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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Imagine… It’s Chrismukkah Time Again!

December 2005 Ron Gompertz, founder of Chrismukkah.com, responds to Ed Case “Nobody’s ever tried the peace thing. We are selling it like soap.” – John Lennon, 1969 Last year, Edmund Case wrote an editorial in InterfaithFamily.com headlined “Chrismukkah is a Bad Idea.” In his commentary, Case wrote, “The concept of a holiday that combines Hanukkah

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What’s In a Name?

January 2005 I was intermarried for thirty years, until my wife converted to Judaism in October 2004. Both of our children, now twenty-six and twenty-two, have strong Jewish identities, but from the way we marked their births, it might not have looked like that would be the likely result. When Emily was born, my wife and

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“Chrismukkah” is a Bad Idea

December 2004 Sorry to be a “grinch” or a “scrooge,” but “Chrismukkah” is a bad idea. First depicted last December on the hit Fox TV show “The O.C.,” picked up by entrepreneurs selling “Chrismukkah” greeting cards, and featured again on “The O.C.” last week, “Chrismukkah” has been all the rage this December, with media coverage

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Social Science and the Intermarriage Debate

An edited version of this article was first published in The New York Jewish Week in 2004. Since the National Jewish Population Survey confirmed the continuing high rate of intermarriage, it’s been quiet on the “outreach” vs. “in-reach” front. The Jewish In-Marriage Initiative is slowly becoming active. No new money has been added to the

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The Passion: Learning from Interfaith Families

March 2004 I’ve seen it. It was painful to watch, excessively violent, clearly anti-Semitic in my opinion, and religious propaganda that leaves me uncomfortable. But Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ is a powerful and provocative movie phenomenon that can’t be ignored. The most important point is that it won’t generate much anti-Semitism, at

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Remembering Egon Mayer

February 2004 Egon Mayer died on January 30, 2004 at age 59, after a six-month battle with cancer. The cause of Jewish outreach to interfaith families has lost a true pioneer and champion. I have lost a personal hero. Beyond his professional accomplishments, he was a man of extraordinary qualities, as ten friends, family members

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What We Can Learn from the InterfaithFamily.com Network Essay Contest

September 2003 When we announced the InterfaithFamily.com Network Essay Contest, “We’re Interfaith Families … Connecting with Jewish Life,” last April, little did we know that on September 10, 2003, two days before the date set to announce our contest winners, the long-awaited results of the year 2000 National Jewish Population Survey–including an intermarriage rate of

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Network E-Letter

January 3, 2003 The following is the text of the InterfaithFamily.com Network’s eletter which was sent to its 5,400-subscriber list on Jan. 3, 2003 and also distributed to the Outreach Fellows listserv and to the listserv of the UAHC’s National Outreach and Synagogue Community Commission. On December 17, 2002, the leadership of the Reform Movement (the Union

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