Send to Friend  Bookmark  Print

e-newsletter 11-11-08


Table of Contents

Ask your friends to subscribe to our eNewsletter--the more people we reach, the better!

Ways You Can Get Involved

Looking for a rabbi or cantor for your interfaith wedding? We have a database of more than 260 rabbis and cantors throughout the U.S. and Canada.

officiation request button

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

Connections In Your Area--Featured Events


Hebraically Hip

Nov. 14, 7 p.m.

The Open Tent brings you new edgy Jewish writers at Miami Bookfair International with the Heeb Storytelling event.




November 11, 2008

Dear Friend,

Just as I was putting together this newsletter: Boston's Combined Jewish Philanthropies President Barry Shrage shared a draft of his paper, A Common Aspiration: The Promise of Peoplehood, with us. In it, he lays out a vision for making the Jewish community more welcoming. It's good timing, as we know that at least some of you are psyched up by the recent election to read intellectually challenging policy papers about unity and hope.

sexy pumpkinHalloween

Yes, yes, we know it's not a Jewish holiday. In fact, Robin Schwartz, our network director, wrote to explain why Halloween doesn't fit with her Jewish values, in Why I Am Not Buying A Pumpkin Costume For My Baby. Micah Sachs, IFF's costume-loving director of web strategy, defends the holiday in How to Make Halloween Holy. I wrote a post to the IFF blog about it, too, with the video of "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah." (Go watch it. You know you want to.)

hands stock photoOutreach

Lynn Edelman wrote about a major outreach effort to interfaith families in Philadelphia, 52 Synagogues, One Goal. It's coming up this weekend, November 14-16, and we'd love to hear how it goes.

yahrzeit candleDeath and Mourning

Charlotte Gordon's dad converted from Judaism to Episcopalianism, and gave her a hard time when she decided to become a Jew by choice. Then he died--how was she supposed to mourn him? She tells the story in The Problem with Yahrzeits.

mezuzah book coverBooks

Three young children with a lot of personality helped Vicki Streiff review a new crop of picture books about Shabbat in Little Critics' Picks For Jewish Children's Books.




path in the woodsLove, Marriage, Communication

Nina Amir's husband converted to Judaism after she married him. Why does theirs feel more like an intermarriage now than it did 20 years ago? She writes about it in When The One We Love Doesn't Walk The Same Spiritual Path.





teenage mutant ninja turtlesGrowing Up In An Interfaith Family

When there was a family crisis, Chaim Sodi's aunt took him and his brother in. She treated her two little Jewish nephews like her own children--and that meant taking them to church. He writes about it in Dear Jesus and the Accident Year.





When your Jewish life has evolved in response to the challenge of parenting a Jewish child, what happens when your child goes off to college? Paula Yablonsky tells the story in An Empty Nest In A New Tree.




Rahm EmanuelArts and Entertainment

Tough guy Congressman Rahm Emanuel is President-Elect Obama's new chief of staff and Ruben Amaro Jr. is the new general manager of the World Champion Phillies.  It's a new day in America and a great time to read Nate Bloom's column, Interfaith Celebrities: Rahmbo, Good Sports, Bad Guys and Political Porn Stars.



cotton club less sweet ginger aleNew On the Blogs 

Micah Sachs knows Jewish stats, and you can too with this Goldmine for Geeks. Robin Schwartz was up on all the news while she was Getting Ready for Election Night. I have More Funky Internet Torah Study Opportunities for you. Did you know you can read our blog in your RSS reader? Technology rocks.

We'd love to hear from you--join the discussions on our discussion boards or by posting a comment on an article.


Ruth Abrams, Managing Editor

Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • I never expected Jewish grandchildren
  • Christmas in my interfaith family
  • Hanukkah in my interfaith family
  • My in-laws--how we learned to love each other
  • Hebrew school--I hated it, you're going
  • I want my children to be Jewish--whatever that means | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 | | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 |

Hebrew for "son of the commandments." In modern Jewish practice, Jewish boys come of age at 13. When a boy comes of age, he is officially a bar mitzvah and considered an adult. The term is commonly used as a short-hand for the bar mitzvah's coming-of-age ceremony and/or celebration. The female equivalent is "bat mitzvah." 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.) A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
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.
Send to Friend  Bookmark  Print