October 24, 2006
Less than one-tenth of one percent of all money spent in the Jewish communal world goes to programming specifically for interfaith families. And yet even with that small contribution, there are countless success stories from these kinds of programs, commonly called outreach. In the new issue of our Web Magazine , we pay tribute to a few of the individuals, programs and institutions that have successfully engaged interfaith families.
We talked to three interfaith couples at different stages in life--one pre-engagement, one with young children and one with school-aged children--to find out how--and if--outreach helped them. Read more in Lessons from Three Interfaith Families .
Pam Chernoff, a non-Jew, pays tribute to the Bay Area's Dawn Kepler, The Woman Who Helped a Methodist Join a Synagogue .
Hedi Molnar knows a thing or two about outreach: she and her Catholic husband attended various outreach groups for half a decade. Learn how failing the course helped make them a stronger Jewish family in The Road Taken .
Alexandra J. Wall had two Jewish parents, but her husband had only one and was raised without the Jewish religion. The same goes for her friend Joanne. Find out what happens When "Half-Jews" Marry Jews .
For seven years of marriage, Lawrence MacDonald never considered conversion. But going to an Arlington, Virginia-based congregation helped him see: he wanted to be a Jew. Read more in Welcoming Synagogue Led Me to Judaism .
With an earring in one ear, black hipster glasses and a colorful Bukharan yarmulke, Josh Simon didn't look like a typical rabbi. Nor did he act like one. For Julie Wiener, he was a "kindred spirit." Read more in the heartbreaking This Baby Naming Won't Be the Same .
From Our Article Archive
Egon Mayer was one of the first Jewish thinkers to see intermarriage as an opportunity rather than a threat. Read this 2004 tribute to one of the pioneers of outreach, Debra Nussbaum Cohen's He Never Gave Up on Anybody .
At Interfaith Connection in San Francisco, couples find they have a lot in common--including a desire to deepen their spirituality. Read more in Interfaith Couples Find Solace in JCCSF Group . And in New Jersey, a formerly Orthodox man married to a non-Jew started up a program to help non-Jewish moms raise Jewish kids. Read more in Circle of Friends: Non-Jewish Mothers of Jewish Children Set to Meet .
Arts and Entertainment
In his new book, Gil Mann shares some occasionally crazy stories from his Jewish discussion board on AOL. Read more in Sex, God, Christmas and Jews .
And a new movie tries to solve the puzzle of why Daniel Pearl, an intermarried Wall Street Journal reporter, was killed. Read more in Daniel Pearl Documentary Fails to Live Up to Its Subject's Standards .
For more on outreach, visit our Jewish Community and Synagogues Resource Page .
We'll return on November 7 with our issue on adoption, including a comprehensive resource on birth ceremonies for interfaith families.
Micah Sachs, Online Managing Editor
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We're looking for parents to address how their family's celebration of the December holidays affected their children's religious identity. Interested? Contact Web Magazine Editor Ronnie Friedland at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Connections In Your Area--Featured Events
Reform Judaism Boston: URJ (Reform Movement) Northeast Region
The URJ (Reform Movement) Northeast Region offers a wide array of outreach programs, including A Taste of Judaism, Introduction to Judaism and Yours, Mine & Ours (a program for interfaith couples). Click here to see some of the current class offerings. Please go to http://www.reformjudaismboston.org for additional information about programs for interfaith couples and individuals exploring Judaism in the Greater Boston area.