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electronic newsletter 3-17-09



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Connections In Your Area--Featured Events

Comforting Mourners In Interfaith Families

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March 19, 7 p.m

Columbia Jewish Congregation in Columbia, Md., is offering a discussion on Death and Dying in the Interfaith Family.





March 17, 2009

Dear Friend,

I have the worst kind of Purim hangover. No, I didn't drink, even though it's traditional to do so. I have that awful post-Purim dread of finishing all these hamantashen before it's time to clean the house for Passover. I wish there were a tradition of eating them on St. Patrick's Day. Happy St. Patrick's Day! Have a hamantashen.

Since I can't send you a hamantashen through email, how about A Pint of Guiness, A Cup of Manischewitz: Some Irish Jewish Connections? Nate Bloom wrote us a nice extra celebrity column to celebrate people of Irish-Jewish heritage.

elderly lady stock imageIn-Law Relationships

When you get married, you get a whole new family.  Sometimes that can be great, and other times, not so great.
Suzanne Koven has made a Jewish home and raised Jewish children, in large part thanks to her Catholic mother-in-law, as she relates in Hey, They Were Reading Your Book in Church Today!
Amanda Martignetti writes about when her in-laws began to see beyond her religion and see a person who not only loved their son, but loved them too in My Jewish Mother-in-Law Loves Me Even Though I'm Not Jewish.
Julie Cortes didn't have such a great experience. She thought everyone liked their interfaith wedding. Years later, she found out her in-laws thought she was controlling and castrating, in False Assumptions

shabbat stock imagePurim

Susan Goldberg's partner makes fantastic hamantashen. Susan's Jewish mother would have been so proud of her Catholic daughter-in-law for carrying on her food traditions. Her article All Who Are Hungry, Come And Eat features photographs of the hamantashen-making process.

Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael writes on Purim and Intermarriage, "The very fact that the Jews are saved is dependent on a Jewish queen married to a non-Jewish king."

boards of matzahPassover Planning

Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner wants you to think ahead about making Your Own Personal Family Haggadah--For Free!. Personalize your Passover seder with your own  homemade haggadah, and you could win a prize in Rabbi Lerner's contest.

If you are a complete beginner to Passover, or hosting your own seder for the first time, you'll benefit from our listing of Planning Passover Classes 2009. Learn holiday basics, taste Passover wines or enjoy a special Tot Shabbat that previews Passover.

New Book On Interfaith Marriage

We've been looking forward to publishing an excerpt from Keren McGinity's book, Still Jewish: A History of Women and Intermarriage in America. In the section we feature on the site, Birth of a Jewish Matriarch, McGinity draws on individual interviews with contemporary Jewish women to explain why those who intermarried from 1980 to 2000 tend to have a stronger commitment to raising their children as Jews than Jewish women in interfaith families from earlier in the century.

Jews of Color

Akira Ohiso has a 2-year-old, and another baby on the way. Now it matters to him a lot more when people question his Jewishness, as he writes in I'm A Jew, According To ...

Rashida JonesArts and Entertainment

In Nate Bloom's latest Interfaith Celebrities: I Love You, Man, Paul Rudd loves you, man, Sarah Silverman doesn't love you anymore, and Lindsay Lohan loves Judaism. Also, Rashida Jones, left, is very lovely.

New on the Blogs

On The Hitch, IFF's wedding blog, Lula Jones writes about how she and Alx have created a whole new kind of ketubah--a tree!--in It Lives.

On the IFF Network Blog, Ed Case writes that new budget cuts make it imperative to Save Reform Outreach Again. Micah Sachs questions whether a new American Religious Identification survey is a real indication that the Jewish population is shrinking, and Can You Be for Inmarriage Without Being Against Intermarriage?

If you have a Facebook account, we'd be thrilled if you followed our new IFF fan page. We're up to 256 fans. Yay!



Ruth Abrams, Managing Editor


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We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • Our two families' overlapping values
  • I planned to marry someone Jewish, and then...
  • My Jewish education never prepared me for this parenting surprise
  • When I married someone Jewish, I was surprised that Jews...
  • Atlanta-area writers from interfaith families
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Yiddish for "Haman's pockets," and shaped after the three-corner hat of Haman (the villain of the Purim story), these are triangular cookies with poppy seed, jam or fruit filling in the middle. Hebrew for "document," a legal document that is both a prenuptial agreement and a certification that a Jewish marriage has taken place. A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) 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. Hebrew for "order," refers to the traditional course of events, or service, surrounding the Passover and Tu Bishvat meals.
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