Chinese lanterns

1 Family, 4 New Year Celebrations, 0 Resolutions

Until this year, it never even occurred to me that four celebrations to observe one phenomenon—the passage of time—could be considered, well, a lot. And it’s kind of confusing to boot, especially for my 5-year-old, whose birthday just happens to fall on January 1st.

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family

How We Found the Right Synagogue for Us

How one family decided which synagogue to join and send their daughter to religious school

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How to Discuss Anti-Semitism with Youths

By Dr. Ruth Nemzoff Q: I am about to have Jewish grandchildren, and I am terrified! Don’t get me wrong; we love our son-in-law. He has brought out the best in our daughter and they make sensible decisions together. We have never had any complaints; in fact, we are looking forward to learning about new […]

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All the Jewish Infighting is Killing Me

By Debra Lynn Shelton Years ago, my Catholic husband decided he wanted to convert to Judaism. At the time, we’d only been married a few years, and my family belonged to a reform synagogue. My husband signed up for and attended the conversion classes, and over a six-month period he studied history, holidays, religious teachings, […]

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Jews Like Me

By Aimee Ellis At Jewish summer camp (Camp Tawonga, to be specific), I felt a little different than the other campers. I wasn’t raised religiously Jewish and was also from a lower income interfaith family. I attended public school with mostly non-white students and had never been to a synagogue in my life. I didn’t […]

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Don’t Call Me Bubbe–I’m Grandma.

By Sherrie Bergus On the eve of my first birthday as a grandmother, which happened to be the day of the eclipse, I wrote this manifesto down. It took courage, this but here I am. Like Thoreau before me, I headed out to reflect upon the waters of a beloved lake and declared this: I am a […]

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5 Rosh Hashanah Stories to Read with Your Preschooler

By PJ Library This post originally appeared on PJ Library and is reprinted with permission. Chances are, your preschooler isn’t an expert on Rosh Hashanah celebrations (they’ve only been alive for a few of them so far). You may not be an expert on Rosh Hashanah either, and if the holiday is new to you, you’re likely learning […]

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How Do We Talk About Hate as a Family?

By Elizabeth Vocke A couple of weeks ago, as we were going to sleep, my husband said, “I’m sorry there are people out there who don’t like you because of your religion.” I have to say, I was a little startled by the comment, though it was appreciated. As a Conservative Jewish person growing up […]

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When a Major Jewish Holiday Clashes With a Major Family Wedding

By Debra Lynn Shelton My cousin is getting married on Yom Kippur. And her dress rehearsal is on Kol Nidre. Yes, you read that right. So, what’s a good relative to do? Apparently when she and her non-Jewish fiancé scheduled their most special event, they had no idea the date coincided with the holiest days on the Jewish calendar. […]

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I Wish We’d Had “The Religion Talk” Before Having Kids

By Lindsey Goldstein Before my husband and I got married, we discussed how we would raise any potential children. These children were very theoretical. something I wasn’t sure I wanted. But I began to consider it, since he finally seemed to be the right person to procreate with. My husband was raised Catholic but hasn’t […]

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Advice for Assimilated Family Reunions

By Dr. Ruth Nemzoff Q: I am having a family reunion. Half of the youngest generation has married people of other backgrounds. How can I use this opportunity to educate the Jewish members of my family about their heritage? And also to help those who do not currently identify as Jewish to understand how important […]

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My Daughter is Bringing Home a Boyfriend who is not Jewish for Rosh Hashanah

By Dr. Ruth Nemzoff Q: Recently, our twenty year old daughter called from college to announce that she is bringing home her first serious boyfriend for Rosh Hashanah. He is an A student, the leader of his a cappella group and involved in community service. Before she introduced him to us, she warned us that although […]

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My Kid’s Love/Hate Relationship with Hebrew School

By Melissa Henriquez Every Sunday morning as I practically drag my 6-year old out of bed to go to Hebrew School, I’m reminded of the final scene in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” when Toula’s own daughter has turned six and is begrudgingly headed off to … where else?! Greek school. Like Toula’s daughter and Toula […]

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Will My Husband Understand The Annex?

By Madeleine Deliee Shortly after the election last November, a friend sent me a real estate listing. It was for a private island in Scotland, including several buildings, its own postage stamp and infrastructure. I started breaking down costs, much to my husband’s bewilderment. He didn’t understand. But when I talked to my mother about it, […]

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How Bedtime Stories Help Us Write a New Chapter of Jewish Tradition

By Shawna Gale My parents, who are both Jewish, were married in the 1970s. In the year they took their vows, only 36 percent of the Jewish respondents in a 2013 Pew Research Center survey had married spouses who were not Jewish. By 2005, the year I was married, that number had climbed to almost […]

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Chuppah: Your First “Home”

By Maria Bywater I grew up in a large, close Catholic family, so when I got married in a Jewish wedding ceremony, finding meaningful roles for everyone in my family proved challenging. I had converted to Judaism, and the rabbi required that the roles linked to Jewish ritual—–signing the ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) and reciting […]

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Insider Tips from a Master Wedding Planner

By Lynda Barness You are now engaged! NOW WHAT? Here are five things to consider before jumping in, from a Master Wedding Planner: 1. Breathe. I’m not kidding! Take some time to enjoy your engagement—and each other. And your families. And your friends. 2. Get to work. When you are ready to start working (and yes, […]

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Ketubah.com’s Tips for Creating an Inclusive Ketubah

By Aliyah Gluckstadt Planning an interfaith wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for couples to create a ceremony filled with traditions that have personal meaning to both partners. Couples can learn what the history and meaning behind Jewish traditions are, and then they can decide together, and with their officiant, what is best for them. The […]

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Not Saying "I Do"

By Karl Gierach My fiancé and I did not grow up in different religious traditions. Sherrita was raised in Detroit as a Christian, attending Episcopalian, Baptist and Pentecostal services. I was also raised as a Christian—a Lutheran in the Detroit suburbs with a very conservatively evangelical upbringing. I attended 14 years of Lutheran school and during […]

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How My Hindu Husband Became the Favorite Jewish Grandchild

By Jessica Melwani I’d been dating the man who’d eventually become my husband for about a year when my grandmother sat me down for a heart-to-heart. “I saw Aishwarya Rai on Oprah last week. You know, the Dollywood [she meant Bollywood] actress? Stunning girl!” Then came the truth bomb: “She told Oprah that your boyfriend already […]

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The Love Letters Between Kirk Douglas & His Wife Are Astounding

By Joanna Valente Everyone enjoys a good love story. Even though I infamously dislike narratives with neat, tidy endings, I’m also a huge romantic at heart. This is why I’m so excited that  Kirk Douglas and his wife, Anne, wrote a book called Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood, which was released in May. […]

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Breaking the Dating Rules

By Nataliya Naydorf “I don’t think being with someone who isn’t Jewish compromises my Judaism.” I said to my fiancé on our first date. “As long as my partner is open, tolerant and willing to learn about my traditions, I can’t say it would be a huge issue.” He had asked me whether I was OK with dating someone who […]

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Our Gay, Interfaith Family’s Surprising Synagogue-Shopping Experience

By Liat Katz “A Y A M,” She writes. “Um, Maya, I think you wrote your name backwards,” I respond. “Nope, it’s just in Hebrew,” the 6-year-old says. Maya is learning to read and write in English, while also learning Hebrew at our synagogue’s Sunday school. That makes it confusing. And she’s left-handed too, which […]

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The Conversations We Should be Having

…with Grandparents with Grandchildren of Interfaith Marriages   By Rabbi Richard Address, D. Min.  In my travels to congregations and Jewish organizations for Jewish Sacred Aging, many issues seem to emerge organically in discussions of family dynamics. More often than not, concerns about caregiving and end-of-life issues are quickly raised. Not unusually, as situations get unpacked, […]

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Having a Yahrzeit For My Lutheran Dad

By Tara Worthey Segal I formally converted to Judaism one month after I lost my father and two weeks before getting married. I hadn’t been raised with much religion. I was baptized Lutheran, but always joked that my parents did that more out of superstition than dogma. They didn’t do much to disabuse me of […]

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Mark Zuckerberg & Priscilla Chan Are Expecting Their Second Child

We are so excited for Mark and Priscilla’s recent baby news! After Max’s birth, this generous interfaith couple pledged to donate 99% of their Facebook shares to charitable causes.  By Joanna C. Valente  Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan just announced some pretty big news: They’re going to be parents again–making their 15-month-old daughter Max a big sister-to-be. Of course, […]

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Please Stop Asking if My Daughter’s Boyfriend Is Jewish

By Judy Mollen Walters My 22-year-old daughter is seriously involved with a wonderful guy. He’s smart, funny, kind, and they just click. He lives in England, so they only get to visit every eight weeks or so, and have been flying back and forth to each other’s countries since they met while my daughter was […]

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3 Reasons Why Mary Tyler Moore Was a Feminist Icon

By Joanna Valente TV icon and women’s rights advocate Mary Tyler Moore, who was in an interfaith marriage, died today after being hospitalized in Connecticut. She was 80 years old. Her representative, Mara Buxbaum, told the Huffington Post in a statement: “Today, beloved icon, Mary Tyler Moore, passed away at the age of 80 in the company of […]

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How to Pick an Interfaith-Friendly Synagogue

By Jordyn Rozensky When I asked my partner who is not Jewish if we could start visiting synagogues in hopes of finding a formal Jewish home for our worship and community, he agreed immediately.  His first step was to clear Sundays on his calendar—until I reminded him that while church meets on Sundays, Shabbat services […]

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My Daughter Is Super Proud of Her Jewish Identity & It’s Amazing to Watch

By Lindsey Goldstein The other day my daughter said to me, “Mommy, you’re not the most special person in this family.” It was a pointed remark, out of nowhere. I raised an eyebrow and said, “Is that so? Then who is?” Of course, I already knew the answer. “Well, I am. You see, none of […]

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A Recipe for Conversation and Holiday Cookies

By Jordyn Rozensky For some of us in interfaith homes, December can highlight sticky situations. There are questions of how to balance traditions, how to keep in-laws happy and complicated questions about religion. But December also offers a unique opportunity to embrace new traditions. In my own interfaith home, for example, each year we trim […]

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A Not-So-Cookie Cutter Hanukkah

By Jessica Tobacman We were late. ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the aisles of Target, my husband and I were doing our version of stuffing stockings. We were running so fast we were practically sliding to try to fill his stocking and my festive Chinese takeout box before we left for his […]

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Hanukkah and Christmas: Getting It “Right”

By Elizabeth Vocke My husband jokes that I only married him so I could finally celebrate Christmas. And I admit that I do love Christmas. I love the anticipation and excitement, the coziness of the season, the decorations. I also love Hanukkah, but I think it’s more difficult to create that same sense of excitement, though […]

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The Hanukkah Fairy

By Kelly Banker I am 8 years old. My siblings and I are huddled in my parents’ bedroom, awaiting the precious sound of the Hanukkah bell. We have just come from an evening of lighting the menorah, dancing and singing in a circle and haplessly spinning a dreidel. Now here we are, eyes closed and […]

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How a Symbol Proved to Me that Love Always Wins

By Debra Lipenta I, like many people, was deeply shaken after the results of the presidential election. After feeling so hopeful and then having that hope shattered, I really struggled internally. I feared the recent divisive and hateful rhetoric might take our nation and our communities back to a less accepting, less safe time. When I […]

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Interview: The December Holidays From A Christian Perspective

By Rabbi Ari Moffic  While InterfaithFamily is a Jewish organization, we naturally work with individuals and clergy of other faiths and often get requests to hear about topics from another religious perspective. As the December holidays approach, Rabbi Ari Moffic, Director of InterfaithFamily/Chicago, reached out to Reverend Samantha Gonzalez-Block, who herself was raised in an […]

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What I Learned From My Son’s Hindu-Jewish Relationship

By Steven Fisher This is the story of how a Jewish couple added to and became part of our changing America. But more important, this story is about what I learned when my wife, Robina, and I were introduced via our son to a religion, culture and traditions that we thought were so different from […]

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Shabbat Unbound

By Jared David Berezin Many years ago I was in a book club and read a collection of essays called Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call For Justice. The book explored how Jewish thought intersects with issues of social justice, and each chapter focused on a different subject: poverty, the environment, health care, human rights, reproductive […]

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Expressing Gratitude During the High Holidays

By Jessica Tobacman Rosh Hashanah—also known as the “birthday of the world”—is fast approaching. Soon we’ll celebrate the world’s big day with a round birthday cake of challah and apples, with honey on the side. Common birthday gifts include standard prayers sung to melodies old and new, and foods that are as old as our […]

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Breast Cancer and An Unexpected Spiritual Journey

By Melissa K. Rosen, Director of National Outreach for Sharsheret I went to Shabbat services this morning for the first time in months. My long absence wasn’t an intentional decision. In fact, I only became aware of the “decision” recently. A cancer diagnosis affects so much more than you think it will. Of course I expected the […]

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From Baptism to Bar Mitzvah: Navigating a Dual-Faith First Communion

By Sheri Kupres When my Catholic husband and I decided to participate in a dual baby-naming/baptism ceremony for our firstborn, it was not warmly accepted by my Jewish parents. The ceremony, while wonderful for the three of us starting our journey as a dual-faith family, was fraught with tension. So when we had two more […]

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A Millennial’s Take on Interfaith Dating

By Nicole Rodriguez Whenever I meet someone new, there’s always an instant connection the moment I find out they’re Jewish. It’s almost like an immediate form of familiarity, even though we just met. However, when I meet someone from a different faith, I am just as interested to learn more about their culture as I […]

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Beyond the Bagel: A Vegan Shabbat Dinner

By Zoe Crum My husband, Erik, and I recently attended “Love and Religion,” a workshop for interfaith couples who are exploring their spirituality and how their religion, spirituality and traditional practices will play into their future lives. I myself am not Jewish—Erik is—and I was raised, as we collectively decided to put it in class, […]

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We Chose Love with a Full Moon Ritual

By Kelly Banker The moon has recently become new, and therefore our Jewish calendar has just transitioned to the month of Av, one of my favorite months of the year. Av is a time to celebrate love and to recognize destruction in our histories and in our world. I appreciate this duality, the way that […]

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Advice from the Other Side: How We Planned Our Jewish, Catholic, Spanish Wedding

By Sarah Martinez Roth Photos by Celia D. Luna Weddings How We Met Growing up Catholic, I knew I wanted to marry a man of faith; however, when I met Jonathan, I realized maybe things were not so black and white, and maybe faith in God was what I was searching for. Jonathan and I met […]

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Take the Fifth: How an Intermarried Woman Honors Parents

By Joy Fields We are commanded to honor our parents. The fifth commandment can present a few challenges, however, like when my Jewish mother is sitting next to my Presbyterian father-in-law in his favorite Chinese restaurant, waving a pink morsel around on her fork and loudly asking, “What is this?” “It may be pork, Mom, […]

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How We Planned Our Inclusive, Co-Officiated Wedding Ceremony

By Emily Baseman Our interfaith ceremony was the best and most meaningful part of our wedding day. It was really important to my husband, Brandon, and me that the ceremony be both very personal to us as a couple and truly interfaith. This meant we looked at wedding traditions from both Christianity and Judaism, and […]

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Key Ingredients for a Lasting Interfaith Marriage

By Elizabeth Vocke When my husband and I first started dating I was what you might call a serial monogamist—I had a string of long-term relationships that never really went anywhere. So when we met, I decided to change things up and ignore some of those relationship “milestones” that I’d sped toward in the past. […]

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How Jewish Am I?

By Nicole Rodriguez I am Jewish. I identify as being Jewish. Well, actually, I identify as being Jew-ish. I was born Jewish, but was raised in a non-observant home. No synagogue, no bat mitzvah and no serious Jewish boyfriend (yet?) to help me learn about Judaism and Jewish culture. We did have the occasional tradition […]

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I Was the Only Jewish Kid on the Block & Worry My Kid Will Be, Too

By Melissa Henriquez Growing up in a small, rural town in northern New Jersey in the ’80s, I never had perfect attendance in school. Not because I was sick or because my family took vacations outside the school calendar, but rather because every fall, I needed to take two days off in observance of the […]

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Our Most Important Difference

By Kelly Banker I had been living at Moishe Kavod House (a home-based Jewish community for young adults) for about a month when my boyfriend, Courtney, and I decided it would be exciting for him to accompany me to Shabbat services. The gatherings are always well-attended by lots of friendly folks, so I figured it […]

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Judaism Without Walls

By Jared David Berezin Why am I an unaffiliated Jew? In many ways, I should want to join a congregation. I’m in my early 30s. I’ve had a bar mitzvah. I’ve traveled to Israel. I enjoy celebrating Jewish holidays, including Shabbat. Passover is my favorite time of the year, and my wife and I love hosting […]

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Why I Waited for Interfaith Love

By Brianne Nadeau It took me 20 years to find the love of my life. If you told me 10 years ago, or even 15 years ago that I’d end up with a man raised Presbyterian, on a farm, who is also a war veteran, I would have laughed at you. But if you asked me […]

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Tips from a Newlywed: Planning Your Two-Faith Wedding

A Christian bride offers tips for couples planning Jewish interfaith weddings

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Celebrating Two Faiths Without My Parents’ Blessing

By Sheri Kupres Thirteen years ago I married a Catholic man from Chicago. I was raised as a Conservative Jew north of Boston. We met through mutual friends when I moved to Chicago. Prior to getting married, my husband and I agreed that we would pass along both of our religious beliefs to our children; we […]

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The End of One LGBT Journey is the Beginning of Another

By Gretchen Rachel Hammond Throughout my life, I was a person in search of a religion to call my own. Born in the United Kingdom to a non-practicing Hindu father and a non-practicing Church of England mother, I never received any kind of religious upbringing beyond weddings and the hymns I was forced to sing in […]

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This Is What I’ll Miss Doing with My Daughter When I Go Back to Work

By Samantha Taylor For the past two years, my daughter and I have been taking Mommy and Me classes at the local JCC. We took art, music and gardening. We loved all of it. We had fun and we made friends. It was fantastic. Every week, I heard other moms talking about taking their kids […]

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Thanks for Giving Me Shavuot for Father’s Day

By Alex Schuh One thing I love about being in an interfaith relationship is the seemingly endless array of religious holidays and celebrations of my wife’s and kids’ religion that pop up to surprise me again and again every season. Because the Jewish holidays are keyed to the lunar calendar, plus some other mysterious (at least […]

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I Chose to Be Jewish. This is Why

By Tamara Reese When my family moved to Pittsburgh, my son was 10 weeks old and my husband was entering into a grueling six-year medical residency. Though we’re not Orthodox, he found us an apartment smack dab in the middle of the eruv—a ritual enclosure some Jewish communities use to allow residents to carry certain […]

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I’m Down with Shabbat… After I Look Up What It Is

By Robyn Bacon Like his other mother, my 4-month old son Sam is Jewish. I am not. I was born and raised Catholic. My mother and her sister converted to Catholicism while attending the Catholic schools that offered a better education to black families than the separate but equal public schools in the segregated South. […]

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Being Jewish (and Buddhist and Christian and Chinese)

By Amourence Lee A good story is supposed to have a beginning, middle and end, right? Well, this story about being Jewish only has a beginning. Yep, I’m Jewish. Exactly 50% Ashkenazi according to my genome. And Jewish law says I’m 100 percent because my mother is Jewish—which also makes my kids Jewish. I spent […]

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The Mikveh Is Better Together

By Kelly Banker As a young Jew raised in a secular home, I never imagined that being in a committed relationship with someone who was of a different faith tradition (or none at all) would feel especially impactful to me. In fact, labeling my relationship “interfaith” has been a fairly new paradigm in my life. […]

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Why I Officiated My Grandfather’s Funeral (Even Though I’m Not a Rabbi)

By Jared David Berezin Sometimes it’s nice to have others make minor decisions for me. I’m happy when my wife decides what we’re cooking for dinner. It’s more convenient when a friend suggests a specific date to get together. If I look in my closet and see only one pair of pants (the others being […]

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Sending My Daughter to Jewish Preschool Reconnected Me with My Roots

By Rebecca Rolland My daughter Sophie will be 3 this November. My husband Philippe and I have decided to let her start half-day preschool (she’s begged). Still, we’re late starting to look at options. I can’t settle on anything, and as a doctoral student in education, I fear my knowledge of the research—my vise-grip on “how […]

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I’m Finally Dating Again Post-Divorce… But He’s Not Jewish

By Stacey Zisook Robinson Editor’s note: This author describes difficulty finding a rabbi to officiate her wedding in Chicago. We urge couples to utilize our free rabbi referral service, available here. If you are in the Chicago area, or any of our InterfaithFamily/Your Community areas, our rabbi/directors can help guide you. I’m dating. Again. Post-divorce, […]

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This is Why Purim is the Original Interfaith Holiday

By Dana Marlowe This article was reprinted with permission from Kveller.com, a fast-growing, award-winning website for parents raising Jewish and interfaith kids. Follow Kveller on Facebook and sign up for their newsletters here. When I explain Purim to those less familiar with the holiday, I tell them it’s kind of like Jewish Halloween. Not so […]

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The Interfaith-Humanist-Vegan Passover Seder: A Mouthful in Many Ways

By Jared David Berezin When our eyes begin to burn and tear up my wife and I look at each other and laugh. That’s when we know the horseradish is ready. We also bake our own homemade matzah, and the unleavened flat bread resembles pita or injera (Ethiopian bread). Preparing Passover-friendly food from scratch and […]

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Purim: The Darker Side of a Festive Holiday

By Lela Casey The first time I really celebrated Purim was when I was 9 years old on vacation in Israel with my family. I remember being in awe of the sea of kids pouring through the streets dressed in colorful costumes and shaking noise makers. It was a party like I’d never seen before […]

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Why I Co-Officiate Interfaith Marriages

By Laura Baum The most popular days to get engaged are Christmas (and I assume Hanukkah!), New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day. That means this time of year is one when rabbis like me get lots of phone calls to officiate at upcoming wedding ceremonies. One of my favorite parts of my rabbinate is officiating […]

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Yes, My Kid Is Jewish, Even Though His Name Doesn’t Sound Like It

People are already commenting on my newborn baby’s name. It’s not Jewish enough. We are especially sensitive to this as an interfaith family.

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My Hamsa Started the Interfaith Conversation with My Daughter

By Courtney Naliboff Flying makes me nervous. It never used to, but a few years ago on a bumpy trip back from England, I lost my faith in the Bernoulli principle. I used to pop a Xanax and snooze my way through the anxiety, but now that I’m a parent, I need to stay awake […]

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I’m Trying to Figure Out How to Raise a Jewish Kid as a Woman Who is Not Jewish

By Elizabeth Raphael This article was reprinted with permission from Kveller.com, a fast-growing, award-winning website for parents raising Jewish and interfaith kids. Follow Kveller on Facebook and sign up for their newsletters here. 2015 was a year of change for me, facilitated largely by the birth of my lovely dumpling of a daughter in February. […]

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My Kids Are Jewish, With or Without Christmas

By Lela Casey   As the only Jewish kid in my small town in Pennsylvania, Christmas was the loneliest time of year. Most of my classmates, and even some of my teachers, were almost entirely unfamiliar with Judaism. Perhaps if I’d been braver, I could have explained to them why I felt uncomfortable singing “Christ […]

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3 Tips for Teachers During the Holidays

By Stefani Wiemann The holiday season is upon us. Christmas music plays in restaurants, Christmas trees are displayed in stores and Santa Clause can be seen in malls. Even as a Jewish mother, I love all of this stuff. I love the holiday season, including all of the decorations, the music and gift-giving madness. Unfortunately, we […]

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A Little Christmas Can Be Enriching

By Jacob Weis Anybody who has had even the most menial part in celebrating Christmas can probably acknowledge the beauty in it. Whether Jewish-Jewish or interfaith, families sometimes run in to the question of what they are “going to do about Christmas.” Part of the reason for this question is that people assume that celebrating Christmas […]

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Getting Most of the Words Right

By Laurel Snyder This blog post originally appeared at Rituallwell.org in honor of Interfaith Family Month I have never suggested to my Catholic-born husband that he convert. As a child of intermarriage myself, whose parents always maintained their own distinct religions (but raised me Jewish), conversion wasn’t part of my heritage. It was enough, I thought, […]

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Assisted Living Upgrade

By Joy Fields When my fiercely independent mother recently suffered myriad health issues, it was clear she could no longer live alone. My husband and I were faced with finding an assisted living facility that would address all her health needs, but provide her with a comfortable social atmosphere that would keep her mentally healthy […]

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Intermarried Rabbis Are Not the Problem

By Rabbi Keith Stern Temple Beth Avodah, Newton, MA My friend Marcus and I were in rabbinic school together. He was a rebel, a guy who reflexively said no when anyone said yes. No one could tell him what to do. He was raised in a predominantly Jewish community in New Jersey that unceremoniously fled […]

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How to Include Everyone in Our Jewish-Mexican Wedding

By Hila Ratzabi Photos by Rachel Eliza Griffiths When José and I first started dating, my Jewish parents were not pleased. Though my mom is fairly liberal, some instinct flared up in her that has roots in centuries of Jewish fear of disappearance. Though that fear has lessened over the decades for many Jewish families, particularly […]

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Turn Jew and I’ll Marry You

This blog post was reprinted with permission from Red Said What?  By Jennifer Reinharz Larry and I struck our deal over Sicilian pie. “Turn Jew and I’ll marry you.” I shook my head.  “You’re crazy.” “Then raise the kids Jewish.” Bringing up nonexistent children in a faith other than my own seemed easier to digest […]

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Laundry Room Mishpacha; a Rosh Hashanah Tale

This blog post was reprinted with permission from Red Said What?  By Jennifer Reinharz After Hurricane Sandy, roughly six weeks post Rosh Hashanah 2012, we temporarily moved into my in-laws’ apartment.  The building is home to a number of observant Jewish families, my in-laws included. Waiting in the laundry room, I noticed a grandma folding […]

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So You Want to Plan an Interfaith Wedding

By Courtney Dunne An “interfaith wedding.” What does that mean? I, after all should know what that means. My partner of 10 years and soon-to-be spouse is the CEO of InterfaithFamily. But understanding what it means to be in an interfaith relationship and putting it on display for all of your family and friends to […]

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In Defense of Being Both at the Lunch Table

By Jacob Weis Being raised interfaith (as I was, truly, with both Jewish and Catholic traditions and holidays) and observing two religions will inevitably lead to some confrontation with others. For me, the first time this happened was in elementary school, at the lunch table. For some reason, the kids that I have seen talk about […]

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Jake Chooses Love and We Choose Jake

After more than two years of studying, Jake will become a bar mitzvah this fall. How does Jake #ChooseLove?

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Q&A with IFF/Chicago’s Intern

By Jacob Weis A new college student just began his summer internship at InterfaithFamily/Chicago. Curious what he’ll be writing about? I’m here to introduce you to the blogging that you’ll see from him this summer.  “OMG there is a new intern at InterfaithFamily. I wonder what he’s like…” That’s right, and my name is Jake Weis. I […]

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The Message I Wish I Heard in Hebrew School

By Emily Waife I’m Emily, the summer intern at InterfaithFamily/Boston! I thought I would kick off my internship by sharing a story about my family. I grew up in a Conservative synagogue. Every Saturday morning, my mom, sister and I would attend Shabbat services. I learned the prayers and the meanings behind them at the […]

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Wedding walk

Jewish + Catholic Wedding Ceremony Decoded

By Katie Ryan Steven and I were recently married in an outdoor Catholic and Jewish celebration. The ceremony itself was the biggest black box for us when planning our wedding and we hope sharing how we brought our two faiths together into an interfaith ceremony helps anyone else trying to decode this process. Steven was […]

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Come Together Through Food (Passover Food, That Is)

The following is a guest blog post by Rabbi Evan Moffic, who is not a member of our staff but his wife, Rabbi Ari Moffic (Director of IFF/Chicago) is! Win a copy of Rabbi Evan Moffic’s new book, What Every Christian Needs to Know About Passover! Nothing brings people together like food. It is no […]

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Deb's sons

We tried Hebrew school. It didn’t work.

What happens when Hebrew school doesn’t work for your family

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Sticking with Israel During Violent Times

The following is a guest post by Marsha S. *Names have been changed My husband Charlie is a non-practicing Catholic and I am Jewish. From the get-go, we agreed to raise our children Jewish, which left the onus on me to further their religious identity and education. At my urging, Charlie agreed to travel to Israel […]

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My Name is Shannon, and I’m a Jew

By Shannon Naomi Zaid My internship with the Jewish United Federation and InterfaithFamily has put me in religious Jewish settings that I wouldn’t have normally found myself in. During one of these times, working an InterfaithFamily booth at an event, an issue was brought to my attention that I’d never thought existed: prejudice based on […]

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What I’ve Learned from Growing Up in an Interfaith Family

By Shannon Naomi Zaid My name is Shannon and I was brought up in a secular Jewish and secular Unitarian setting. I identify as Jewish, but deeply love and respect my Unitarian roots. In my experience, I’ve come to believe that one of the most important, and difficult parts of being a child raised under […]

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InterfaithFamily Named Core Grantee by Natan for 2014-15

(Newton, MA)—June 24, 2014—InterfaithFamily is honored to be selected for the second consecutive year as a core grantee by The Natan Fund, a giving circle based in New York City. The Natan Fund announced Tuesday they will give $953,000 to 54 grantees. This year’s grant is part of the organization’s 11th annual round of grantmaking. […]

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Why We Aren’t Having Children

The following is a guest post by Stephen Richey Reading over the posts on InterfaithFamily’s Parenting Blog, I have come to the realization that a decision Kat and I made has allowed us to avoid some of the issues facing families that are blended from two distinct faiths or cultures. We know we do not […]

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Double Booked: Every Day, Mothers’ Day

The following is a guest post reprinted with permission from Julie A. Silver and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism By Julie A. Silver On Mothers’ Day, my wife Mary and I went on a hike at Will Rogers’ State Park near our home in Los Angeles. We left our two year old home to […]

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Friends at camp

Jewish Summer Camp: The Questions You Should Be Asking

Thinking of sending your kids to Jewish summer camp (this year or in the future)? Not sure where to start or what you might want to keep in mind about the experience of your child, a child of interfaith parents? It’s possible you haven’t considered any of these questions yet, but a camp that may seem […]

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Teach Them Diligently to Your Children: Confessions of a Peeking Parent

By Jodi S. Rosenfeld The rules are right there in the Shema. You know, in the Ve’ahavta part, where it says: These words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart. And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them when you’re sitting in your house, when […]

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