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IFF Parenting Series, Lesson 3 - MAKING A MENSCH

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 12:00am
This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com 


Recently, InterFaith Family began a wonderful parenting email series. In addition to receiving emails, you may also sign up for their private Facebook Group. It is a place where parents (and prospective parents) in interfaith families can ask questions, share resources, support one another, etc.

 

To sign up, visit here.

 

Interfaith Families Increasingly Jewish

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am
By STEWART AIN for The Jewish Week


Palm Beach County finds two-thirds of such couples raising Jewish children.


At the same time the rate of intermarriage among non-Orthodox Jews continues to rise, so does the percentage of such couples who are raising their children as Jews, according to Jewish population surveys conducted in recent years.

Continue reading.

Tu Bishvat

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 12:00am

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com 


For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit Jvillage Network's Tu Bishvat Guide. 


Tu Bishvat and some of the other smaller holidays—Sukkot, Shavuot, Purim—can be great ways to introduce Jewish partners to the beauty of Judaism. Every winter, just as we start to think about spring, a minor holiday comes along. Minor enough that not all of us know what it means or how it came to be. The resources on this page can help you and your family learn about the wonder of Tu Bishvat.

The upcoming dates for Tu Bishvat are:

Beginning at sundown on: January 20, 2019; February 9, 2020; January 28, 2021.

Continue reading.

With Intermarriage Endorsement, Rabbi Hopes To Start ‘Grass Roots’ Movement

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
By Ari Feldman for The Forward
 

A synagogue in Virginia has issued a statement saying it’s in favor of Conservative rabbis presiding at interfaith weddings even though the movement still officially bans the practice.

In a Facebook post, the synagogue’s rabbi said that its board had voted to allow its clergy to marry a Jewish person to a non-Jewish person, but only when the movement formally allows its rabbis to do so. That means the vote and the statement are symbolic.

Read more: 

Hanukkah AND Christmas: 7 Books for Interfaith Children

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com 


By Susan Katz Miller


Once upon a time, December holiday books for children focused on either Christmas, or Hanukkah. Now, many children grow up in Jewish families celebrating Christmas with Christian grandparents. Or, they grow up in Christian families celebrating Hanukkah with Jewish grandparents. Or, they grow up in interfaith families celebrating both. Here, I review seven Hanukkah and Christmas books, in order to help you find the right book for your young interfaith children or grandchildren.

Continue reading.

What Do Jews Do on Christmas?

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 12:00am
From Jewfaq.org


Christmas is not a Jewish holiday. Many Christians think of Christmas as an American holiday, a secular holiday or a cultural holiday, but most Jews today do not think of Christmas that way. According to the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey, 82% of Jewish households never have a Christmas tree (and the idea of a "Chanukkah bush" is mostly a joke, not anything anybody takes seriously). A 2013 Pew survey found that less than a third of Jews have a Christmas tree, and most of those are intermarried. Even among those who are intermarried, only 71% had a Christmas tree, far less than the 92% of Americans who celebrate Christmas. A 2007 survey by InterfaithFamily.com found that only 37% of interfaith families that have decided to raise the children Jewish have a tree in the home. 

Continue reading.

Jews and Christmas

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 12:00am
BY RABBI JOSHUA E. PLAUT on MyJewishLearning


What attitudes toward Christmas tell us about modern Jewish identity.


For the majority of Americans, December 25 is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but for Jews it is a time to consider ones relationship to the wider society. Some Jews have chosen to adopt the Yuletide festivities. Some have emphatically rejected the rituals and symbols of Christmas. Still others have sought ways to meld Christmas and Hanukkah.

 

Continue reading.

What is Hanukkah?

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:00am

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com 


Hanukkah is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish recapture and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE. It’s celebrated for eight days and usually falls in December. The traditional observances of Hanukkah are lighting a menorah, or ceremonial candelabra, spinning a top called a dreidel and eating fried foods. Though it is religiously minor, Hanukkah is a popular holiday. It’s a happy festival in the winter, so it provides what seems to be a universally needed break from the dark and cold. It’s a holiday about Jews winning a war, which is not the usual subject for a Jewish holiday. The third reason is obvious: for Jews in Christian culture, Hanukkah is the closest Jewish holiday to Christmas.

View a PDF of IFF's Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families 

For more resources, continue here.

Did You Know...?

Early Childhood Learning Center Registration Open!

Information for the 2019-2020 Program Registration is available

 

Let's share our stories and thoughts on Facebook!

 
Like our page to be the first in the know about upcoming events and specials.

“Through sharing we all find a common ground, inspiration, hope, meaning, and, ultimately, action.”

 

Beth El is raising funds for a new playground?

Beth El is getting a new playground!  If you would like to donate towards this very worthy project, simply send your donations to Beth El Hebrew Congregation and notate "Playground."  If you donate on line, the playground fund is first on the list!

 

Lifelong Learning

Wednesdays during the school year
@ 7:00 PM
See calendar for exact dates and subjects

 

ALIVE!

For more information about ALIVE! go to alive-inc.org.

Upcoming Events

 

We have a very special service January 18 at 7:30 p.m. in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his heroic work.

We will be joined by our talented 5th grade class and singer-songwriter, LEA.

Trivia Night

Come for a fast and fun night of trivia, food and comaraderie on Saturday, March 2, 2019, 6:00 pm, at Beth El.  Adults and teens (7th grade and up) can play!  The cost is $35 per person (includes: dinner and participation), BYOB.  Bring cash to buy optional extra chits to help your table become the champion!  Separate, supervised Kids Night Out - $10 per child (6th grade and younger; includes casual dinner, movie & games).  RSVP: by Monday, February 18, Advance Ticket Sales Only. Register here  Questions: Contact Anne Levy, [email protected]  Proceeds will go to the Beth El Playground Fund.

Please sign up for Ushering at Beth El for Friday Night Services ​

This is a great opportunity to see and meet fellow congregants.Please use the link to sign up:

 

Support During Shutdown                         

As the frustrating government shutdown drags on, we extend our sympathies during this anxious time for you and your family. While Beth El Hebrew Congregation is not a direct service provider, we can offer temporary dues relief until the shutdown has ended. We hope this resource list can be an asset during this difficult time and pray for an immediate resolution:

 

What Furloughed Workers Need to Know About Filing for Unemployment Benefits: https://tinyurl.com/yd3v7w29

A Furloughed Federal Employee’s Guide to Filing for Unemployment: https://tinyurl.com/y9qltsjt

U.S. Office of Personnel Management Furlough Guidance: tps://tinyurl.com/y8sg3mum

Alexandria Center for Economic Support: https://tinyurl.com/yd66o7mj

Coordinated Services Fairfax County: https://tinyurl.com/y8f9e4vg

Local Restaurants Offering Free or Discounted Meals and More: https://tinyurl.com/ybmozmt3

 

                  


 

There are activities, meetings, services and seminars at Beth El each week, ranging from service opportunities to Jewish learning and education, drawing members and guests from throughout the Washington, D.C. area.

the full calendar