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Jews and Christmas

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 12:00am
BY RABBI JOSHUA E. PLAUT on MyJewishLearning


What attitudes toward Christmas tell us about modern Jewish identity.


For the majority of Americans, December 25 is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but for Jews it is a time to consider ones relationship to the wider society. Some Jews have chosen to adopt the Yuletide festivities. Some have emphatically rejected the rituals and symbols of Christmas. Still others have sought ways to meld Christmas and Hanukkah.

 

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What is Hanukkah?

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:00am

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com 


Hanukkah is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish recapture and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE. It’s celebrated for eight days and usually falls in December. The traditional observances of Hanukkah are lighting a menorah, or ceremonial candelabra, spinning a top called a dreidel and eating fried foods. Though it is religiously minor, Hanukkah is a popular holiday. It’s a happy festival in the winter, so it provides what seems to be a universally needed break from the dark and cold. It’s a holiday about Jews winning a war, which is not the usual subject for a Jewish holiday. The third reason is obvious: for Jews in Christian culture, Hanukkah is the closest Jewish holiday to Christmas.

View a PDF of IFF's Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families 

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December Holiday Tips for Interfaith Parents

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 12:00am
BY DR. JUNE A HOROWITZ, MyJewishLearning

 

This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Hanukkah Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 
 

Interfaith families struggle to be true to the religions of both parents during the winter holiday season. 

 

 

It’s difficult to go about “business as usual” during the December holiday season. While the whole country appears to be celebrating, non-Christians often feel either trapped and marginalized if they don’t join the merriment, or they may feel disingenuous and even guilty if they choose to participate in Christmas observances.

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Celebrating Two Faiths Without My Parents’ Blessing

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:00am

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com

 

By Sheri Kupres


Thirteen years ago I married a Catholic man from Chicago. I was raised as a Conservative Jew north of Boston. We met through mutual friends when I moved to Chicago. Prior to getting married, my husband and I agreed that we would pass along both of our religious beliefs to our children; we both had strong ties to our religious traditions and wanted to share these with our family. We had joined an interfaith couples group, based in Chicago, to help us discuss and navigate issues that come along with building a dual-faith family. We weren’t sure how this would all turn out but we were committed to this plan.

While we have achieved a lot over the past 13 years, it has been a long road filled with challenges, doubt, guilt as well as learning, joy and celebrations.

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Brand Management

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 12:00am
By Unorthodox for Tablet Magazine 


Episode 87: Danya Shults on giving Jewish life a facelift with her new start-up, and Michael Knowles on his Trump-endorsed gag book


Our Jewish guest is Danya Shults, the founder of Arq, a website and community inspired by Jewish culture. She tells us how her own interfaith marriage inspired her to help people “connect with Jewish life and culture in a relevant, inclusive, and convenient way,” and explains where—if anywhere—actual religion fits into the Arq universe.

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CONSIDERING INTERFAITH RELATIONS BETWEEN JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND MUSLIMS: AN INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK J. RYAN, S.J.

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 12:00am
BY JOSEPH PREVILLE, for World Religion News


WHAT BINDS JEWS, CHRISTIANS, AND MUSLIMS TOGETHER IN A FAMILY OF FAITH AND FRIENDSHIP?

 

Rev. Patrick J. Ryan, S.J. considers this question in his wonderful new book, Amen: Jews, Christians, and Muslims Keep Faith with God (The Catholic University of America Press, October 2018). 

Ryan takes a close theological look at Jews, Christians, and Muslims through their eyes, texts, and experiences.  He also shares his reflections on his own experience as a Christian in the company of Jewish and Muslim friends. Ryan writes that “we Muslims and Christians and Jews may live together more fruitfully and more peacefully if we recognize the polyvalence of Abraham, the polyvalence of great concepts like faith and revelation, community, and the path of righteousness.”

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Conservative Movement Gives Rabbis Green Light To Attend Intermarriages

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 12:00am
By Ari Feldman for The Forward


The Conservative movement’s central authority on Jewish law has announced that rabbis can attend weddings between Jews and non-Jews.

 

The decision overturns over four decades of assumptions that the movement’s rabbis could be kicked out simply for being a guest at an interfaith wedding. Over the years, rabbis skipped out on countless weddings of close friends and family members lest they get found out, and end up sacrificing their careers.

 

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Half/Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 12:00am
Jewish Book Council


Edited by Laurel Snyder


Written by authors born into the so-called "dilemma of intermarriage," the stories in Half/Life explore the experience of being raised in a half-Jewish home. Though each essay is distinct, and the experiences are vastly different, each describes growing up without a streamlined identity, unsure of community or religious direction.

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