It’s not just that my friend Hila Ratzabi moved there and not just that my former JTA boss Lisa Hostein has taken over its Jewish newspaper.
Now, a Conservative synagogue in suburban Philly is changing its policies to allow gentile spouses to become full synagogue members.
Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El’s new policy was written up a few weeks ago in A Jewish Newspaper That Shall Remain Nameless, in an article that accomplished the remarkable feat of writing at great length about various policies affecting intermarried families and quoting a number of sources, not one of them an intermarried person.
My last post about 9/11 had nothing to do with intermarriage, but this one has everything to do with it.
Shoshana Hebshi, an Ohio blogger/writer/journalist who is both Arab and Jewish (Saudi atheist dad, American Jewish mom) is definitely getting her 15 minutes of fame.
Detained in the Detroit Metro airport on the 10-year-anniversary of 9/11 — the victim of what Atlantic blogger Jeffrey Goldberg describes as “in-air paranoia” — she has detailed the experience in a blog post that is getting picked up in media outlets around the country, no doubt because she is such an articulate (and attractive) example of racial profiling.
Warning: What follows has nothing to do with intermarriage, and it's a few days late for the mountain of 10-year anniversary reflections. Nonetheless, I felt compelled to write and share it anyway:
Had we not been tired and had the admissions lines not been so long that afternoon, my husband and I would have been in the Anne Frank House on 9/11, when the planes hit.
I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to be standing in that famous and ultimately failed hiding place, surrounded by evidence of human evil (and heroism), while hearing the horrifying news.
As promised, my interview with intermarried, up-and-coming Knesset member Einat Wilf is now online, so please check it out.
In case you just want to read the in-the-mix-related highlights, I excerpt them below. Interestingly, she insists that her marriage is not interfaith, because she and her German husband share the same faith: atheism. Although I'm not atheist myself, as a very liberal agnostic, I wish American politicians could get away with this kind of unapologetic, completely un-closeted atheism.
This may come as a shock to you, but I am not the only intermarried mom who blogs about raising Jewish kids (among other in-the-mix-y topics).
InterfaithFamily.com recently launched a fabulous new parenting blog, featuring a variety of nontraditional women (no men yet, but perhaps this is in the works) writing about raising Jewish kids. They include an Evangelical Christian woman who is married to a Jewish man and pregnant with her first child; a pregnant single Jewish woman; a woman who converted to Judaism three years ago after her oldest daughter’s bat mitzvah; and a gentile mom who has been married to a Jewish man for 15 years and is preparing for her oldest son’s bar mitzvah.
I’ve been covering Jewish education for almost 15 years and have interviewed countless people telling me about the myriad challenges (not to mention the financial investment required) of maintaining and passing on our illustrious Jewish traditions.
For interfaith families alone, there is an entire cottage industry of websites like this and this brimming with suggestions, resources, how-to’s and so on for learning about and transmitting our aforementioned traditions.
You know how people always say that pregnant women have a certain “radiance” or “glow” to them?
Well, I swear my 8-year-old daughter Ellie has returned from her first-ever overnight camp experience with a similar glow. And no, I’m not worried she’s pregnant. She’s just very happy, and in less than six days has become visibly more independent, confident and mature. Not to mention tanner.
We both have two elementary-school-age daughters (hers are Ella and Zoe, mine are Ellie and Sophie), are married to French Canadian high school history teachers, are alumni of crunchy liberal arts colleges and love Eden Village Camp, where we met in person a few months ago — and where I’m dropping Ellie off tomorrow for her first overnight camp experience ever. (Thank goodness it’s only a five-day session, as I’m feeling very nervous and sad about leaving my firstborn, even though I am confident she’ll have a great time and be in good hands.)