Remembering Michael Rukin

I am sorry to report that Michael Rukin died on February 18. He was only 70. Michael was an important leader for many organizations including Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston (CJP), Hillel and the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society. I’m sure much deservedly will be said about him in the days to come. I just want

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Intermarriage Around the Reform/Progressive World

Our friend, and terrific journalist, Sue Fishkoff had a JTA story about the annual convention of the World Union of Progressive Judaism that missed what I think was a more important part of the convention. The World Union of Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) is the association of Reform movements from all over the world. (Outside of

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Valentine’s Day 2011

I know that in some parts of the Jewish community, participating in Valentine’s Day is frowned upon, because the Valentine involved was a Christian saint. That made a recent article by Rabbi Everett Gendler Don’t Dismiss the Jewish Origins of Cupid, all the more interesting. For one thing, the Catholic Church declared in 1969 that

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Attitude Antennae

My “attitude antennae” were buzzing this week – because of several notable expressions of attitudes, both negative and positive, about intermarriage. Neil Steinberg, a writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, took a cheap shot in a column about the Super Bowl TV ad for Groupon that has been widely criticized as insensitive to human rights violations

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Serious But Not Fully Observant Jews

I would like to recommend an excellent article by Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg, On Joining the Covenant.  Rabbi Greenberg is a very highly regarded Modern Orthodox rabbi. He apparently wrote the article to take a position on the current crisis over conversion standards in Israel. But it has implications which I find fascinating, for liberal

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Who Isn’t a Jew?

In the aftermath of the terrible attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, there has been a lot of discussion in the Jewish press about the “who is a Jew” issue. Two and a half weeks ago I blogged that it was a shame that it took a tragedy to get leading Jewish commentators like the editors

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A Shame That It Takes a Tragedy

Everyone at InterfaithFamily.com, like most people, feels terribly about the awful attack on US Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson. The violent incident in itself is not something that we would ordinarily comment about. (My personal view that there should be a huge outcry about gun control isn’t something that is an issue for InterfaithFamily.com either.)

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More Portman

One of the people interviewed by Abigail Porgrebin for her 2005 book, Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk about Being Jewish, was Natalie Portman.  Hillel’s website has a long and very interesting excerpt from the book. Portman’s father is an Israeli physician, her mother an American artist. She lived in Israel until she was 3,

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An Appreciation of Richard Goldman

Richard Goldman, a founder with his wife of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, died a few weeks ago. The Goldman family is extraordinarily generous; the New York Times obituary reports that the Fund has given away over $680 million. InterfaithFamily.com is one of the grateful recipients of his and the Goldman family’s generosity. In

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Chrismukkah in Vegas

I was on the radio yesterday! KNPR’s “State of Nevada,” a show on the NPR station in southern Nevada, did a program that you can listen to: “Chrismukkah, anyone? How Interfaith Families Celebrate the Holidays.” I enjoyed doing the program because it was an opportunity for dialogue with Ron Gompertz, who is not the creator

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