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e-newsletter 7-8-09

Table of Contents

Connections In Your Area--Featured Events

Shabbat Outdoors


Palisades turkey vulture by Anita Gould

July 17 at 5:15 p.m.

Join Temple Beth El of Northern Valley in Closter, N.J. for Prayers on the Palisades--an outdoor hike and Shabbat service. (Click Anita Gould's photo for a view of the event site.)




July 8, 2009

Dear Friend,

We have great news to share! won first place for Outstanding Website at the American Jewish Press Association annual conference. I was there and wrote all about it.

wedding cake with tiger lily decorationWeddings

Mazel tov, Lula and Alx! Our wedding bloggers on The Hitch came back from their honeymoon to tell us, The LULAX is Official! There are pictures, too. We're really going to miss their thoughtful, emotionally-honest wedding planning posts.

If you know an interfaith couple who just got engaged, send them our way--we're looking for new wedding bloggers. They can email me at We're also still here to help anyone who is looking for a rabbi for an interfaith wedding.

You can see how one rabbi makes Jewish customs accessible at an interfaith wedding when you watch Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn's video, Breaking of the Glass Explained.

spectacular grandchildren and their bubbeGrandparenting

What would you do if the Jewish child you raised in an interfaith family didn't want to raise her own children as Jews? Margery Rose-Clapp tells the story of My Spectacular Grandchildren.

image of woman aloneDeath and Mourning

Marlena Thompson lost her beloved husband after an interfaith marriage of 25 years. She finds that Grief Defies Time Tables--Religious or Otherwise.

Ever wonder what Jews believe about the afterlife? Rabbi David Wolpe, a popular Conservative rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, explains a Jewish view of the afterlife in Life After Death, courtesy of the Jewish TV Network. Let us know what you think.


IFF Network Director Robin Schwartz is a disciple of kosher cooking teacher Julie Fishbein. She was a natural choice to review Kosher by Design Lightens Up, A Kosher Cookbook That Does Not Scream Kugel.

baby feet!Parenting

It wasn't easy for Michelle Wolfson to grow up in an interfaith family. She wants it to be easy for her children, as she writes in Bringing up Baby: Raising Interfaith Children in a Not So Interfaith World.


bacon cheeseburgerIntermarried Rabbis

Should rabbinical schools admit candidates in interfaith marriages or relationships? Julie Wiener is ambivalent in The Last Taboo: Intermarried Rabbis.

ten paperclipsWho Is A Jew?

The Jews of Iquitos, a small town in Peru, preserved their Jewish identity for generations. Is it a good thing or a bad thing that they converted to Judaism to be able to rejoin the Jewish community? 

It was just a book, but Jennifer Willis was a little afraid to read it--she knew it would change her life, as she writes in Suddenly It All Made Sense: Finding My Jewish Roots.

Debbie Burton was an active part of the Jewish community for nearly 25 years before she decided to make it official--and had the experience of Standing Up and Being Counted.

Deborah Rowe and Michael Jackson 1996Arts and Entertainment

The story of the moment last week was Michael Jackson's sudden and untimely death. Robin Schwartz wrote a short item for our blog about it in Michael Jackson and His Interfaith Kids. Nate Bloom gave us more of the details of Jackson's relationship with his Jewish second wife in Interfaith Celebrities: Interfaith Celebrities: Michael Jackson, Michael Douglas and Michael and Michael.

Micah Sachs also wrote about the Minnesota senatorial race and an entertainer turned politician in Gosh Darn It, People Voted for Him.

facebook logoIf you have a Facebook account, we'd be thrilled if you followed our IFF fan page. We're up to 368 fans.




Ruth Abrams, Managing Editor

Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • My first Yom Kippur
  • Rosh HaShanah traditions in my interfaith family
  • Explaining why my child is out of school for the Jewish holidays (with my last name)
  • Hebrew teacher in an interfaith relationship
  • What I wish my Jewish relatives knew about Catholicism
  • You must have forgotten that I'm Jewish, or you never would have said that
  • It's great being a dad in an interfaith family | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 |


Hebrew for "Head of the Year," the Jewish New Year. With Yom Kippur, known as the High Holy Days. 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. Hebrew and Yiddish for "good luck," a phrase used to express congratulations for happy and significant occasions. The Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday. 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.
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