I Wish Cokie and Steve Roberts Were In Our Camp

Cokie Roberts, who I love as an ABC News commentator, and her husband Steve Roberts, have published a new “interfaith Haggadah”–Our Haggadah: Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families. I have to confess to very mixed feelings about this. I don’t like feeling envy, but I do. I’m envious because as celebrities, Cokie and Steve Roberts command

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More Who Is a Jew

A month ago I blogged about the “who is a Jew” question that arose from the tragic attack on Gabrielle Giffords. My main point was this: It behooves everyone in the Jewish community, Orthodox included, to regard Gabrielle Giffords as a Jew for all purposes except where halachic status matters. Many would say that the

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Divorce, Interfaith Style

In the past year we’ve had several posts on this blog about the sensationalized Reyes divorce case where the father took the child to church against a court order etc. Karen Kushner provides a much more sane approach to the whole subject of divorce in interfaith families in a recent interview with Virginia Gilbert, the

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More About the Reform/Progressive World

In my post last week about the World Union of Progressive Judaism convention, we highlighted Rabbi Larry Kushner’s presentation and mentioned that our own Karen Kushner spoke at a panel. We’re glad now to make available Karen’s remarks, Accepting the Gift of Interfaith Marriage. Karen is also featured in Dan Pine’s jweekly article, Conference Panel

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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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