Send to Friend  Bookmark  Print

electronic newsletter March 3, 2009

Table of Contents

Ask your friends to subscribe to our eNewsletter--the more people we reach, the better!

Ways You Can Get Involved

Looking for a rabbi or cantor for your interfaith wedding? We have a database of more than 260 rabbis and cantors throughout the U.S. and Canada.

officiation request button

If what we do helps you or others you care about, please make a tax-deductible charitable contribution in support of our work.

Connections In Your Area--Featured Events

This is Going to Rock!


March 5, 7:15 p.m

Celebrate Purim with a night of stand-up, improvisation, and music at Rabbis Gone Wild! Portland Melton brings you six rabbis doing comedy. 


March 3, 2009

Dear Friend,

I talked with a journalism student at Northwestern University this week; she's writing an article on Jews dating non-Jews and how the Jewish community feels about it. In the last two weeks, it happens we've featured a lot of articles on that subject, including two on a new movie about interdating, as well as a few stories about people who surprised themselves by becoming more interested in Judaism after marrying non-Jews. Let me know what you think.

interdating stock imageInterfaith Dating

It's not always easy to understand why Jewish families object to interfaith dating, and why one generation may have a different attitude from another. Yoni Samlan's opinions are different from his parents', as he writes in Growing Up Orthodox and Coming to Terms with Interfaith Dating. Amy Elkes wasn't raised with much religious practice, but she worried about how her Holocaust-survivor grandparents would react to her non-Jewish boyfriend in Beatles Wisdom.

shabbat stock imageReligious Journeys

When she was younger, Diana Zankowsky didn't value her Judaism very much. Since she's raised Jewish children in an interfaith marriage, her feelings have changed, and now she's Teaching a Conversion Class.

Jane Larkin explains how interfaith marriage made her more observant than her parents in How I Became Too Jewish For My Jewish Mother.

Purim in SeattlePurim is Coming!

Robin Schwartz, our network director, collects events that are welcoming to interfaith families. There are some fantastic, fun things for interfaith families to share at Purim: adult parties, costume parades for small children and community-wide plays. Check out our list of Purim Events 2009.


At the time he'd decided to convert to Judaism, Akira Ohiso didn't know that his maternal grandfather Jules had been Jewish. He was figuring out his own Jewish identity while doing case management as a social worker for elderly Holocaust survivors. Read some of his story in Excerpts from Surviving, the book he wrote with his wife Ellie.

Jewish Community and Interfaith Families

Oh please. We know that some in the Jewish community want to blame intermarriage for everything, including the way their matzah balls keep sinking in the soup, but this is just ridiculous. Julie Wiener reflects on Jewish Outreach In Lean Times.


One parent is Jewish, one parent is Catholic--what rituals will your children remember doing together? In Rabbi Reuben's Ruminations: Create New Interfaith Family Rituals, presented in partnership with the Jewish TV Network, we get some suggestions from a rabbi who is an expert on interfaith families.

Joaquin phoenixArts and Entertainment

In Interfaith Celebrities: Joaquin Jesting? Nate Bloom wants to know the truth about Joaquin Phoenix's bizarre recent behavior. Micah Sachs saw Phoenix's latest movie and wrote about Permanent Adolescence: Interfaith Marriage in Two Lovers.

Gustav Dore RuthBooks

Are there Biblical Models for Modern Jewish Relationships? Joan Lieb, a Jewish single mom by choice, reviews Jeffrey Salkin's book Righteous Gentiles in the Hebrew Bible.

New On the Blogs

On The Hitch, IFF's wedding blog, Alx Block is a little stressed out juggling wedding planning, parenting and his fun new job all at once. He's yearning for Our Grounding Moment.

On the IFF Network Blog, Micah Sachs writes about a surprising new survey that may show that 60 percent of progressive rabbis officiate at interfaith weddings, Survey: 60% of Progressive Rabbis Officiate.  Robin Schwartz enjoys dancing with her 2-year-old in We've Got the Shabbat Spirit!. Former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky playing piano and singing? How come we don't have such fun fundraising videos for IFF? We're  Such Traditionalists.

If you have a Facebook account, we'd be thrilled if you followed our new IFF fan page. We're up to 244 fans. Excellent!



Ruth Abrams, Managing Editor


Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • Our two families' overlapping values
  • My grandmother is my role model
  • When I married someone Jewish, I was surprised that Jews...
  • What my family does for Passover and Easter
  • Atlanta-area writers from interfaith families
  • Chicago-area writers from interfaith families | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 |

The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." 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.
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.
Send to Friend  Bookmark  Print