This New Year, Who Will Be Only Welcomed, Who Fully Included?

This op-ed originally appeared on eJewishPhilanthropy and is reprinted with permission. Two important studies this summer noted the relatively lower Jewish engagement of interfaith couples. Instead of criticizing them or discouraging interfaith marriage, the Cohen Center recommended “strategies to introduce intermarried families to Jewish settings and offer them opportunities to participate.” This evidences a growing

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Beyond Welcoming? Not So Fast

(This op-ed originally appeared on eJewishPhilanthropy and is reprinted with permission. It also appeared on j. The Jewish News of Northern California under the title “Welcome mat for interfaith families needs more unrolling.”) The Cohen Center at Brandeis has released two extremely important studies. Beyond Welcoming: Engaging Intermarried Couples in Jewish Life, based on a

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Israel, Intermarriage, Holocaust

Sadly, there’s nothing new about Israeli Education Minister Rafi Peretz saying that intermarriage among North American Jews is “like a second Holocaust.” In 2009 I wrote an op-ed for the Jerusalem Post, What Israelis Need To Know About Intermarriage in North America. That was after the MASA “Lost Jews” campaign which implied that all of

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Having It Both Ways?

Steven Bayme, the national director of the Contemporary Jewish Life Department at AJC, recently asked: “Jewish and Christian: Can One Have It Both Ways?” Writing about David Brooks, who describes himself as both a Jew and a Christian, Bayme says that identifying as both Jewish and Christian, or raising children to identify as both Jewish

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Moving from Welcoming and Hospitality, to Inclusion

When asked in a recent interview what’s new and different about my arguments in Radical Inclusion: Engaging Interfaith Families for a Thriving Jewish Future, I pointed to my emphasis on the need to adapt the fundamental attitudes and underlying philosophies Jews have about interfaith marriage. I’d like to expand on that answer. There is a

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What’s Radical About Radical Inclusion?

This essay originally appeared in JTA (under the title “Passover’s Real Message Is about Celebrating Interfaith Families”) and is reprinted with permission. The enduring lesson of Passover is the obligation that appears 36 times in the Torah, more than any other – “you shall love [the stranger] as yourself, for you were strangers in the

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Positive Messaging About Interfaith Families

This essay originally appeared in eJewishPhilanthropy and is reprinted with permission. On the eve of the Jewish Funders Network 2019 Conference, what priority is being given to efforts to engage interfaith families Jewishly? Judging by recent messaging sent by the organized Jewish community on a national level, we are failing to address the reality of

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Flying Couch, Millennials, the Holocaust, and Intermarriage

I had a very interesting experience recently when Amy Kurzweil, author of Flying Couch, A Graphic Memoir, spoke at my synagogue, Temple Shalom of Newton, where Amy grew up. The book tells the story of three women: Amy; her mother, a psychologist; and her Bubbe, a Holocaust survivor, who escaped from the Warsaw ghetto at

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A New Year Begins – with a Very Important Development

2019 is off to an interesting start. I was pleased to see that the fourth of my friend Seth Cohen’s  “Seven Predictions for the Year Ahead” was “radical inclusivity” – a very nice lead in to my new book, titled Radical Inclusion! I agree with Seth’s assessment (see my bolding below) and hope his prediction

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