November 21, 2006
For more than 50 years, Jews have been attracted to Buddhism--and Buddhists. In a modern society where many Jews are proud of their Jewishness but conflicted over their faith, Buddhism offers what traditional Judaism lacks: a spiritual practice that makes no mention of God. In the new issue of our Web Magazine , we hear from Jews exploring Buddhism, the children of Jewish-Buddhist marriages and partners in Jewish-Buddhist relationships.
In To Make One's Life a Blessing, Jonathan Chao Burnston, the son of a Buddhist mother and a Jewish father, searches for common ground between his parents' traditions.
Julia Gutman and her Tibetan husband share common values, but the ways they express themselves are vastly different. Gutman comes from a culturally Jewish background full of debate and argument; her husband comes from a culture where there is nearly a taboo on saying the word "no." Find out how they make it work in Momo and Matzoh: Our Tibetan-Jewish Marriage.
"My husband's death was the end of my life as I knew it," says Paulette Mann, an atheist Jew. She searches for comfort in Buddhism in Moving Beyond Grief.
Intermarried mom Louise Crawford is exploring Buddhism, but every High Holiday season she feels the pull of the synagogue. Read more in Smartmom: Meditating on My Jewish Identity.
Perry Garfinkel, the author of Buddha or Bust, finds peace in an unlikely place in At Auschwitz, Buddhist Meditation Set Me Free.
From the Article Archive
Steve Ettinger and his Buddhist/Shinto wife respect and support each other's traditions, but he's having a little trouble going to the Episcopalian church where she plays organ. Read more in Our Interfaith Relationship .
News and Opinion on the Boston Jewish Community Study
A new demographic study of Boston's Jewish community revealed some extraordinary news: 60 percent of intermarried families in the Boston area are raising their children Jewish. Our President and Publisher Ed Case, among others, attributes the development to Boston's commitment to outreach, in Sue Fishkoff's Investment in Outreach is Paying Dividends, Study Suggests. But others aren't so sure, says Stewart Ain, in Outreach Miracle? Meanwhile, Case and Kathy Kahn, the director of the Union for Reform Judaism's Department of Outreach and Synagogue Community, say Boston can be a template for other communities, in Engaging the Intermarried .
With the Democratic takeover of the House, Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in America. And her daughter is married to a Jew. Read more in Nancy Pelosi's Interfaith Family .
And speaking of Washington, D.C., the country's third-largest Reform congregation--the Washington Hebrew Congregation--recently decided to allow its rabbis to marry interfaith couples. Read more in Expansive Chuppah: Washington Hebrew OKs Officiation at Interfaith Weddings--with Conditions .
Arts and Entertainment
A Jewish Buddhist makes a movie about a detective investigating a death at a Buddhist enclave, in Jew-Bu Detective Story Blends Two Cultures .
Elinor Lipman is obsessed with intermarriage. But not in the way you think. Read more about this writer and her novels in Happy Ever After , and listen to her refreshing perspective, in Ronnie Friedland's Interview with Elinor Lipman .
We'll return on December 5 with the first of two issues on the December holidays.
Micah Sachs, Online Managing Editor
Write for Us!
We're looking for writers on the following topics:
Divorce and stepfamily issues, including talking to your ex about your child's religious upbringing
Secular Judaism: How you practice it
Interested in any of these topics? Contact Web Magazine Editor Ronnie Friedland at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Connections In Your Area--Featured Events
Growing Up in an Interfaith Home
Sponsored by Interfaith Connection
Interfaith Connection is hosting a panel of adult children of interfaith households who will talk about their experiences, their families' approaches, their feelings about these choices and their current practices and beliefs. This is a helpful program for interfaith couples with questions on raising their children. The event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m., at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center. For more on this event, click here. For questions, contact Helena McMahon, LMFT, at email@example.com .