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enewsletter 1-22-08

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Connections In Your Area--Featured Events

Questions About Bar Mitzvahs?

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, in S. Orange, N.J., will be hosting a Q&A session on bar and bat mitzvahs on Feb. 13.


Jan. 22, 2008

Dear Friend,

Tu B'Shevat began last night. Meaning simply "The 15th of Shevat" in Hebrew, Tu B'Shevat is the new year of the trees, the date from which the age of all trees are calculated. It's become sort of a "Jewish Earth Day." While none of our articles this month highlight the holiday, it's worth commemorating--especially at a time when global warming has already begun to disrupt life in some of the poorest corners of the world. Visit for more on Tu B'Shevat.

We're also excited to announce that you can now comment on any of our articles. It's as simple as scrolling to the bottom of an article and clicking on the text, "Click here to post a comment on this article."

Check out our most recent new articles...


Love, Marriage, Communication

In two cities where sport is nearly religion, a Sox-Yankees intermarriage practically qualifies as an interfaith relationship. Read more in Managing a Mixed Marriage of Red Sox and Yankee Fans by Shelly Schweizer.



In Mouseketeers at a Yorkshire Wedding, Janet Silver Ghent crosses the pond to celebrate her son's interfaith nuptials in a medieval market town.


Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah

How do you convince your non-Jewish spouse to care about--and spend money on--your child's coming-of-age ceremony? Read more in Bat Mitzvah Battles With My Atheist Husband, by Jennifer North.




Following a recent study that showed the intermarried have less attachment to Israel, two groups are planning trips to share the beauty and diversity of the Jewish state with them. Read more in Next Spring in Jerusalem, by Melissa Russell.


Growing Up in an Interfaith Family

In The Making of a Young Rabbi, Josh Burrows explains how this grandchild of moonshine-making Methodists in Missouri made his way to rabbinical school and married a cantor.



Jews-by-choice sometimes receive a cold welcome on college campuses, says Laura Birnbaum in Converts' Hardships Expose Truth.



A new program tackles the delicate question, "How do you talk to your interfaith grandkids about Judaism?" Read more in Sue Fishkoff's story.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

As a child Jacqueline Giles never could figure out why her grandmother always had Mogen David wine and dreidels around. As a young graduate student, she discovered why. Read more in Michael C. Duke's story.


Arts and Entertainment

In the latest installment of Interfaith Celebrities, Nate Bloom talks about Christina Aguilera's new baby with her Jewish hubbie, Meadow Soprano's trip to Israel and the frozen Chosen in the NHL.

A new book explores Nicolas Sarkozy's roots in a prominent Jewish family in Greece. Read more.


What's New on the Blogs

We've blogged about Jews in Tahiti and Israeli interfaith weddings in Cyprus and wondered, Is Judaism becoming a girls' club?


Are you a recent college graduate or soon to be graduate? Do you know someone who is? INSIGHT: The Schusterman Fellowship for Jewish Community is seeking candidates interested in exploring the Jewish communal world. During the two-year program, fellows will be placed in three consecutive six-month placements at Jewish organizations in New York and Washington, D.C. and will receive a $36,000-a-year stipend. Applications close Friday, Feb. 8.

Look for our next e-newsletter Feb. 5, when we will highlight Interfaith Literature Week with JBooks.


Micah Sachs, Managing Editor

Write for Us!

We're looking for writers on the following topics:

  • Passover/Easter
  • Parenting young children
  • Teenage interdating  
  • Purim
  • Birth ceremonies/Adoption

Interested in any of these topics? Contact us at | P.O. Box 428, Newton, MA 02464 | 617 581 6860 |

Plural form of the Hebrew word "mitzvah" which means "commandment," it has two meanings. The first are the commandments given in the Torah. ("You should obey the mitzvah of honoring your parents!") The second is a good deed. ("Helping her carry her groceries home was such a mitzvah!") 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 "lots," referring to the lots cast by Haman, the story's antagonist, to determine the date on which to kill the Jewish people. It's a spring holiday commemorating the Jewish people's triumph. The story is told through the biblical Book of Esther; the namesake heroine, a Jewish woman, marries the Persian king. Their interfaith relationship is central to the story. 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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