Positive Messaging About Interfaith Families

This essay originally appeared in eJewishPhilanthropy and is reprinted with permission. On the eve of the Jewish Funders Network 2019 Conference, what priority is being given to efforts to engage interfaith families Jewishly? Judging by recent messaging sent by the organized Jewish community on a national level, we are failing to address the reality of

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Flying Couch, Millennials, the Holocaust, and Intermarriage

I had a very interesting experience recently when Amy Kurzweil, author of Flying Couch, A Graphic Memoir, spoke at my synagogue, Temple Shalom of Newton, where Amy grew up. The book tells the story of three women: Amy; her mother, a psychologist; and her Bubbe, a Holocaust survivor, who escaped from the Warsaw ghetto at

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A New Year Begins – with a Very Important Development

2019 is off to an interesting start. I was pleased to see that the fourth of my friend Seth Cohen’s  “Seven Predictions for the Year Ahead” was “radical inclusivity” – a very nice lead in to my new book, titled Radical Inclusion! I agree with Seth’s assessment (see my bolding below) and hope his prediction

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Year-end Round-up

It’s been busy since Thanksgiving — here’s a round-up of intermarriage news at the end of 2018. What Christmas Means to Interfaith Families The Forward today published my essay, “Stop Criticizing Interfaith Families Who Celebrate Christmas.” I’m always happy to appear in the Forward. But writers don’t get to pick titles, and the point of

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Stop Criticizing Interfaith Families Who Celebrate Christmas

This essay was originally published in the Forward. This month, many interfaith families are celebrating Christmas. Unfortunately, there won’t be many expressions of “Happy Holidays” coming from the Jewish world. Recently, Gil Troy described the very existence of intermarriage as “the great unspoken yet perennial source of anguish haunting the Jewish world…American Jewry’s great divider,”

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Let’s Talk About Ahavat Ger, Relating to the Other

Reprinted with permission from eJewishPhilanthropy Over the past two years, I have increasingly felt that the Jewish community, in addition of course to addressing pressing external issues, needs to also focus inwardly on engaging more interfaith families, something that is essential if liberal Judaism is to thrive in the future. Engaging interfaith families should be

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A New Book and a New Center

I am very pleased to announce that I have written a book, Radical Inclusion: Engaging Interfaith Families for a Thriving Jewish Future, that will be published on January 15, 2019 by the Center for Radically Inclusive Judaism, a new non-profit I am in the process of launching to promote inclusive attitudes, policies and programs that

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New Strategic Plan for InterfaithFamily

I was pleased to see Jodi Bromberg’s public announcement of InterfaithFamily’s new strategic plan in eJewishPhilanthropy, It’s a New Year, and a New InterfaithFamily. Congratulations to Jodi Bromberg and the Board and staff of IFF on reaching this milestone. I have a unique perspective to offer, as the founder of the organization, now retired from

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More Negative, More Positive

Before getting to the recent news: I’ll be speaking at the Shames JCC on the Hudson in Tarrytown, NY on Sunday, November 4 at 9:30. The Rivertowns Jewish Consortium is sponsoring this community conversation; if you are in the area, I hope you’ll participate in the discussion of these questions: Why do some interfaith families

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Remembering Rachel Cowan

The Jewish world lost an extraordinary leader at the end of August when Rabbi Rachel Cowan died. Most of the much-deserved tributes have focused on her contributions in the areas of social justice, Jewish healing, and Jewish spirituality and mindfulness. I would like to highlight something that has received less attention: Rachel Cowan’s leadership in

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