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November 8, 2011 eNewsletter - Boston

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November 8, 2011

Dear friend,

It's hard to believe we're starting to gear up for the December holidays, but we are! And we'd love your input: read on for an opportunity to tell us about your December holiday practices (and a chance to win), and, for you writterly types, check out the request for article submissions at the bottom of this eNewsletter.


Greater Boston

We are excited to be sending out this first Greater Boston eNewsletter. Content will focus on your local community in addition to highlighting the great content from InterfaithFamily.com. In between our bi-weekly eNewsletters, check out more local content on the Greater Boston Community Page — and get to know your community!

 


News from IFF

Do you celebrate Hanukkah? Christmas? We are conducting a survey about interfaith families' experiences participating in Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations. People of all backgrounds are welcome to take this survey and anyone who is a member of the InterfaithFamily.com Network is eligible to win the drawing of a $500 American Express giftcard. Take the December Holiday Survey!

The results of our User Survey are in — thank you to all of you who responded! Ed Case wrote about the results, who you — our readers — are, what reseources you're looking for, and how we can better serve you. Read more in Survey Again Says: IFF Has Impact!


Blogs

On the Parenting Blog, Cassie Morgenstern updates us on her and her husband's search for a Jewish community, and the importance of a rabbi that would welcome them as an interfaith couple and who would also be willing to convert their baby. And, in the process of talking with the rabbi, she shares her reasons for not converting to Judaism. Read more in Our Date with the Rabbi.

Ketura also wrote on the Parenting Blog about her adoption setbacks, and not knowing what her next steps should be. Read more in Net Yet.

On the Wedding Blog, Arel and Yolanda are back with their eighth video post and a serious question. Help them out! Read (and watch) more in Video 8: what is the point of a bridal party?

On the Network Blog, I wrote about some interesting happenings and articles that might have slipped through the cracks. What fruit did Adam and Eve really eat? What's going on with "Occupy Judaism" and all of the Jewish events taking place at Occupy Wall Street and other cities' Occupy movements? What does Pat Buchanan have to say about intermarriage and Jewish population statistics? Read more in October News Hodgepodge.


Families and Parenting

For Susanna Perrett and her young daughter, the biggest lesson learned was outside the preschool as they fought to create an inclusive environment for all kids, regardless of cultural or religious background. Read more in Changing Our Preschool For the Better.

Halloween. A pair of dueling articles looked at whether or not Halloween should (or could) be celebrated Jewishly. Read more in Why I Am Not Buying A Pumpkin Costume For My Baby by Robin Schwartz and How to Make Halloween Holy by Micah Sachs.

As an interfaith couple in a long-distance relationship, Erin Russ and Matt Scherzer had a big question: "How do we involve ourselves generously with our extended families by respecting their traditions and values, while at the same time laying the foundation for our own explorations of faith?" Read more in Rationing Minutes.


Pop Culture

Karen Kushner got in touch with her teen-self from decades past, as she got excited by rumors of Paul McCartney's conversion to Judaism. Read more in Attention All Beatles Fans!

Nate Bloom returns with high holiday celebrity goings-on, a new congressional memoir, the return of the news and a possible Beatle conversion. Read more in Interfaith Celebrities.


Synagogue and Spirituality

In prayer services, the major focus is not doctors who heal the sick, or farmers who grow food or human experience that offers lessons in right and wrong; praise, petition and gratitude are generally directed "upward" to God rather than to each other. Adam Chalom, a Secular Humanist rabbi, looks at how secular people (Jewish and non-Jewish) can reconcile this tension. Read more in To Pray or Not to Pray?

I blogged about a recent Chicago Tribune article that reported on blessings offered, during Yom Kippur services, to spouses who are not Jewish helping raise Jewish families. Read more in An Unexpected "Thank You".


Are you, or is a family member, Hindu, Muslim, Quaker, Buddhist or of another religion/faith with an interesting story to share about a ritual, winter holiday or life-cycle event with your interfaith family or interfaith relationship? I'd love to hear your story pitches! Contact me!

Are you on Twitter? Follow us for breaking stories and resources! Are you on Facebook? Like us for daily content! On Youtube? Subscribe to our channel!

Sincerely,

Benjamin Maron, Managing Editor

 

 

 

 

Hebrew for "Day of Atonement," the final of ten Days of Awe that begin with Rosh Hashanah. Occurs during the fall and is marked by a 24-hour fast. One of the most important Jewish holidays. Hanukkah (known by many spellings) is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd Century BCE. It is marked by the lighting of a menorah and the eating of fried foods. 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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