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electronic newsletter 5-26-09

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Connections In Your Area--Featured Events

Mother's Circle Starts in Charlotte



June 4, 7 p.m.

Are you a mother raising Jewish children ... but you're not Jewish? Don't do it alone! Come to Temple Beth El in Charlotte, N.C. and join the Mother's Circle, a program to support mothers of other religious backgrounds who are raising Jewish children.



May 26, 2009

Dear Friend,

In just two days it will be Shavuot, the wine and cheese holiday. (My sister told me to call it that!) I'm looking forward to reading the book of Ruth, eating blintzes and maybe getting to a Shavuot all-night study session.

We're closing our User Survey at the end of May, so please, if you haven't taken it yet, do! We're eager to hear how you use our resources.

girl blessing candlesShabbat

We're very pleased to offer you our new Guide to Shabbat for Interfaith Families. Please let us know what was useful and whether any additional information would be helpful.

Brittany ritellGrowing Up In An Interfaith Family

Three Teenagers In Love, Brittany Ritell (pictured), Alyssa Mangold and Gabbie Wynschenk, write about their passionate connection to their Jewish youth group, BBYO.

young coupleMarriage and Relationships

You made a plan--no Christmas tree. Now she wants one. It can happen! Watch Rabbi Reuben's Ruminations: Changing Your Mind After Marriage produced in co-operation with the Jewish TV Network.

Marrying a non-Jew was never part of Jane Larkin's plan--she always intended to marry someone Jewish, and she did, once. Now she finds Interfaith Marriage--A Blessing in Disguise for her Jewish life.

shabbat candlesGrandparenting

We're republishing one of the best of our earlier articles, Jewish Grandma Tells All by Eleanor Jaffe. To adore a darling grandson comes as natural as breathing. The tricky part is what a grandmother's role should be in transmitting Jewish heritage.

guyana postage stampInterfaith Marriage and the Jewish Community

Most intermarried Jewish women didn't become the president of Guyana, but in some ways, Janet Jagan's choices were typical of her generation. Julie Wiener places Jagan in context in Generations Apart On Intermarriage.

Nashuva bandSynagogue

Every Jewish professional wishes they could attract the outstanding Jews--you know, the ones out, standing on the corner instead of coming to synagogue? A musical Friday night service that attracts 400 people, no dues and an open door--this is Nashuva, A Welcoming Community No One Can Join, as Rachel Freedenberg reports.

cheesecake Shavuot

Andi Rosenthal was raised Catholic in an interfaith family, and converted to Judaism as an adult. Shavuot is a special holiday to her, as she writes in Orpah, A Shout-Out for Shavuot.

We're also offering the basics of Shavuot: Days of Cheese and Roses--a summary of the themes and practices of this under-sung major holiday with accompanying recipes.

MumbaiBar and Bat Mitzvah

Helen Belitzy reports on how an interfaith family kept alive Jewish traditions in a Bombay synagogue in One Family's Multicultural Coming of Age Celebrations: The Jewish Bar Mitzvah and The Hindu Thread Ceremony.


Adrien brodyArts and Entertainment

Nate Bloom lets us in on all the things Adrien Brody and British actress Rachel Weisz have in common in Interfaith Celebrities: Actors' Careers in Bloom.

Atlantic puffinNew on the Blogs

Did you know that May Is Jewish-American Heritage Month? We also learned that 2 per cent of the people on the Jewish dating website JDate don't identify as Jews. Micah Sachs responded to Norman Lamm's insulting comments in the Jerusalem Post and I wrote about how a new Israeli Supreme Court decision affects interfaith families.


facebook logoIf you have a Facebook account, we'd be thrilled if you followed our IFF fan page. We're up to 327 fans. Fantastic!

Happy Shavuot!







Ruth Abrams, Managing Editor


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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.
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