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electronic newsletter Feb 3 2009

Table of Contents

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Ways You Can Get Involved

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Connections In Your Area--Featured Events

Shabbat with Stories


Feb. 7, 10:30 a.m.

Families with children 7 and under can enjoy a good story at Tot Shabbat at Temple Am David in Warwick, R.I.




February 3, 2009

Dear Friend,

Today is my son's sixth birthday. Isn't that cool? Do you keep track of birthdays on your calendar? How about the Jewish holidays? Our new Jewish Holidays Cheat Sheet describes the Jewish holidays that you'll hear about most and provides links for further reading. Let me know if you like it!



Bryna Bass and her non-Jewish partner met with a rabbi and she decided Judaism and its symbols weren't that important to planning My Big Fat Non-Jewish Wedding.

shrimp cocktail platterDeath and Mourning

Her mother-in-law wasn't Jewish or religious at all, and she had chosen to be cremated. The house was quiet and no one came over. What could Faye Rapoport DesPres do to comfort her husband? Read more in Finding a Way Through Grief.


You want to feel OK about your son or daughter's choice of spouse, but you don't. It's a tough moment. Watch Rabbi Reuben's Ruminations: To Parents Whose Children Intermarry, produced in partnership with the Jewish TV Network,  and get Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben's expert advice.


Teen Opportunities

Thinking about summer? Our partner BBYO  has more than two dozen summer experiences open to Jewish teens of all backgrounds, including Project Impact, a community service and social justice experience at Brandeis University in Boston, Project NYC, a fast-paced business and entrepreneurial experience in New York, and Kallah, which explores the entire spectrum of Jewish thought, so participants can discover their personal Jewish identity. Visit to learn more.

Adult Children of Interfaith Families

Rebecca Spence profiles Sara Paasche-Orlow, a Conservative rabbi descended from an aristocratic German family that resisted the Nazis, in  Failed Plot To Kill Hitler Leads to Feature Film--and a Rabbi in Boston.

Passover-Easter Survey

Take our Passover-Easter survey and enter to win a drawing for a $250 prize!



Young Jews already want to contribute to the community. Define that work as Jewish and they will identify as Jews, writes Lisa Eisen in A Call To Jewish Service.  We'd love to hear what young adult children of interfaith families and their parents think of this argument.

  Birth and Naming Ceremonies

Laura Abby Lipman and her husband had to make a big decision--twice. Read her article, Our Jewish Family: Two Sons, One Circumcized and One Not, A Scottish, Presbyterian Husband (Who is Circumcized), and Me, the Jewish Mother.   


I asked Dana Kletter how her review of Jayne Cohen's beautiful new cookbook was coming along, and she told me "The woman knows her kugel!" Read more--including the recipe that prompted that exclamation--in New Ways or Old With Jewish Food?

Parenting Young Children

In Thunder Bay, Ontario, it's a bigger deal for a kindergartner to be Jewish than to have two moms, as Susan Goldberg writes in Small-Town Jew Blues.

Arts and Entertainment

Nate Bloom's Interfaith Celebrities: Isla Fisher Joins the Tribe showed that behind Fisher's pretty face is a wicked sense of humor. He also covers the latest list of the 99 Most Desirable Women.


New On the Blogs

Our wedding blog has a new name, The Hitch, and a new logo that wedding blogger Lula designed for us. (She's a designer as well as a prospective bride.) She wrote a post Ketubah or Not to Ketubah--should two people who thought the whole institution of marriage was too sexist to contemplate have a marriage contract? On the IFF Network blog, I found the visibility of Jews of color in the week of the inauguration A Great Moment to Reflect on how to resist racism. Micah Sachs expressed his disgust with a piece in the San Diego Jewish Journal called "Shiksas are For Practice" in A Bad “Practice” and I wrote on Catholic-Jewish relations in Pope Lifts Excommunication of Anti-Semitic Bishop.

If you have a Facebook account, we'd be thrilled if you followed our new IFF fan page. If you became a fan after we announced the page in our last newsletter, thanks! We're up to 215 fans. Yay!



Ruth Abrams, Managing Editor

Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • My Jewish mother-in-law loves me even though I'm not Jewish
  • Chicago, our kind of town--to find a place as an interfaith family
  • Too bad about those assumptions you have about my interfaith marriage--they aren't true
  • My dad is Jewish and I am, too 
  • Choosing a college | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 | | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 |

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.) Yiddish word for a savory or sweet pudding made from either noodles, potatoes or matzah. 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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