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November 7, 2006 eNewsletter


 Web Magazine

November 7, 2006


Dear friend,

Does adoption from Asia make a Jewish family an interfaith family? How does an interfaith family balance three competing cultures? What do you do if your adopted child says she doesn't want to be Jewish? In the new issue of our Web Magazine, we explore these questions and more.

Gina Hagler, a convert, and her husband have two Korean children and one biological son. Can they find a synagogue where they won't stick out? Read more in A Conspicuous Family .

We interviewed adoptive families and adoptees from across the spectrum, including interfaith families, conversionary families and grown adopted Jewish children. Find out how adoptees and their families make Jewish choices work in Vicki Peterson's International Adoption and Interfaith Families .

Hedi Molnar is Jewish, her husband is Italian Catholic and her children are from two parts of China. Find out how they integrate everyone's cultures in Pizza, Noodles and Latkes .

How do you respond when your adopted Guatemalan child tells you, "Being Jewish is boring. Other religions aren't boring"? Find out Debra A.W. Berger's response, in Does Adoption Make Us An Interfaith Family?

Susan Freudenheim reflects on how far she and her daughter have come since she found her in a Chinese orphanage, in A Mother's Pride. Meanwhile, her daughter Rachel loves being raised Jewish, but she could do without the funny looks, in Don't Think of Me as Different--I'm Not .

It's often thought that Jewish parents are responsible for making their adopted children Jewish. But sometimes it's the other way around. Read more in "Fulfilling a Mitzvah": As More Jews Adopt, Perceptions of Jewish Identity Change, by Doug Chandler.

In a culture of "be fruitful and multiply," what do you do when you can't? Read more in When Jews Can't Multiply: Pain of Infertility Hits Hard for Many, by Eric Fingerhut.

Single Jewish women find the key to their motherhood dreams in the abandoned girls of China's one-child social policy, in Jewish Moms, Chinese Daughters, by Merri Rosenberg. Rosenberg also explores intermarried families who've adopted children from Asia, in Interfaith Parents, Chinese Children .

Can adopted children feel "Jewish first" when society sees them as "Asian first"? Find out more in Dual Identity, Double the Questions: It's Not Easy Being Jewish and Chinese, by Sarah Price Brown.

Arts and Entertainment

Scott Simon, the host of NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday," shares his experiences as the child of intermarriage and the father of an adopted girl, in NPR Host Scott Simon: Riding on Airwaves , by Jeff Rubin.

From the Article Archive

After 27 years, a Catholic woman searching through her adoption paperwork makes a shocking discovery: she was born Jewish. Read more in Cheese Blintzes: An Adoptee Discovers Her Jewish Roots .

NEW Resource on Birth Ceremonies

We've created a new 47-page Guide to Birth Ceremonies for Interfaith Families . It includes essential information on Jewish birth ceremonies like brit milah and simchat bat, as well as dozens of great ideas for readings and rituals suitable for an interfaith family. We couldn't have created it without your help! (Also available in Word format.)

More Resources

For more on adoption and birth ceremonies, visit our Birth Ceremonies Resource Page .

Coming Next

We'll return on November 14 with our issue on Jewish-Buddhist relationships.


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
  • Shabbat in your interfaith family
  • Secular Judaism: How you practice it

Interested in any of these topics? Contact Web Magazine Editor Ronnie Friedland at .

Connections In Your Area--Featured Events

Programs Related to Babies, Childbirth, Parenting and Grandparenting

Synagogues and Jewish organizations throughout the country offer programs relating to childbirth, babies and parenting.  Some are tailored to the needs of interfaith families while some are general programs that anyone raising a Jewish child would find helpful. Check out our Babies Snapshot for a sampling of programs throughout the country.


Network News

Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund Renews Funding

We're extremely pleased and grateful to announce renewed funding of $95,000 from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund , an early and long-standing supporter.

IFF Welcomes New Board Member

We're thrilled to welcome Mamie Kanfer to our Board of Directors. Mamie, who lives in Minneapolis, Minn., is actively involved in next generation Jewish philanthropy and is committed to building a Jewish community that welcomes interfaith couples.

Our December Holidays Survey was a Huge Success


In only two weeks, we received 758 responses to our December Holidays survey--nearly double the number of responses for the 2005 survey. Thank you for your help! We will announce the winner of the $500 American Express giftcard in our Dec. 5 eNewsletter and will release results from the survey in the coming weeks.

Congratulations, Michele Missner!

Michele Missner, of Appleton, Wis., was the winner of the drawing for the $100 giftcard from Barnes and Noble. Congratulations, Michelle, and thank you to everyone else who responded to our call for ideas for birth ceremonies for interfaith families. The new Guide to Birth Ceremonies for Interfaith Families  is available now!

Ways You Can Get Involved

Support Us.  If what we do helps you or others you care about, please make a tax-deductible charitable contribution in support of our work.


Join Our Discussions.  We want to know what you think--and it's easy to tell us!

Spread the Word.  Ask your friends to subscribe to The eConnection --the more people we reach, the better!




Hebrew for "daughter's celebration," a modern term for a naming ceremony for baby girls. Hebrew for "covenant of circumcision," a ritual for Jewish boys when they are 8 days old. It is commonly known as "bris," which is the Ashkenazi or Yiddish pronunciation of "brit." 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." The Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday.
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