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Menorah Lighting and Dinner

 Lit Hanukkiah

December 12th at 6 p.m.

Celebrate Hannukah at the Peekskill Gazebo followed by a dinner party at First Hebrew Congregation. Interfaith families welcomed for this wonderful holiday event.


December 8, 2009

Dear Friend,

It's December, and you know what that means, right? You don't? At, it means a lot of great articles about how to navigate the December holidays in an interfaith family. It means Hanukkah resources, recipes for goodies and ideas for crafts and presents. It means our annual December holidays survey.

It means asking you to include us in your year-end charitable giving. If you feel supported by what we do, click here and donate. It means a lot to us to have your support in return.

girl and menorahHanukkah Resources

Our Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families is now available both on the web in easily-printable Word and .pdf versions. Enjoy!

Lynn Melnick's daughter loved the five books she reviewed for us in New Hanukkah Books Take Kids Places.

Ellen Scolnic shared a craft project you can do with your children: Make a Menorah to Light up Hanukkah.

We're going to be offering Hanukkah resources and gratuitously entertaining Hanukkah videos on our blog all month, including posts about music and posts about food, so be sure to bookmark us!

Christmas tree and lit Hanukkah menorahDecember Holiday Decisions

There are a lot of different ways to handle Christmas and Hanukkah in an interfaith household. (Photographer Kevin Ross shows one way, at left.) You can find out what our readers do from What We Learned from the 2009 December Holidays Survey, available for download as a PDF or Word file.

Johanna Hammer writes about the year she considered Canceling Christmas. (Her Jewish partner thought she was crazy! )

Debbie Burton writes about The Only Year We Had a Christmas Tree--a test of how much she had to change to be married to her Jewish husband.

Hannah Dayan thought she had to give up being Jewish when she married a Catholic man, but her husband's family didn't ask that of her, in Hanukkah and My Italian Mother-in-Law.

Cassie Havel Morgenstern defies you to come up with holiday arrangement complications like her interfaith marriage between two children of divorce in So You Think You Can December Like Us?

Nicole Habif learned to light the Hanukkah candles with her boyfriend over the phone while drinking brandied eggnog and humming Christmas music in It's the Great Compromise, Charlie Brown.

mandelbrot photo by Rachel PaschJewish Food

Andrea Marks Carneiro wrote a cookbook with her mom called Jewish Cooking Boot Camp: The Modern Girl's Guide to Cooking Like a Jewish Grandmother. She shares how matzo balls and mandelbrot brought her closer to her non-Jewish, Brazilian-born in-laws--plus a recipe in Food Brings Us Together. (Photo: Flickr/Rachel Pasch.)

bar mitzvah boyInterfaith Families and the Jewish Community

Julie Wiener is continuing her examination of the impact of the 1983 Reform movement decision to consider children with a Jewish father as Jews, in Patrilineal Descent and the Conservative Movement.

chelsea clintonGetting Engaged

One story that's been big in the Jewish community lately is Chelsea Clinton's engagement. She may not need help finding a rabbi for her wedding, but ... if you or anyone you know does, don't hesitate to use's Jewish Clergy Officiation Referral Service.  Someone is going to win a gift card for $500!

desjardins baby namingBaby Naming Ceremonies

Melissa Desjardin's baby received her Hebrew name in a ceremony that honored both sides of the family, as she writes in A Baby Naming that Made Me Cry: Olivia's Ceremony.

Amanda PeetArts and Entertainment

Did you hear the one about the Jewish vampires? (They keep kosher, so they don't drink blood--am I right?) How about the children of vampire intermarriage? Nate Bloom's latest Interfaith Celebrities: Twilight is about the actors and directors of the successful films. He's also got the details on Hanukkah Harry.

Come join our Network to get a feed of the articles that interest you most!


Ruth Abrams, Managing Editor


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The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." Hebrew for "candelabrum" or "lamp," it usually refers to the nine-branched candelabrum that is lit for the holiday of Hanukkah. (A seven-branched candelabrum, a symbol of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, is a symbol of Judaism and is included in Israel's coat of arms.) Hebrew for "fit" (as in, "fit for consumption"), the Jewish dietary laws. Hebrew word for an unleavened bread, traditionally eaten during the holiday of Passover. Hebrew for "lots," referring to the lots cast by Haman, the story's antagonist, to determine the date on which to kill the Jewish people. It's a spring holiday commemorating the Jewish people's triumph. The story is told through the biblical Book of Esther; the namesake heroine, a Jewish woman, marries the Persian king. Their interfaith relationship is central to the story.
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