Julie Wiener's In the Mix

Lazy Bloggers And Mark Zuckerberg's (Gasp!) Non-Jewish Girlfriend

Mea culpa, al chet and all that. Among my other shortcomings, I’ve been one lame blogger lately, posting nary a word for a whole week. And my sole flimsy excuse is the fact that I am, like other Jews, just now emerging from a month-long orgy of holidays.

Admittedly, the more observant Jews – the ones who spend the evening and morning of each yom tov in synagogue while refraining from electricity, driving and hundreds of other offshoots of the 39 melachot – have a better case for using the Jewish holiday excuse. Especially since most (unlike me) work for companies and organizations that remain open on said holidays and who, when not doing the aforementioned malachot-refraining and synagogue-attending, have had to scramble to build a sukkah, do laundry, cook and so forth.

Are More Rabbis Saying ‘I Do’ To Interfaith Weddings?

09/28/2010 - 20:00
Associate Editor

Eight years ago, like all Reform rabbinical students about to be ordained, Rachel Goldenberg had to make a decision. Would she officiate at interfaith weddings or not?

Along with many of her classmates at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Goldenberg opted against performing such ceremonies, reasoning that the ritual made sense only when joining two Jews.

But a few months ago, Rabbi Goldenberg, the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester, Conn., changed her mind.

Julie Wiener

Birth Announcement For Kveller

 A week and a half ago I mentioned here that Kveller, a new Jewish parenting website was due to arrive this fall.

Well, I am pleased to see that it seems to have emerged from the womb sometime last week. While I am not privy to the labor-and-delivery details (Ob-gyn or midwife? Natural or C-section?), from what I can see the newborn is attractive and in good health — and, with hundreds of articles and listings, already has a lot to say.

The Mikveh Demystified

I'm a guest blogger today at Mayyim Hayyim, the innovative community mikveh in Boston founded (in part) by Anita Diamant, the author of "The Red Tent," "How to Raise a Jewish Child" and many other works of fiction and nonfiction. Here's my post:

For The Sin Of Not Fasting

In going through my litany of shortcomings each Yom Kippur, it’s generally hard to avoid a biggie: my failure to fast.

Now, before you dash off a comment about how, after intermarriage, I’m the single greatest threat to Jewish continuity, let it be known that I do not completely neglect the rites of Judaism’s holiest day. I do go to synagogue all day and, while I am not a hard-core “not one morsel of food or even a drop of water for 25 hours” type, I’m also not one of those people who spends Yom Kippur gorging on bacon and lobster while I sneer condescendingly at the primitive folks who are so stupid and superstitious as to believe in God.

Heroes, Outreach And Other News From Fooderation (er, Federation -- Got Fasting on The Brain)

My friend Ed Case of Interfaithfamily.com is becoming Mr. Jewish Federation!

In November, he’s on the roster of speakers at the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in New Orleans, appearing in a panel entitled “Can We Encourage In-Marriage and Welcome Interfaith Families?” He’ll be debating none other than Steven “Intermarriage=Single Greatest Threat” M. Cohen: I’m hoping they live stream or at least videotape this exchange, in which case I’ll of course embed it here, if I can figure out how!

First Day Of Hebrew School

I never attended Hebrew school as a child, but in the past 13 years, as a journalist for Jewish publications, I’ve spent so much time visiting day schools, congregational schools and summer camps (not to mention, interviewing parents, teachers, students and other stakeholders) that I’ve more than made up for it.

So it was an odd feeling this Sunday to be inside a congregational school not as a reporter, but as a mom.

Intermarrieds Cooking Up Trouble

A few years ago, when I wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal about increasing numbers of gentile moms raising Jewish kids, I was amused by the editor’s headline choice: “But Will The Chicken Soup Taste As Good?”

In fact, a sizable number of non-Jewish men and women who have married into the Tribe are taking on the responsibility of cooking the family’s chicken soup, along with other traditional Jewish dishes.

Rabbi Ponet Speaks

If you aren’t completely sick of hearing about Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky’s co-officiated wedding, you may want to read Rabbi James Ponet’s piece for Tablet about his decision to officiate at intermarriages.

The Shul Jinx?

I think I may have the opposite problem of Rabbi Marc Schneier, the prominent Orthodox spiritual leader who has been divorced four times — and is facing ethics charges from the Rabbinical Council of America.

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