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e-newsletter 3-5-08

Table of Contents

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Ways You Can Get Involved

Looking for a rabbi or cantor for your interfaith wedding? We have a database of more than 140 rabbis and cantors throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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

Rock On

Temple Beth Shalom of Ocala, Fla., is hosting a cantorial concert--"Israel at 60: Melodies of Milk & Honey"--at the Appleton Museum of Art on Sunday, March 9.



March 4, 2008

Dear ,

Up here in the Northeast, the last weeks of February were cold--but our articles weren't. Many of them were about the warmth of interfaith families. Visit our newest articles or see below.


Growing Up in an Interfaith Family

It was Christmas day. Beth Nichols was in rabbinical school in Jerusalem, but she wanted nothing more than to be sitting in pajamas around a 12-foot tree covered in ornaments. Learn how this child of an interfaith marriage became a Jewish spiritual leader.

In I'm a Jew Just Like You, Joelle Asaro Berman explains how growing up in an interfaith family gave her a rich identity--so let her contribute to Jewish life.



In a companion piece to I'm A Jew Just Like You, Joelle's mother talks about raising Jewish children as a Catholic mom. "At our first Hanukkah together, I, a Sicilian American, made the challah and my Jewish mother-in-law the lasagna--and all the guests assumed it was just the opposite," she says, in Lasagna and Hamantaschen.

Three children's books address feminist heroes of the Bible, Jewish time and the nature of God. Read Cheryl Coon's round-up.


Bar and Bat Mitzvah

A mom worries whether her non-Jewish family and friends will fee comfortable at her son's coming-of-age ceremony, in Nina Amir Lacey's Don't Sweat the Jewish Stuff.



A Jewish woman and her Catholic husband make a sweet tradition of Friday night Shabbat rituals, in Hug Often, by Heather Seith.


Arts and Entertainment

Nicolas Sarkozy's new wife has had many Jewish loves while Helena Bonham-Carter's granddad saved many Jewish lives. Plus, was Juno an interfaith romance? Find out in Nate Bloom's latest installment of Interfaith Celebrities.

In honor of the Oscars, Michael Fox picks the 10 top movies on intermarriage, interdating and interfaith friendship.

In Don't Have a Cow, Mom!: A Q&A With Hank Azaria, The Simpsons' vocal virtuoso talks to Laurie Heifetz about his Jewish background, his interfaith relationships and how he'd raise his children.


What's New on the Blogs

We've taken a first look at the Pew Forum's recent survey on religious life in America and been amused by the hypocrisy of the New York Board of Rabbis.

Meet Our New Editor!

We'd like to introduce Ruth Abrams, our new online editor. Ruth has a Ph.D. in comparative history, has taught Jewish history at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and has done editing for the journal POLIN at Brandeis University. Ruth will expand and grow our editorial content, and help us create new holiday- and life-cycle-specific educational resources.

Feel free to drop her a line at She will soon be taking over these newsletters.


Micah Sachs, Managing Editor

Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • Weddings
  • Passover/Easter
  • Parenting young children
  • Birth ceremonies/Adoption

Interested in any of these topics? Contact us at | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 |

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. The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." A bread that comes in a few different varieties; its most common variation is a braided egg bread, though there are water challahs that don't have eggs, and there are whole-wheat challahs which sometimes also don't have eggs. It is customary to being Sabbath and holiday meals by saying blessings and eating challah. 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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