How My Hindu Husband Became the Favorite Jewish Grandchild

Posted on July 23rd, 2017
BY JESSICA MELWANI for Kveller


I’d been dating the man who’d eventually become my husband for about a year when my grandmother sat me down for a heart-to-heart.

“I saw Aishwarya Rai on Oprah last week. You know, the Dollywood [she meant Bollywood] actress? Stunning girl!” Then came the truth bomb: “She told Oprah that your boyfriend already has a bride arranged for him back in India. At some point, he’s going to leave you high-and-dry, marry the girl his parents chose, and move back into their house.”

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How cultural appropriation became good for the Jews

Posted on July 16th, 2017
By Jeffrey Salkin, Martini Judaism


I used to love watching Dana Carvey as the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live. I loved his parody of the smugness, self-righteousness and ideological assurance that is typical of the religious and cultural right.

It is true of the cultural left, as well. Especially in the area of identity politics.

It is time to talk about the issue of cultural appropriation.

What is cultural appropriation? Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University, defines cultural appropriation as “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission.”

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Couples are marrying with or without us. Let’s help.

Posted on July 9th, 2017

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily 


by Rabbi Keara Stein


The debate in Jewish communities about interfaith marriage is heating up. Rabbis and Jewish professionals are arguing both sides and predicting the future of Judaism based on whether or not they will officiate at interfaith marriages. I’ve seen articles that talk about “caving on intermarriage” and “coming to terms with it” and “addressing the problem.” This kind of language infuriates me because it makes interfaith marriage about the rabbis, and not about the people getting married.

It’s not about caving on interfaith marriage.
It’s not about settling or coming to terms with it.
It’s not an issue.
It’s not a problem.

By telling someone we will not marry them, we are not stopping them from marrying someone of another faith background. What we’re stopping them from (and I have heard this time and time again) is engaging in Judaism and being part of the Jewish community.

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This Jewish-Raised Hindu Musician Sings About Islam

Posted on July 2nd, 2017
BY AVISHAY ARTSY for Jewniverse


The Australian-born singer-songwriter Ben Lee has been on a lifelong spiritual quest. He was raised Jewish, studied Taoism, and was married in a Hindu ceremony. Now he’s released an album called Ben Lee Sings About Islam For The Whole Family.

The songs are sunny and uplifting, with lyrics drawing from Islamic folk tales, Sufi poetry and the Koran. Lee told Jewniverse he wrote the album “to express my love for philosophy and…the ancient quest for truth.”

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Finding Co-Officiants: A Multi-Step Process

Posted on June 25th, 2017

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily 


By Laura Free


Our first hurdle in planning an interfaith wedding (other than the insanity of touring and booking a venue) was finding an officiant and creating a ceremony that reflected both of us. The day after we got engaged, I began fumbling around for some guidance. I knew what a Catholic wedding looked like, but I had no idea what was important in a Jewish ceremony, much less what we could do if we wanted to combine them.

As the daughter of a lifelong librarian, I put my research skills to the test. Surprisingly, my local library had exactly what I was looking for. A quick search in the card catalog for “interfaith marriage” turned up a fabulous book by Rabbi Devon A. Lerner: Celebrating Interfaith Marriages: Creating Your Jewish/Christian Ceremony. Yes! Exactly what I was looking for! It’s like someone has done this already…

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