Julie Wiener's In the Mix

Israel To Ex-Pats: Come Home Before Your Kids Start Celebrating Xmas

Hat tip to Jeffrey Goldberg and The Jewish Channel for bringing to our attention a series of scare-tactic commercials the Israeli government's Ministry of Absorption is running to encourage Israeli Jews in the U.S. to return home — before it’s too late.

By too late, I mean before they start dating clueless Americans (Jewish or otherwise) who don’t “understand” Israeli holidays like Yom HaZikaron, the day of remembrance, and before they start having children who call them “Daddy” instead of “Abba” and talk about Christmas instead of Chanukah.

To my delight, Goldberg, who can always be relied upon for an astute analysis but has not previously, to the best of my knowledge, had much to say about intermarriage, noted in his discussion of the Israeli government’s $790,000 ad campaign, that while his views are “complicated,” intermarriage “can also be understood as an opportunity.”

Is Intermarriage On The Decline?

Google Alerts, you have failed me!

Last week, sociologist Bruce Phillips argued in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal’s “Demographic Duo” blog that intermarriage actually declined between 1990 and 2000, the period in which the Jewish establishment was in the midst of a continuity panic attack.

I only stumbled upon his interesting post today, after Google belatedly alerted me to a follow-up post from demographic researcher Pini Herman, the duo’s other half. 

According to Phillips, the National Jewish Population Surveys of 2000 and 1990 measured intermarriage in a “problematic” manner inconsistent with the way “the larger field of demography” measures interracial (and presumably inter-ethnic?) marriage. This, he says, made for misleadingly high intermarriage stats.

The Overscheduled Blogger

I wish I could explain my latest blogging hiatus as stemming from some fabulous vacation.

Or, I could be like The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, and attribute it to crisscrossing Pakistan and the Middle East to interview dozens of people on an array of issues vital to global security. Not that I really want to shlep around Pakistan. As it is, I can't keep up with my children's myriad school obligations or requisite Tooth Fairy visits.

Is Marrying Jewish Becoming A Requirement For Gentile Political Families?

Just in case you were worried that high-power political families want nothing to do with Jews, I thought I’d let you know that Vice President Joe Biden’s daughter is apparently marrying a Jewish doctor.

In Defense of Halloween

 

It’s Nov. 1, and two buckets piled high with tempting goodies sit on my kitchen counter.

All Of The Above

Remember the inreach-outreach debate that dominated much of American Jewish life communal discussions a decade ago?

If you don’t, the basic gist was: Should the Jewish community focus on deepening the engagement of already committed and synagogue-affiliated Jews (and too often, “committed Jews” was used interchangeably with “in-married Jews”) or should it cast a wide net and seek to reach out to the unaffiliated and (gasp) intermarried?

Intermarriage And The Holocaust: Part II

Perhaps it’s the upcoming anniversary of Kristallnacht, perhaps it’s my children’s “Sound of Music”-inspired questions about the Holocaust. (Most recently: “Were there any Jews living in Austria when the Nazis took over?” A reasonable question, given that this population of 192,000 is never mentioned in the Von Trapp family’s story.)

Ben Stiller's Bona Fides

I’ve been corrected by fellow blogger, Rabbi Jason Miller.

Turns out Ben Stiller was falsely playing the patrilineal card on “Saturday Night Live”: according to Wikipedia at least (sorry, I don’t have any connections with the Stiller family, so I can’t confirm at this moment) his mother, Anne Meara, converted to Judaism before he was born.

Ben Stiller's Bona Fides

I’ve been corrected by fellow blogger, Rabbi Jason Miller.

Turns out Ben Stiller was falsely playing the patrilineal card on “Saturday Night Live”: according to Wikipedia at least (sorry, I don’t have any connections with the Stiller family, so I can’t confirm at this moment) his mother, Anne Meara, converted to Judaism before he was born.

Ben Stiller And The Patrilineal's Lament

Has anyone ever articulated the dilemma of life as a patrilineal (Jewish dad, gentile mom) Jew as succinctly as Ben Stiller on this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live”?

“My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Irish-Catholic, which means according to the Torah I’m not actually Jewish, but according to all mirrors I am,” he said during his opening monologue as the show’s guest host.

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