My Take on the Jewish Man’s Rebellion

There’s been a media storm over the March 29 Washington Post essay, “I am tired of being a Jewish man’s rebellion,” in which Carey Purcell, a self-described “WASP,” suggests two Jewish men dated her as a “last act of defiance against cultural or familial expectations before finding someone who warranted their parents’ approval.” Roundly criticized for

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Another Community Study

Last month I blogged about what new community studies in Washington DC and San Francisco had to say about interfaith families. The Cohen Center at Brandeis, which did the Washington DC study, has released a new study of Pittsburgh. An article in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle reports the study’s findings that one-third of all children

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Intermarriage Round-up

My Google alerts for “interfaith” and “intermarriage” picked up eight interesting items in the last month. Rabbi Kerry Olitzky has written what sounds like a great new Haggadah That’s Full of Welcome. Published by Behrman House just in time for Passover, the haggadah is for families “who want to be as welcoming as they can

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Remembering My Father

My father, Lewis Case, died in February, one day after his 101st birthday. He lived a very long, very full and very good life. He was a model of devotion to my mother – they were married for almost 72 years when she died four years ago. He was a very supportive father to my

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Important New Community Studies

The Washington DC and San Francisco Federations have announced important community studies that include a great deal of important information about interfaith families’ Jewish engagement. The complete DC study is available; a PowerPoint presentation and highlights of the San Francisco study are available. The DC study has a very helpful summary about who is considered

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Variations on Inclusion

I loved Rabbi Deborah Waxman’s explanation of why the Reconstructionist movement  rebranded itself as “Reconstructing Judaism,” including her statement that “A critical path forward is shifting from a focus on ‘being’ Jewish – important but insufficient for providing substance and structure – to a focus on ‘doing’ Jewish.” That shift in focus is a fundamental

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Revisiting the December Holidays

As always at the end of the year there were a lot of stories about interfaith families and the December holidays. The topic has been covered so much that it’s hard to find much new. But Rabbi Matt Gewirtz’ Why Santa Brought The Rabbi’s Daughter a Gift was extraordinary. When his youngest daughter, who says

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The Latest on Birthright Israel and Intermarriage

The latest evaluation of Birthright Israel, Beyond 10 Days: Parents, Gender, Marriage and the Long-Term Impact of Birthright Israel, has important information and implications for intermarriage policy. The headline, as reported by Len Saxe, the leader of the Cohen Center team that did the evaluation, in a piece for the Forward, is that “Birthright’s alumni,

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Inclusion as a New Year Begins

Charlene Seidle, an important funder, in Five 2018 Jewish Philanthropy Trends To Watch, refers to “positive opportunities to meet our constituents where they are, in innovative ways that resonate with their needs and interests.” She continues: Judaism is our competitive advantage, and 2018 is the year to use Jewish wisdom to its full and vibrant

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Welcome Back, URJ!

The Reform movement made a very important announcement last night, the launch of RJ Connect, which has the potential to engage many more interfaith couples and families in Jewish life. The Reform movement originated what used to be called “outreach” to interfaith families back in the 1980s. The movement had a pioneering outreach department that

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