May 2024 News from the Center

After October 7 The JTA Teen Fellowship produced an excellent article, “For teens in interfaith families, the war in Gaza can be a stress test of their Jewish identities,” that describes the experiences of three Jewish teens from interfaith families. Fern Chertok, a leading researcher on interfaith families, said “[b]eing able to learn from different

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April 2024 News from the Center

Divided Community April 2024 was a quiet month – except for Why are they so anti-us?, a personal reflection in the New Jersey Jewish News on current antisemitism by a great-grandmother and blogger who’s in her 80’s. It’s a fine piece – except for two paragraphs near the end, where the author refers to intermarriage

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March 2024 News from the Center

The Jewish world’s attention continues to be focused on Israel and antisemitism. There have been mentions in the media of increased interest in Jewish identity, but they haven’t been connected with inclusion of interfaith families. The topic apparently was not discussed on the agenda or the sidelines at either the Jewish Funders Network or CCAR

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February 2024 News from the Center

October 7, Antisemitism, and Interfaith Families Writing in eJP  about “Communal transformations in our time of crisis,” Rabbis Ben Spratt and Joshua Stanton aptly summarize the current moment: “The growing notion of a wisdom tradition with universal appeal is largely being eclipsed, at least for the moment, by the visceral call to peoplehood as a

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January 2024 News from the Center

There were several developments this month reflecting progress towards inclusion of interfaith families, and the need for more progress. More Representation in Children’s Literature Laurel Snyder, an award-winning author of children’s books who grew up with a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, wrote a beautiful story about the importance of children seeing their kind

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December 2023 News from the Center

Most of the Jewish world’s attention is still focused – appropriately I would say – on what’s happening in Israel. But it feels right to start reporting and commenting on interfaith inclusion news again. Especially since December is always a big month for interfaith families. December Holidays The UK Institute for Jewish Policy Research issued

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Remembering David Ellenson z”l

I am one of the many people who was so fortunate to fall within the orbit of David Ellenson, a person of the most remarkable generosity of spirit. I say this because my advocacy over the years pushed on two issues that were complicated for the head of Hebrew Union College – rabbinic officiation at

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November 2023 News from the Center

November continued to be a very challenging month. I’ve stayed in touch with the Israeli mother I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, who wasn’t able to come with her son to my grandson’s bar mitzvah as they had planned. I felt compelled to and was glad to participate in the November 14 rally for Israel

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October 2023 A Personal Reflection

In the Center’s monthly email newsletter I try to recap and comment on the month’s developments and news related to inclusion of interfaith families in Jewish life. But there’s none of that to report this month, October 2023. I trust it is safe to say “like you” in the following: like you, I am horrified,

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September 2023 News from the Center

High Holiday Sermons – Inclusive and Not-so-inclusive Rachel Timoner, senior rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brookly, gave an incredibly inclusive Rosh Hashanah sermon. In discussing parallels between religious issues dividing Israelis and dividing American Jews, she describes her congregation as “a prime example of the other liberal Judaism: the progressive, multiracial, interfaith, pluralistic, justice-focused,

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