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electronic newsletter 1-20-09


Table of Contents

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Connections In Your Area--Featured Events

Navigating an Interfaith Relationship


Jan. 22, 7 p.m.

Get help steering at a guided Interfaith Discussion Group at Stepping Stones in Denver, Col.




January 20, 2009

Dear Friend,

It's Inauguration Day. As I write this electronic newsletter, I'm thinking about how the United States has welcomed all of us, including people from mixed backgrounds and complicated yet loving families. It is so exciting to see that reflected in the White House in the family of President Barack Obama.


Parenting Teens

Hedi Molnar's 14-year-old daughter sounds like such a mensch--a great kid. Read about how Hedi is supporting her daughter's Chinese identity, Jewish identity and relationship with her Italian-American extended family in Double Happiness: Parenting a Jewish Teen.

Thai wild flowersDeath and Mourning

"My husband said his sister would rather be alone and that we'd only be a bother. I said we wouldn't be a bother! We'd be there to help," writes Edie Mueller in  Grieving in a Different Tradition.

Love, Marriage, Communication

Although Julia Gutman and her husband both speak English, sometimes they mean different things when they use the same word, in Does OK Really Mean OK?


Rosh Hodesh

Talk about a great opportunity for the inclusion of interfaith families--how about the Jewish holiday that happens every month? It's a chance for women to express their creativity as Diana Zankowsky writes in Rosh Hodesh--It's for Everyone. Do you celebrate with a Rosh Hodesh group? How are they integrating interfaith families?

pretty stupidConversion

It's true that Aliza Hausman is a convert, but the experience she describes could happen to anyone in a Jewish setting: feeling like The Stupid Jew when everyone else seems to know more.

flickr pickle plateExtended Family

At first, Elyn Perzley's Jewish family gave her a hard time about marrying a Catholic man, but after they had children,  her family warmed up and his family cooled off. What a pickle. Read more in How Religious Differences Came Between Us.

Parenting Young Children

An interfaith family living in rural Western Massachusetts with a 6 and a 9-year-old gets a lot out of The PJ Library, as they are eager to tell Judi Wisch in her interview, Meet the Dryansky-Perreault Family.

Arts and Entertainment

Nate Bloom's latest is Interfaith Celebrities: Loving Leah and Liev, Too, about a new Hallmark Hall of Fame television special featuring a levirate marriage, the practice of childless widows marrying their brothers-in-law. You don't see a movie about that every day!

Micah Sachs reviewed Defiance, a new film about Jewish resistance to the Nazis, in The Unheralded Heroes of the Holocaust and also met the director in An Interview with Filmmaker Edward Zwick. Zwick discusses his interfaith marriage and his Jewish identity. 


New On the Blogs

On the IFF Network blog, our COO Heather Is a Facebook Rocker (points to you if you get that pop cultural reference!) I wrote a post about a New York Times column on the nature of American Heaven and Micah Sachs posted on a new effort to reach out to Jewish communal professionals in interfaith marriages in Inside-Outsiders?

On the Wedding blog, Lula wrote about The Meet and Greet with a promising new rabbi. Alx asks Why Can We Be Married? if in most states gay men and lesbians cannot.

If you have a Facebook account, we'd be thrilled if you followed our new IFF fan page. If you became a fan after we announced the page in our last newsletter, thanks! It was great to see how many people became our fans after our last newsletter. We're up to 203 fans as of this morning.



Ruth Abrams, Managing Editor

Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • Children of interfaith families in high school and college
  • Finding a welcoming synagogue community in Atlanta
  • Marrying someone Jewish made me more interested in my religion
  • I'm a religious Jew, I love this non-Jew and I'm going to marry them
  • Interfaith dating in Atlanta
  • What it means to be a Jewish dad


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." A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) Yiddish term for an honorable, decent person, usually means "a person of integrity and honor," someone of good character and a deep sense of what is right. 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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