Remembering Arthur Obermayer

InterfaithFamily lost a very dear friend, and the broader Jewish world an outstanding leader, when Arthur Obermayer died yesterday. I’m not sure what Arthur is best known for in the Jewish world. It could be the Obermayer German-Jewish History Awards, given annually to several Germans (not Jewish themselves) to recognize their efforts to preserve Jewish […]

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A Jewish Guide to Shiva Practices and Helping Your Friend in Mourning

When a friend or loved one experiences loss, it can be hard to know how to support them. If that loved one is Jewish, and you are unfamiliar with Jewish mourning practices, it can be even harder to help. This video from G-dcast explains mourning rituals within Judaism and offers advice about how to help […]

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Grief in the Days of Awe

Two weeks ago, I wrote that I didn’t know yet what I would do for Yom Kippur. In the end, the Books of Life and Death helped me answer that question. Just before Yom Kippur, a beloved relative in my husband’s family passed away after a brief illness. On Erev Yom Kippur, we found ourselves driving the […]

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One Thing We Can’t Control

My Grandma Harriet died a few weeks ago, at the age of 95. She was beautiful, creative and could expertly apply her lipstick without a mirror. She was my favorite hug. She cooked up the yummiest tuna noodle casseroles and the tastiest matzah ball soup. She lived a long life full of family simchas (celebrations), […]

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The Unwritten Rule of Pregnancy and Cemeteries

Jessie didn’t know there was a Jewish superstition about being pregnant at a funeral until her mother died and had to figure out what to do.

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Yahrzeit: An Expression of my Daughterhood

Last week was my mother’s yahrzeit, the observance of the anniversary of her death. For someone who wasn’t raised in a Jewish household, or in a Jewish-but-luckily-not-bereaved household, yahrzeit is one of those traditions that you don’t really know about until you have to. There are public parts of observing yahrzeit, but the most powerful […]

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Triplets’ Upcoming B’nai Mitzvah Shows the Power of Three

Reprinted from the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent, this story shows the incredible role a grandparent has in her grandchildren’s lives

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Saying the Kaddish for My Christian Mother

A Jewish woman discusses the difficulty of mourning for her Christian mother

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This is Strength

My grandmother was a force to be reckoned with. Smart as a whip and made up her own mind about everything. Incredibly independent considering she was married at 19 and never spent a night away from my grandfather in their 72 years together. She had a master’s degree. Traveled the world. Cared deeply about Judaism. […]

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What Deathclock.com and Yom Kippur Have in Common

Not long ago I was sitting at my computer playing around on the Internet and I found myself at deathclock.com, which bills itself as “the Internet’s friendly reminder that life is slipping away … second by second.” All you have to do is enter your date of birth, your gender, your “mode” (whether you’re normal, […]

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