Hope For the Future

By Sam Goodman We are sitting in the aftermath of a riveting, polarizing election. It has been all too easy to lose sight of the common humanity of those with whom we disagree. Recently, Anne posted a link to one of her Wedding Blog posts that has become relevant once again. However, I’d like to focus […]

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Engaging Children in Ritual Life

Non-Orthodox institutional Judaism seems to suffer from a lack of young families – and, more importantly, young people. We might see a handful of families with pre-school aged youngsters at the first Friday “family service,” but at most Shabbat services at Sam’s synagogue, there are rarely young children other than Jack in attendance. I know Jack is […]

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The First Time I Sat Shiva–With My Baby

Sam and I have been together for almost five years, but Jewish memorial services and sitting shiva are still a new ritual for me.  Attending memorial services and shiva are a completely different experience with Jack. The first time I went to sit shiva with Sam, was about a year and a half ago. I […]

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30 Miles North of Lakewood

“Thirty miles north of Lakewood” is usually what we say when we talk about where we live. Lakewood, NJ, is the largest pocket of Orthodoxy around us, and many Orthodox Jews know someone (or rarely have more than two degrees of separation from someone) who lives in Lakewood. Thirty miles north of Lakewood is a […]

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My Son’s Bris: Why I Was Not Prepared for This

Before Jack was born, I thought I prepared as much as I could for his bris. With the help of my mother-in-law, Pennye, we compiled a list of invitees, researched kosher caterers, and created to-do lists. Pennye bought paper goods, readied the room with tables and folding chairs, and lots of gauze pads. She also explained the ceremony to […]

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Choosing a Religion for Baby Jack

Hello again. Anne and Sam here. You may remember us from the InterfaithFamily Wedding Blog. A few years have passed and we have a 5-month-old son, Jack. As new parents we may not know how to handle teething or potty training yet, but we would like to share some of our experiences with you, especially […]

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The Father & The Rabbi Weigh In

The following is a guest blog post by the groom’s father, Phil Goodman followed by some additional thoughts from officiant Rabbi Robyn Frisch who is the director of InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia Like many of you I have enjoyed Anne and Sam’s wedding blog, but I have a major bias, I am Sam’s father. By way of introduction, […]

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Cinnamon Toast and Mazel Toast!

Sam and I were sitting at breakfast this morning reflecting on our wedding, which was a week ago yesterday. We were exchanging our favorite moments and stating what we enjoyed about that special day. Everything about the day was beautiful. Although the weather on the days before and after was cold and rain-drenched, the day […]

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High Holy Days

Two years ago, I joined Sam for High Holy Day Services for the first time. In preparation, he tried explaining the major rituals and meaning behind them to me.  At the time, I picked up that there was something about eating apples and honey, spending an entire day at services, and not eating or drinking […]

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Our Aufruf

  [Guest post by Sam Goodman] I have fond memories of going to services as a youngster and looking forward to the weeks in which I could pelt young adults, the clergy, and innocent bystanders with tiny packages of hard candy. Not wanting to miss being on the receiving end of such a deluge, a […]

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I'm doing it for me.

In the middle of the grueling Intro to Judaism class, I decided to devote yet more time to the synagogue and take the Beginner Hebrew class, taught by the Rabbi’s wife. We met on Sunday mornings, which meant I could go to the synagogue directly after the earliest Mass. The beginner class focused on the […]

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Life's difficulties

By Anne and Sam July 10, 2012 is a day that I will never forget. I went in for surgery to correct my congenital scoliosis. The surgery was complicated, expected to last 3-4 hours with two weeks of recovery. I had everything planned out and handed everything over to my sister, Michelle, who was going […]

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Adventures with Sam

Sorry for the radio silence; throughout these last few weeks, I have been going on a series of vacations and experiences: adventures with Sam. He has taken me to Londonderry, NH, Grand Rapids, MI, Lambertville, NJ, and Allentown, PA. It’s been a busy month! In the beginning of June, we visited Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry, […]

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Symbols and Rituals and Traditions. Oh my.

These last few months have been busy with dress fittings, selecting the menu, arranging the seating chart, creating the invitations, ordering the suits, and other wedding plans. Sam and I continually remind ourselves that the wedding is only one day and we should focus on preparing for a marriage. This lifelong commitment to each other begins […]

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Ketubah

My sisters, Michelle (far right) and Carolyn (in blue), with a portrait Michelle painted for our High School I come from a family of artists. My mom’s grandfather was an amazing painter. My dad’s brother is the cartoonist for Sally Forth. Dave, my brother, runs the Combat Paper Program from the Printmaking Center of NJ. […]

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A Keefe Easter

I think the Passover/Easter combination is more difficult than Hanukkah/Christmas. This is because Easter most always falls within Passover. Over the past few years, Sam has celebrated Easter with my family: joining us for mass, taking part in the Easter egg hunt, and sitting down with us for our giant ham dinner. Two years ago, […]

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Passover Seder with Both Families

By Sam Goodman   Won’t you help to sing / These songs of freedom? We’re currently in the middle of one of the most widely-observed Jewish holidays, Passover.  One of the Shalosh Regalim, or three pilgrimage festivals (literally “three legs”), in ancient times Jews throughout the land of Israel would gather and make sacrifices at the […]

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When did I know Sam was "the one"?

Just like all beginning relationships, I had plenty of questions. “Will he still like me if I eat three burgers for dinner?” “Will my parents and siblings like him?” “Will his parents and siblings like me?” “Will we get along with each other’s friends?” “Will he be ok with my Catholicism?” At first, these questions […]

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Wedding Season

Planning a wedding is difficult. Sam and I are trying to juggle all of our vendors. However, there is one vendor that we are not worried about at all: the florist. I work for an event production company that specializes in weddings. Flowerful Events has agreed to help us with our wedding décor and flowers. The designers […]

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Fasting on Your Wedding Day

By Sam Goodman Ash Wednesday fell this past week.  The holiday marks the beginning of Lent, a period of penance, fasting, and abstinence in the Catholic faith, as well as many other Christian denominations. Ash Wednesday is one of the two days during the liturgical year that Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 […]

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The Perfect Veil

My mom gave me her wedding veil: a simple veil that she had made for her wedding. In my head, I had always wanted a veil, but I wasn’t sure why. I didn’t know if it was a religious symbol or a fashion statement. I also was unsure of the “proper” way to wear the […]

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The Whole Package

Sam and I couldn’t be more different. Sam enjoys heavy metal rock music. I like classic rock, jazz, folk and NPR. Sam gets lost in each musical component- the percussion, the vocals, the guitar etc, whereas my music puts Sam to sleep. I use my music to cheer me up, get me going, and to […]

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Meetings with the Monsignor

In order for my marriage to Sam to be recognized in the Catholic Church, I have to request permission from the Diocese for a special dispensation in order to marry a non-Catholic who was never baptized. Anne’s Baptism  This document also requires my signature under this statement: “I reaffirm my faith in Jesus Christ and […]

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Intro to Judaism

I signed up to take an Intro to Judaism class at Sam’s synagogue. When I went to (what I thought was) the first class, I sat amongst a classroom filled with 20 other adults. Everyone was taking the class for various reasons: to re-affirm their faith, learn the basics, teach their children who were going […]

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Meeting the Family- part 2

Before meeting Sam’s extended family, I had met his parents very briefly for a slice of mid-afternoon pie.  I was very nervous about meeting his parents—I think it took me over an hour that day to figure out what to wear!  This meeting was so brief, that we didn’t get a chance to talk about […]

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Meeting the Family

By Sam Goodman Typically, when I tell friends, coworkers, and acquaintances how many siblings Anne has, responses range from “Wow,” to “God bless her mother,” to “Is her family Catholic?”   Luckily for me, I wasn’t introduced to all three brothers and six sisters at once, which would have been overwhelming. I first started meeting […]

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The December Holidays

I have always known December as a time to prepare for Christmas. Now that I am in an interfaith relationship, December is a time for many holiday celebrations. Sam grew up in an interfaith household celebrating Christmas with his mom’s family and Hanukkah with his dad’s family. Growing up, Sam’s family all picked one day […]

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Exploring Our Interfaith Relationship(s)

Sam and I got engaged in September and this blog is our place to share with you a little bit about us as individuals and as a couple. We continue exploring and learning about each other. I will be writing these blog posts in collaboration with Sam. It was two years, this past weekend, since […]

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