Intermarriage Does Not Equal Assimilation

Binyamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel’s Likkud party, was reported in an article in the Jerusalem Post to have said that there is no future for Jewish life outside of Israel because of “assimilation and intermarriage.” Netanyahu clarifies that he didn’t say that; what he says he said was that there is no future for

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Why Jewish Life?

My Yom Kippur experience was especially meaningful this year–I hope yours was too. It’s a wonderful opportunity to reflect on and evaluate my life, and consider what I can do better. I feel I have an entire clean slate of a New Year to fill, and the prospect is very exciting. I think my main

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Interdating

Susan Jacobs has an article on interdating in today’s issue of the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle. She treats the issue sensitively, although the general impression left by the article, that it is possible for parents to effectively discourage their children from interdating (and intermarrying), is not realistic, in my view. I’ve explained my own views on

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Conversion Again

As the Jewish New Year starts, the issue of promoting conversion is prominent once again. As we noted in last Friday’s post, Rachel Zoll, an excellent AP religion writer, wrote a problematic article about Jews encouraging conversion. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last two days writing letters to the editor of every

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Attitudinal Shifts in Favor of Outreach

Our friends at STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal) issued an interesting press release today on their new survey of rabbis’ attitudes. Over 100 rabbis who are participating in STAR’s programs responded to questions about their goals and views of the future as the Jewish New Year begins. Of particular interest to us: “The vast majority

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Should High Holiday Tickets Be Free?

Sue Fishkoff, the JTA correspondent who focuses on Jewish identity and affiliation, has just launched a new blog. Her first entry raises the question whether High Holiday tickets should be free. I posted this response: I understand both sides of this issue. As a former synagogue president, I know what it costs to run a

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Let’s Encourage the Jewish Journeys of Interfaith Families

July 13, 2006 The planned theme of the Renaissance Pillar programming at the GA is “Jewish journeys.” Improving programs at the steps along life’s paths that can reinforce Jewish identity and continuity — Jewish camping, day schools, Israel trips, etc. — will be emphasized. No matter how much we strengthen and improve these very worthwhile

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Negotiation and Accommodation in Mixed Marriages: An Interview with Edmund Case, Publisher of InterfaithFamily.com in Aufbau

July 2006 This article first appeared in Aufbau, the German-Jewish newspaper, and was reprinted with permission. “Mixed-marriage households can raise their children as Jews, and the Jewish community should be more open towards them,” says Edmund Case, publisher of InterfaithFamily.com, an online magazine on interfaith issues. Case deals with intermarriage on a daily basis, not

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The Next Big Thing is Now: Outreach to the Intermarried

March 2006 In February 2006 the New Jersey Jewish News began a yearlong community dialogue called “The Next Big Think.” Editor Andrew Silow-Carroll wrote that the movements and causes that inspired Jews in the past–Zionism, absorption of Jewish immigrants in America and Israel, the fight against anti-Semitism, the redemption of Jewish captives the world over–had

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Letter to the Editor of the Jewish Week: Mean-Spirited Approach

Reprinted with permission from the February 10, 2006 issue of the New York Jewish Week. In January 2006, The New York Jewish Week published an op-ed by Steven Bayme and Jack Wertheimer, Revisiting and Promoting Conversion. This letter to the editor was published in response. An interfaith couple is married by a rabbi and joins a

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