Finding Shabbat When It Feels Like Shabbat is Nowhere to be Found

In a class I teach to engaged and recently married young couples, I talk about the importance of finding time to recharge, refresh and reconnect with one another. We discuss this not in the context of “date night,” but rather in the context of Shabbat. I like to point out that Shabbat is a state […]

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The Religious Identity of an Interfaith Home is a Journey, Not a Destination

Up until recently, I thought the hardest part of navigating life as an interfaith family was determining the religious identity of the home. After all, that’s where 99.9 percent of the angst within the Jewish community lies and therefore, almost 100 percent of the community’s engagement efforts are focused. The idea that many in the […]

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What (I Hope) My Interfaith Marriage Taught My Parents

I’ve been married for 14 years and with my husband who is not Jewish for 16. I’ve always wanted to believe that in that time my mom and stepfather have grown in their willingness to learn about, and be accepting of all kinds of differences introduced into our family through marriages, children and my siblings’ […]

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When Will Those Who Love Speak Louder Than Those Who Hate?

This morning, the meeting I was in at the synagogue I work at in Dallas was interrupted by one of the rabbis on the clergy team. “I’m sorry I need to miss the meeting. There’s been a bomb threat at the JCC. Last week, 17 JCCs in cities around the country received threats. Today, seven […]

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A Thank-You Note to My Mother-In-Law

My mother-in-law’s email about Christmas gifts for her was simple: “Have composed an extensive ‘Wish List’ on Amazon for those who might be looking for ideas!” When I logged onto her list, I found her typical requests for puzzles and small housewares mixed in with requests for items such as “a picture of the three […]

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Everywhere You Go There’s Always Someone or Something Jewish

A week before Thanksgiving, I stood in the doorway of a building on Skulagata, a street in Reykjavik, Iceland, with my husband and son looking out at the North Atlantic and trying to find shelter from the blustery wind that was making the 30-degree evening feel much colder. We were waiting for our tour guide […]

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The Gift Of An Inclusive and Welcoming Community

I met my friend Tracie at an interfaith moms event at my synagogue. She was friendly, and we bonded over her husband and in-laws being from the same part of New Jersey as me. Tracie immediately got involved and eventually joined the interfaith moms’ leadership team. Tracie was raised Christian but was raising Jewish children […]

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My Husband: The Jewish Parent (Who isn’t Jewish)

The email had arrived a week before I was to travel to Houston to speak to a congregation about interfaith marriage and creating a Jewish home as an interfaith couple. It said that the following week, instead of regular Sunday school, there would be a program for sixth-grade students and their parents related to b’nai […]

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Why Send Your Kid To Jewish Summer Camp? Because It Gets Him To Hebrew School

I recently discovered the secret to motivating my son to go to religious school. I stumbled upon it. Hours after Hebrew school last Tuesday while we were eating dinner, my son spilled the beans. “I had a really bad sinus headache at school this afternoon and felt crummy. I almost went to Nurse Julie to […]

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The Battle of the Bar Mitzvah Guest List

Before I signed the contract for the place where we would have our son’s bar mitzvah, I needed a rough idea of the size of our group so I could let the venue know the number of people we would guarantee. I started a spreadsheet with names of family, friends, and acquaintances: anyone I could […]

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