrote on the Parenting Blog about her need to reconnect with "something bigger" than herself, to take a moment to pause and slow down. Lighting the candles on Shabbat help her find that space and time. Read more in Who Needs Shabbat? ME, That's Who!

Reflecting on the conclusion of the online course Raising a Child With Judaism in Your Interfaith Family, Ari Moffic wonders how congregations can make Saturday morning Shabbat services more appealing and inclusive of families with young children. Read more in Shabbat Family Worship: Is it Possible?

Pop Culture

Rain Pryor recently revamped her one woman show, Fried Chicken and Latkes, an autobiographical look at growing up Black and Jewish. Reviewers Allison Foilb and Emily Wallen were initially "concerned the show would walk the fine line of stereotypes and racial punchlines, but instead Pryor offered us a unique glimpse into her world where she grew up with black power fists raised alongside glasses of Manichewitz." Read more in Afros and Yiddish and Soul Food? Oy Vey!

In his regular column, Nate Bloom updates us on some of the recent stories he's covered. A goodbye to Adam ("MCA") Yauch, on Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman's wedding, more on the cast of HBO's Girls, and Michael Schwimer joins the Phillies. Read more in Interfaith Celebrities.


It's been a month since Passover, and Heather Subba is ready to share what the holiday meant to her this year, how she reconnected with her traditions, and what really examining the word "seder" (order) led to for her, her Hindu husband, and the guests (Catholic, Indian, Hindu, Christian, American and Nepali). Read more in A New Order: Reflecting on the Passover Seder.


Planning a wedding can be stressful. Sometimes planning an interfaith wedding has added stresses as different religions and backgrounds are negotiated between both the couple and their extended families. Sarah Callahan shares how she and Devin planned theirs, including tips for communication and setting aside time for dates during the planning process. Read more in The Wedding: A Mixed Blessing.

On the Parenting Blog, SLP, a mom who is not Jewish but who is raising Jewish kids, shares her thoughts about intermarriage and why she will encourage her kids to marry Jewish partners. Read more in Why I Do Not Want My Children to Intermarry.


On the blog, inspired by a question on, I questioned whether mythical or imaginary creatures (like the tooth fairy) had religious affiliations. And if I previously associated them with Christianity, how accurate could that be? Read more in A Jewish Tooth Fairy?

Calling all writers! Are you, or is a family member, Hindu, Muslim, Quaker, Buddhist or of another religion/faith? Do you have an interesting story to share about a ritual, life cycle event or holiday with your interfaith family/relationship? I'd love to hear your story pitches. Contact me with your ideas for articles!

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Benjamin Maron, Managing Editor





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. Hebrew for "order," refers to the traditional course of events, or service, surrounding the Passover and Tu Bishvat meals. Hebrew for "covenant," often referring to the ritual for Jewish boys when they are 8 days old ("brit milah" - "covenant of circumcision"). It is commonly known as "bris," which is the Ashkenazi or Yiddish pronunciation of "brit."
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