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eNewsletter 9/6/07

Table of Contents

Ways You Can Get Involved

We want to know : Do you go to synagogue for the High Holidays?

Looking for a rabbi or cantor for your interfaith wedding? We have a database of more than 100 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

Made High Holiday Plans?

Check out these events at synagogues and organizations throughout the country.


Sept. 6, 2007

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Dear Friend,

When it comes to holidays, we tend to think in seasons: spring is the time of Passover and Easter, winter is the time of Hanukkah and Christmas. But Jewish holidays have the fall to themselves, which makes celebrating the High Holidays both easier and harder for interfaith families. There is no conflict between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and a Christian holiday, but then again, there may be little incentive for a non-Jew to miss work to attend High Holiday services. Unlike Passover and Hanukkah, the High Holidays are primarily observed in synagogues, so families have little latitude to adapt the rituals to their own needs. In the new issue of our Web Magazine , we explore the High Holidays in interfaith families.

Many Jews find themselves racked with guilt over their decision to avoid temple during the holiest days of the year. Not Zack Kushner. "I have a long and respectable history of having no plans for the High Holidays," he says, in Skipping Services... Again .

Jane Ulman interviews a variety of interfaith families on how they navigate the uniquely Jewish Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, in The September Dilemma .

During the holidays the key to togetherness in Samantha Facciolo's family has been food, even when she's stealing it from Grandma. Read more in Taking Candy from a Bubbe .

Also in this section:

The Worst Time of the Year to Be Introduced to the Jewish Religion

The High Holidays Without the One on High

To Affiliate or Not?


Delicious but dairy-free cupcakes and carrot cake? It's possible. Read High Holiday Desserts for Vegans, the Lactose-Intolerant, Kosher-Keepers and Other Weirdos , by Linda Morel.

News and Opinion

More temples are letting non-members come to High Holiday services for free. Finally. Read more in Pay to Pray? Synagogues Are Rethinking the Old High Holidays Formula .

Also in this section:

"In the Mix": Holy Moses! When Biblical Heroes Intermarry

Resource Pages

For more on the High Holidays, see our High Holidays Resource Page , with links to relevant articles, discussion boards, issues of the Web Magazine and more.

Arts and Entertainment

Paula Zahn divorces her Jewish husband as her replacement marries one. Plus, chatty hottie Chelsea Handler (pictured) skewers celebrities on E! Read the latest installment of Nate Bloom's Interfaith Celebrities .

Also in this section:

Can the Reform Movement Build a Better Prayer Book? - Review of the new Reform siddur, Mishkan T'filah

High Holidays Children's Books for Interfaith Families

A Good Sense of Taste - Review of Tastes of Jewish Tradition

What's New on the Blogs

On the IFF Network Blog, we comment on the happy state of intermarriage in Jamaica and the response to "Hindu Widows."

Coming Next

Our next issue, on Grandparenting, will come out Tuesday, Sept. 25.


Micah Sachs, Online Managing Editor

Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • Interfaith families and Halloween
  • Your love story for Valentine's Day
  • Baby ceremonies
  • Bat/Bar Mitzvah stories
  • Relationship Issues

Interested in any of these topics? Contact Web Magazine Editor Ronnie Friedland at . | 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 "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." 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. Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." 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 member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) Hebrew for "prayer book," the plural is "siddurim." 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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