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Newsletter 3-18-08

Table of Contents

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Connections In Your Area--Featured Events


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March 18, 2008

Dear Friend,

With the release of several important new studies of religion and Jewish life, interfaith marriage has been big news in the past two weeks. Read about our take on them here or check out our list of recent articles.

Sky Magen David by mindgutter


News and Opinion

How Jewish are Interfaith Families? Sue Fishkoff reports on important new studies that find that interfaith families raising their children as Jews look very much like liberal in-married families.

Julie Wiener surveys Orthodox Jews to learn about Orthodoxy's Glacial Shift on Intermarriage.

Sue Fishkoff's article Reform Rabbis Renew Debate on Officiation features's new website section for clergy, where rabbis and cantors will find help addressing the issue of officiation.

 In Stop Trying to Keep Out Non-Jews Dr. Gary Tobin argues that Judaism should be competing on the North American convert market.

Magen David Kite
Passover/Easter Survey Results

Interfaith families raising Jewish children overwhelmingly observe Passover—and fewer than half celebrate Easter. Find out more in What We Learned from the 2008 Passover-Easter Survey. (Also available as a Microsoft Word document.)




Jim Keen finds that among interfaith families at his Reform congregation in Ann Arbor, The Confusion Argument doesn't hold water--children raised Jewish know they are Jews.


The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah book cover


Andi Rosenthal reads Nora Raleigh Baskin's sensitive The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah in She Wanted You to Have It--A Young Adult Novel of Jewish Identity.

Jayne Cohen was stimulated to Visions of Hanukah Zeppole by The Jewish-Sicilian Cookbook and gives a mixed review with sample recipes.

Krewe Mishegas New Orleans 2008



Purim, a joyous Jewish holiday of parties, costumes and silliness, starts the evening of March 20. In Mardi Purim, poet Rodger Kamenetz reflects on the similarities between Purim and Mardi Gras, and how New Orleans Jews have found a Jewish way to join in their city's revels for a Catholic holiday.



Arts and Entertainment

Celebrity columnist Nate Bloom gives us The Story Behind Eliot Spitzer's Intermarriage and some  headline news about television journalists who have converted to Judaism, or away from it.



What's New on the Blogs

We loved a recent New York Times piece on choosing Judaism and gave our take on recent studies of American Jews' attachment to Israel, and Jewish identity in Boston's interfaith households.

Abbe Cohen Dvornik

Passover/Easter Survey Drawing Winner

Congratulations to Abbe Cohen Dvornik of Somerville, Mass., on winning the drawing for the $250 American Express giftcard after filling out the 2008 Passover-Easter Survey.


Hope you've enjoyed my first e-newsletter! I look forward to hearing from you.


Ruth Abrams, Online Editor

Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • Conversion 
  • Passover/Easter
  • Teen and Adult Children of Interfaith Marriage
  • Same-Sex Couples
  • Orthodox Jews with non-Jewish partners

Interested in any of these topics? Contact us at | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 |

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.
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