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e-newsletter 4-1-2008


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Connections In Your Area--Featured Events


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April 1, 2008

Dear Friend,

Hope you are all enjoying the emerging spring. I have a good half-dozen crocuses blooming in my front yard--I'm trying to concentrate on them rather than on the impending task of cleaning for Passover.

We love to get reader opinions on the sometimes controversial approaches people take toward interfaith marriage in the Jewish community. Come read about some of issues we think are worth talking about here, or look at the list of recent articles on our site.

Ofir Nave, Jewish Survival

In her recent "In the Mix" column, Under One Roof, Negotiating Two Faiths, Julie Wiener  investigates The Interfaith Community and raises a provocative question: can you raise kids in two faiths without confusing the children or diluting religion?


Rourke second wedding photo

Rachel Rourke married Jay, the then-Catholic love of her life before a Justice of the Peace 18 years ago. Years after he had converted to Judaism, they decided to recommit to one another in a Jewish ceremony. Read about how they made a celebration that was beautiful, meaningful, and amazingly inexpensive, in A Jewish Wedding for Under $2,500.


Kelly McCormick


Broadway up-and-comer Kelly McCormick was first drawn to Judaism, then to a rabbinical student. Read her story of conversion and romance in So, I Married a Rabbi by Danielle Freni.



The Sky In Israel by Babi Santander


Beth Kressel reviews The Jewish Connection to Israel, the Promised Land: A Brief Introduction for Christians by Rabbi Eugene Korn, a new book for non-Jews that paints the Jewish love for Israel in overly broad strokes, in An Idealized Israel for Christians.


Grandmother's Glasses by Earl Gray


Death and Mourning

Valerie Cooper is a practicing Protestant, but she found comfort in the way Jewish funeral customs provided a chance to mourn and celebrate her husband's grandmother, whom she'd lovingly called "Grandma." She describes the experience in Grieving Jewishly, For the First Time.



Kevin Youkilis hits a home run

Arts and Entertainment

Kevin Youkilis hits homers and does mitzvahs, while Debra Messing does salsa and John Leguizamo dances the hora. Nate Bloom writes his annual column on who is Jewish in baseball, and reports on an upcoming new movie about Latinos, in which Leguizamo, married to a Jewish woman in real life, plays a character in an interfaith marriage.

Rembrandt, The Jewish Bride

 News and Opinion

We decided to reprint Rob Eshman's controversial opinion piece, Our Hindu Widows. Eshman, the editor of the Los Angeles Jewish Journal , suggests a controversial solution for single, childless women in their 30s and 40s: interdating.

Three Brandeis researchers, Leonard Saxe, Fern Chertok and Benjamin Phillips think Fear Over Intermarriage Is Overblown. Being raised by one or two Jewish parents is less important to a person's Jewish identity and practice than whether they have been exposed fully to the riches Judaism has to offer.

What's New on the Blogs

We posted Jewish-Irish Cultural Links in honor of St. Patrick's Day, and then later in the week, wrote in praise of the sacred silliness of the Jewish holiday of Purim. Shalom TV sent us a press release about their recent round table discussion of interfaith marriage and the Jewish community, and we shared their astonishingly negative and one-sided perspective in Shalom TV: "Agonized and Worried."

In our last newsletter, in spite of due diligence, our link to the Julie Wiener story, Orthodoxy's Glacial Shift on Intermarriage, was broken. I'm reposting it so that you can read it now. If you do read it, we're interested in your comments--as indeed, we love to hear from you about all the articles we publish. You can comment right below the article, while you are still thinking about it.



Ruth Abrams, Online Editor

Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • Jews of Color 
  • Passover
  • Teen and Adult Children of Interfaith Marriage
  • Same-Sex Couples
  • Orthodox Jews with non-Jewish partners

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

Plural form of the Hebrew word "mitzvah" which means "commandment," it has two meanings. The first are the commandments given in the Torah. ("You should obey the mitzvah of honoring your parents!") The second is a good deed. ("Helping her carry her groceries home was such a mitzvah!") The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." 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. Hebrew, derived from the Greek word for "dance," a variety of dances done in a circle, popular in Israel (and the Balkans).
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