Julie Wiener's In the Mix

Steven M. Cohen: The Single Greatest Threat To Intermarried Jews? (Just Kidding, Steve -- Please Don't Sue For Libel!)

 I recently spent a lovely day at Eden Village Camp, a Jewish environmental sleep-away camp in which kids get to — among other activities — milk goats, feed chickens, pick vegetables and make smoothies using a bike-powered blender.

Beyond Chelsea And Marc

 Granted, the interfaith wedding on most people's minds these days is  Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky's, scheduled for this Saturday evening.

Israel's Crazy "Rape By Deception" Case

 We are moving forward with Ellie’s Israel-themed birthday party, which is next weekend, something I blogged about when she first came up with the idea.

I’ve hired the amazing Dafna Israel-Kotok to teach the kids some Israeli songs and dances. And we’ll serve borekas, hummus, candy and other Israeli treats, procured from Main Street in Kew Gardens Hills, an area Ellie and I refer to as “the Israeli neighborhood.”

Once More To The Lake (Apologies to E.B. White)

 I’m back from vacation, back to New York’s never-ending heat wave and an apartment that (due primarily to my husband Joe’s environmentalist zeal) lacks air conditioning.

We are sorely missing our lakefront cottage rental in Maine, where nights were cool and days were filled with swimming. We’ve been going to Maine since Ellie, now almost 7, was a baby, and it’s been rewarding to watch it evolve into a family tradition, one the kids adore as much as Joe and I do.

Chelsea Clinton And Me

 I'm on vacation in beautiful, but rainy, Maine (never fear, my home is being guarded by fierce, pistol-wielding house sitters and a pack of Dobermans -- and there's nothing of value in there anyway since I took the laptop and iPod along!)  

In Which We Devote Far Too Much Space To Analyzing A Really Strange Essay

I don’t know how Elizabeth Cohen’s bizarre and disturbing piece in Tablet about a group of intermarried Jewish women who “gather for Shabbat but pack away their identities” escaped my notice, but thanks to InterfaithFamily.com’s Ed Case for directing my attention to it.

There is something kind of odd and overwrought about the essay, which, to judge by the comments it’s attracting, some readers are interpreting as a cautionary tale about the perils of intermarriage.

Top Ten Reasons To Hate Newsweek's Annual Top Rabbis List

Since 2007, Newsweek has been issuing an annual list of America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis. I am pleased to say that several rabbis who are welcoming of interfaith families, including Rabbi Kerry Olitzky of the Jewish Outreach Institute, are on this year’s list.

A hearty mazel tov to Rabbi Olitzky and many of the other people I know personally, like Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah and Rabba Sara Hurwitz, who made the list.

However, the list itself irritates the hell out of me and I am hoping that, with the struggling news magazine now on the auction block, this year’s list will be the last. Here, in no particular order, are my reasons:

Intermarriage In The Motor Suburbs

 For two years in the late 1990s, Detroit’s northwest suburbs — where most of its Jews live — were my stomping (or, more accurately, driving) grounds.

A Critique Of Rabbi Eric Yoffie

 Ed Case of InterfaithFamily.com has an interesting perspective on the legacy of the Union for Reform Judaism’s

Treif Steak Knives For The Hubby

 I grew up in an uber-secular home where pork chops and shrimp were served regularly, but for a brief period I toyed with the idea of keeping a kosher kitchen.

That fell by the wayside. Now the only dietary law I uphold in the house is that no shellfish can be cooked on Shabbat. (Send on the outraged comments, I’m ready for them!)

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