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August 17, 2010 enewsletter

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Columbus Jewish Day School

Columbus Jewish Day School is a pluralistic community school for grades K-6, in Columbus, Ohio.

August 17, 2010

Dear friend,

After the initial wave of positive press for the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding, Jewish leaders started distancing themselves from the co-officiated ceremony. The leaders of rabbinical associations across the spectrum claimed that the ceremony, which started before the end of Shabbat, "was not a Jewish event." I can't imagine a more discouraging response.

I wrote an op-ed piece for The ForwardThe Missing "Mazel Tov"—and elaborated on my ideas on our site.

Let's hope the pictures of the loving couple have a more lasting influence on interfaith couples than the disheartening words of the Jewish community's leaders.

Read more from our past two weeks below…


Neither Leah nor her Catholic husband came from a particularly religious background. That made it all the stranger when her parents insisted she have a rabbi officiate her wedding. Read more in Leah R. Singer's Saying I Do to an Interfaith Wedding.

Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah

When she was a kid, Davida Steinberg and her siblings called Hebrew School the "Temple of Doom." Now it's their mom's turn. Read more in Hebrew School--I Hated It, You're Going.

Faye Rapoport DesPres's nephew decided, on his own, to have a bar mitzvah. It was not only a coming-of-age ceremony for him, but a Jewish coming out ceremony for his mother. Read more in Belonging.


"'Will you bring the children for Easter and Christmas?' Mrs. Patricia Yackley asked me, as we sat across from each other at her kitchen table.

"'Children? What children?' I thought to myself, then, after a thoughtful pause, I realized she meant the children I would be having with her son, whom I'd only been dating for a month." Read more in Rachel Baruch Yackley's The Jewish Girl and the Wonderful Mother-in-Law.

Cuba was high on Dana Reynolds' mother-in-law's places to visit, but how would she feel about the Jewish part? Find out in Shalom, Havana! Jewish Cuba with my Catholic Mother-in-Law.

High Holidays

The High Holidays are coming up. For everything you want to know about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, check out our High Holidays page, and especially our Guide to the High Holidays for Interfaith Families. Keep an eye on the site as we'll be publishing High Holiday content throughout the next month.


Interfaith actresses Julianna Margulies and Kyra Sedgwick go head-to-head at the Emmys. Intermarried stars Jon Hamm and Eli Wallach are fellow noms. Plus, the man who taught Chelsea and Marc how to dance, in Nate Bloom's latest column.

NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire recently returned from a trip to Israel to learn about his "Hebrew roots." Mazel Tov to him—but where does the "Black Jesus" tattoo fit in?

weddingI Need Your Vote!

My friends at Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Boston Jewish federation, nominated me for a the Jewish Federations of North America's Jewish Community Heroes award. I was honored to be nominated, not for myself, but because if I win, will receive a grant. And, the JFNA will highlight the issue I care most about--engaging interfaith families in welcoming Jewish communities--at their annual convention in November. I appreciate your vote. If you are having problems with that link, try this one.

Interfaith Survey

The Jewish Outreach Institute is conducting a survey of people in their 20s and 30s who have one Jewish parent and one non-Jewish parent. If you fit this profile, I encourage you to take the survey and help JOI with their important work.

Join our Network to get a feed of the articles that interest you most--and events in your area, too.


Edmund Case, CEO | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 |


Hebrew for "Head of the Year," the Jewish New Year. With Yom Kippur, known as the High Holy Days. Hebrew for "Day of Atonement," the final of ten Days of Awe that begin with Rosh Hashanah. Occurs during the fall and is marked by a 24-hour fast. One of the most important Jewish holidays. The Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday. A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) 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.
Reform synagogues are often called "temple." "The Temple" refers to either the First Temple, built by King Solomon in 957 BCE in Jerusalem, or the Second Temple, which replaced the First Temple and stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem from 516 BCE to 70 CE. 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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