Julie Wiener's In the Mix

Six Feet Under And Six Feet Apart

Earlier in my career, I wrote so many articles about neglected cemeteries, Jewish funeral homes and Jewish burial societies that my editor joked I was the “dead”-beat reporter.

For years, I’ve followed the plight of Bayside Cemetery, a more- than-150-year-old Jewish burial ground in Ozone Park, Queens, that has been vandalized and inadequately maintained for decades and is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit

An Orthodox Rabbi Turns Humanist

 My monthly (well, sometimes a little less) "In the Mix" column, which runs on our Web site and in the Opinion section of the printed paper, is out. Check it out!

Or save yourself the trouble of bouncing around our Web site, and just read it here:

Google the words interfaith, wedding and rabbi together and you get a whopping 1.1 million hits.

On Multicultural Day, What's A Nice Jewish-French Canadian-Irish Gal To Wear?

Friday was Multicultural Day, arguably the biggest annual event at my daughter Ellie’s school, and her first grade classroom became a swirl of saris, sombreros, tunics and caftans.

After the children performed African and European dances, and a Cuban song they’d learned, the kids who speak other languages at home demonstrated how to count to 10 in them: that included Spanish, of course, but also Russian, Nepali and about four different languages from the Indian subcontinent.

A Black-Jewish Hip-Hop Star

Thanks to the Jewish Outreach Institute blog for tipping me off about a Heeb profile of Aubrey “Drake” Graham, an emerging hip-hop star who is black and Jewish.

I know as much about hip-hop (or for that matter, any music produced more recently than, say, 1990) as I do about sports, which is to say virtually nothing. Nonetheless, the 23-year-old former TV star (Canada’s “Degrassi: The Next Generation) sounds like an interesting personality, and his Jewish story is fascinating.

Interfaith Divorce Revisited

For a combination of reasons, I’ve been slow to respond to this weekend’s article in the Washington Post about high divorce rates in interfaith marriages.

An Israel Birthday Party?

This week my almost 7-year-old daughter, Ellie –— eager to keep up with her friend who is having a Greek mythology-themed birthday party —  decided she wants to have an Israel-themed birthday party.

Now I am not generally one for themed parties, mostly because of my utter lack of arts-and-crafts skills and my overall preference, as a busy mom, to eliminate unnecessarily time-consuming activities from my life.

The Flotilla And ... Intermarriage

Like many people, I’m feeling depressed about the Gaza flotilla fiasco.

The whole situation reminds me of that scene in “The Godfather” when Sonny Corleone impulsively drives off to beat up his wife-battering brother-in-law, only to be ambushed at a tollbooth by the rival family that has set him up.

On-The-Job Jew Training

Two great new pieces out this week — both from West Coast Jewish publications — by women who grew up in interfaith families.

I especially related to the piece by Emily Savage, a staff writer at northern California’s The J, about how she’s basically acquired a Jewish education from working at a Jewish newspaper.

BJENY-SAJES=JEWATIB (Jewish Ed Without All The Intermarriage Bashing)

Last night I went to the tribute dinner for an organization with even more of a mouthful of an acronym name than most Jewish groups: BJENY-SAJES.
The initials stand for the Board of Jewish Education of New York-Suffolk Association for Jewish Education Services.

Without my super-duper investigative reporting skills and high-placed contacts, I actually might not have known what SAJES’ initials stood for, since it’s not on the Web site or any of the official materials.

 

Bad Blogger, Good Jew?

I’ve been a very bad blogger recently (a whole week without posting), but a very good Jew: in the past 10 days, I’ve gone to services at three congregations, and attended a Storahtelling event. Plus, this Saturday morning I’ll be in shul (a fourth one!) yet again, for my niece’s bat mitzvah.

Those who pray three times a day, or are at least weekly shul-goers, may laugh at such modest accomplishments. Indeed, I’m sure someone will send me a nasty e-mail or post a comment saying this (along with being intermarried) is further evidence of my moral laxity. Nonetheless, for me, four synagogues in two weeks — not during the High Holidays — is something of a record.

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