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electronic newsletter 6-23-09


Table of Contents

Connections In Your Area--Featured Events

 Men's Group


man in glasses

June 25, 7:30 p.m.

Sons of Jethro is a group for men who are not Jewish but who want to learn more about Jewish holidays, life cycle events and values because their children are being raised Jewish. It meets at the Indianapolis JCC.








June 23, 2009

Dear Friend,

Happy summer, everyone! I'm happy to share another two weeks of our articles from It's been a rainy, chilly few weeks here in the Northeast. I've spent a lot of time reflecting on what we do here at IFF,  particularly in light of the recent shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. I'm ready for more of the normal summer issues: weddings, bar and bat mitzvah celebrations, summer camp and long Saturdays with our families.

sefer torahJews of Color

The child of a Catholic mother and a Jewish father, Michelle Ore chose Judaism as a teenager, even though for her  that meant undergoing a formal conversion, as she describes in Catholic to Kugel.



Amy Sessler Powell had great experiences as a kid at Jewish summer camp. They are an important part of her Jewish parenting, too, as she writes in Choosing a Jewish Overnight Camp When You Are Intermarried.

6th and i sanctuarySynagogues

How can synagogues be more welcoming to interfaith families? One Reform congregation in New Jersey has been struggling with this question, as Debra Rubin reports in Non-Jews As Officers in Reform Temples: A Live Issue. (Photo is of another synagogue, the lovely sanctuary of Sixth & i in Washington, D.C.)

Nicholas Cafarelli knows the power that a welcoming synagogue can have, because his family is now active in one. He wishes he could ask the rabbi who scolded his wife for wanting to marry him thirty-odd years ago, Has This Marriage Destroyed the Jewish People?

Rachel Barenblat found it difficult to introduce her husband to the Hebrew liturgy she loves, and wonders, Is Judaism Necessarily Insular?

rugelachBirth Ceremonies

Amy Dominy always felt sure about everything Jewish--until she had to defend ritual circumcision to her in-laws. They gave her the Strangest Looks.

Paula RosenbergGrowing Up in an Interfaith Family

Paula Rosenberg's beloved Jewish dad died when she was only in the fifth grade. She writes about how finding Judaism was part of Finding My Father.

torah reading image with yadBar Mitzvah

When David Hoberman was 13, he wasn't interested in Judaism or having a bar mitzvah ceremony. The support of his Catholic wife for his explorations led to his Bar Mitzvah in an Interfaith Marriage.

Maya rudolphArts and Entertainment

Sylvester Stallone never mentioned his interfaith background in interviews--because he didn't know much about it, until his mother did some research. Nate Bloom covers this story and the latest Woody Allen movie in Interfaith Celebrities: Stallone's Jewish Grandfather.

Micah Sachs writes about Drake--is he The Next Big Half-Jewish Hip Hop Star? 

Andrea felsackWe Have a Winner!

Thank you to everyone who completed our User Survey during the month of May. We had 1,109 people respond to the survey, more than double the total for our 2007 survey! Congratulations to Andrea Felsack of Maple Glen, Pa., the winner of our drawing for an iPod Touch.


facebook logoIf you have a Facebook account, we'd be thrilled if you followed our IFF fan page. We're up to 352 fans, which is great!






Ruth Abrams, Managing Editor


Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:


  • It's not the wedding, it's the marriage that counts
  • Jewish things we do over the summer
  • Hey you, wanna fight? Conflict in an interfaith family
  • Hebrew teacher in an interfaith relationship
  • What I wish my Jewish relatives knew about Catholicism
  • You must have forgotten that I'm Jewish, or you never would have said that
  • What's great about being a dad in an interfaith family | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 |


Hebrew for "daughter of the commandments." In modern Jewish practice, Jewish girls come of age at 12 or 13. When a girl comes of age, she is officially a bat mitzvah and considered an adult. The term is commonly used as a short-hand for the bat mitzvah's coming-of-age ceremony and/or celebration. The male equivalent is "bar mitzvah." A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
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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