Julie Wiener's In the Mix

In Which Your Intrepid Intermarriage Columnist Goes To A Tribute Dinner

 Benefit events are not a huge part of my life. I’m more of an online donation kind of person, and to say I’m not a very good dresser (or a member of high society) is to put it mildly.

Nonetheless, last night I had a great time as a guest at the Jewish Outreach Institute tribute dinner.

Help! I've Assimilated And I Can't Get Up!

Perhaps at no time more than Halloween am I struck by the huge chasm between Orthodox/traditional Conservative Jews and the rest of us.

Among most of my Jewish family and friends, there has never been even a question of whether or not to join other Americans in dressing up in costume, carving a jack-o-lantern and trick-or-treating. Halloween is a fun holiday and of course we partake.

Can I Interest You In Chanukah (Surveys)?

Lamenting the increasingly premature arrival of all-things-Christmas is a favorite American (especially American Jewish) pastime.

However, this year, with the first night of Chanukah on Wednesday, Dec. 1 (ack — just four and a half weeks away!) we Jews can be credited with ushering in the holiday season early this year.

The Latest News On That Divorce Case From Hell

Joseph Reyes, aka The Divorced Catholic-Jewish-Catholic Dad Who Takes His Daughter To Church (and sends me angry comments periodically) no longer has to worry about going to jail.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, a Cook County judge found Reyes, an Afghanistan war veteran and law student, not guilty of violating a court order when he took 3-year-old Ela and a television crew to Holy Name Cathedral in January.

Generation Gap On Intermarriage Views

You probably won’t be surprised by one of the key findings of a new study, since it confirms what many of us have been observing for awhile: Jewish leaders in their 20s and 30s are much less concerned about intermarriage than are older Jewish leaders.

But you may be surprised that the person (dispassionately) reporting this trend is Jack Wertheimer, a Jewish Theological Seminary professor and frequent contributor to Commentary, in a study for the Avi Chai Foundation.

Of Surveys And Kosher Beignets

I have to admit that at least half the time that I start those online “Survey Monkey” questionnaires, I get bored or distracted in the middle and never end up finishing them.

However, thanks to my undying loyalty to The Cause and my desire to win a $100 gift certificate to Amazon.com, I just finished the Jewish Outreach Institute’s survey to assess the “needs and preferences of American Jews” (or at least the needs and preferences of those American Jews who like shopping at Amazon.com).

InterfaithFamily.com's Big Week

 My friend Ed Case of InterfaithFamily.com is having a good week, and I am not just saying that because he lavished much praise upon me last week on his blog.

He managed to place 18th in the Jewish Federations of North America’s Jewish Community Heroes Campaign, making him one of 20 semifinalists in the contest. Plus IFF, along with the Jewish Outreach Institute and several other groups that promote a more welcoming, inclusive and accessible Jewish community (including Jewish Milestones, Be’chol Lashon and Keshet), made the annual Slingshot list of 50 innovative Jewish organizations/startups.

A Message From Joseph Reyes

Try to contain your shock, but it has come to my attention that I am not the only Jewish woman out there writing about her interfaith relationship(s)!

Just this week, the newly launched Kveller featured a personal essay about an interfaith divorce in which the ex, who had converted to Judaism, turned away not only from his wife but from Judaism.

Harboring Boston Envy

You know how, from the outside at least, there’s always that friend who seems to be perfect, who seems to succeed at everything you can’t pull off yourself?

That’s how I feel about the Jewish community of Boston. Every time I go there, I’m struck by how well things appear to be run, how Boston actually does all these progressive things that other Jewish communities only talk about doing.

My Name Is Rachel Cohen

My younger daughter is named Sophie, and my husband never ceases to give me a hard time whenever we, as we frequently do, encounter another little Sophia/Sophie/Sofia.

“I warned you that you were condemning her to a lifetime of being known as Sophie M!” he says. His preference was “Sage,” but hey, I won the coin toss. (Yes, the hotly contested name was really determined by a coin toss — Ellie, then 2, did the honors!)

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