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e-newsletter 9-3-2008


Table of Contents

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Connections In Your Area--Featured Events

Introduction to Judaism


The Mid-Atlantic Council of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) invites you to a 16-week Introduction to Judaism Class starting Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Maryland.





September 3, 2008

Dear Friend,

It's not quite fall yet, but we have the ball rolling: school is starting and people are thinking about a new season. In the last two weeks, we've had stories about getting ready for new babies, finding new community, preparing for the Jewish New Year and all sorts of renewal. You can always find a list of our most recent content at: /recent.

stack of kippot

Finding Community

Growing up in an interfaith family, Rachel Mauro's parents' Jewish community suited her fine--but now that she's an adult, she wants something new, in This Is Not Your Mother's Synagogue.

Rebecca and Ari Lavine


In Why Does He Want Our Kids To Be Jewish?, Rabbi Stephen Carr Reuben gives expert insight into a key difference in how Jewish and Christian partners may view religion. Check out the latest installment in our video blog, Rabbi Reuben's Ruminations, presented in cooperation with the Jewish TV Network.

She planned to raise her baby as an observant Jew with a Buddhist practice--which would have been complicated enough--if things hadn't gotten really interesting. Read more in The Spiritual Stretch of Single Motherhood by Rebecca Lavine. (That's Rebecca in the photo at left with her son Ari.)


High Holidays

Can you believe that Rosh Hashanah is only a little less than a month away? It's true: Elul, the month that precedes the High Holidays, started on Sunday.  You can get ready with our new Guide To the High Holidays For Interfaith Families. It's also available for download as a Microsoft Word document.

Having a truly awesome experience of the Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement requires some advance preparation, and Marinell James tells you how in Elul and Spiritual Do-Overs.

Two more things to get you in the High Holiday mood: Jewish musician Craig Taubman's site Jewels of 29 writers from all walks of life are contributing a meditation every day from September 1 to September 29.

Also enjoy my celebratory post to the IFF Network Blog, Days of Awesome--I put some links to music to get you in that Elul groove.

Russ and Jessica Consor

Baby Namings

Russ Consor and his wife Jessica are expecting, and thinking ahead to a baby naming, but he wants to know, Who Has Godparents? Do Jews?

Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Michael Felsen brought us along to Forever Young: A Secular Community Celebration where children of interfaith families gave serious and thoughtful answers to the question Why Be Jewish?


Abby eating ice creamExtended Family Relationships

Michelle Miller and her brothers grew up in the same interfaith family, but she's raising her children as Jews and they aren't. She relates how she's come to terms in A Family Blessing With Sprinkles On Top.


In Confronting the Charge that the Gospels Are Anti-Semitic, Menachem Wecker reviews Rabbi Michael Cook's new book on Jews reading Christian scriptures.


Arts and Entertainment

Nate Bloom shares his unique insights into the new fall TV lineup in Interfaith Celebrities: Back to Beverly Hills. Lindsay Lohan, left, is the latest non-Jew rumored to be about to convert for a Jewish sweetie.


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

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Hebrew for "Head of the Year," the Jewish New Year. With Yom Kippur, known as the High Holy Days. A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) Reform synagogues are often called "temple." "The Temple" refers to either the First Temple, built by King Solomon in 957 BCE in Jerusalem, or the Second Temple, which replaced the First Temple and stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem from 516 BCE to 70 CE. 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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