Love and Religion

Interfaith Consultation for Jews and their Families

photo (3)

Five Things to Think About as You Prepare for Passover

My mother kept a calendar that revolved around the Jewish holidays. As soon as one finished she began talking about the next one. We hadn’t yet finished all the hamentashen and she began thinking about her Passover preparations. I have vivid memories of her polishing all the silver flatware and serving pieces. Then the bathtub was filled with glassware, dishes and any other kitchenware that could be made kosher for Passover by the “soaking with stones” method. She also started the cleaning of the house with a vengeance making sure that every surface had been scoured and cleaned thoroughly. Her way of thinking about time has become one of the ways I think of time. When I think of getting ready for Passover, I remember all my mother’s efforts and I will also change my dishes as she did. However, I have other aspects of the holiday I like to focus on. Here’s my list of things I focuses on during Passover: First, think about how you want this Seder to be. Of course, there is the basic text of the Haggadah, but think of what you would like the people at the table to reflect on. Is it freedom, […] Read More >
TAGS : , ,
Engaging Interfaith Couples Through the Arts

Engaging Interfaith Couples Through the Arts

On February 18th and 19th, Love and Religion, Theater J, Adas Israel Congregation’s Beit Midrash, the JCC of Northern Virginia, and the Washington DC JCC co-sponsored a reading of the play “Love, Faith and Other Dirty Words,” written by Kent Stephens. The play is about interfaith couples and the critical issues they face as they construct a religious life together. The purpose of the production was to reach out to interfaith couples through the performing arts, and for me, it was a monumental evening! It was the first time such an event was undertaken in our community and five groups worked together to make it happen. We also collaborated with the New Center Now of Boston, whose mission is to have this important play read in cities all over the country–Washington D.C. was the play’s first stop out of Boston! While I had read the play through a few times, I was unprepared for my intense involvement with the actors as they took on these roles. The content of the play emerged from the playwrights’ discussions with interfaith couples in various combinations of religions including: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Hindu. The potential of this play for dialogue amongst people of many faiths is enormous. We held “talk-backs” after […] Read More >
TAGS : , , ,
Heart_corazón.svg

“Being Jewish on Valentines Day”

As some of you might remember, last year, the Washington Post’s On Faith column published some of my thoughts on the origins and history of Valentines Day. I have included a snippet of the article below, I hope you all enjoy! Here in the United States even the name of the holiday has been changed from religious to secular. No one even thinks about the religious origins of the holiday. There were in fact three St. Valentines. While all three were martyred, the patron saint of the day was indeed a benevolent soul. During the third century when Claudius III, ruler of the Roman Empire, realized that unmarried young men made better soldiers, he forbade them to marry. It is Valentine who took the risk and performed the marriages clandestinely.  He was celebrated for his acts of bravery and made a saint. The romantic aspect came much later at the end of the fifth century. The oldest valentine still in existence was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.   Click here to read the whole article, and […] Read More >
TAGS : , , , ,

“Love, Faith, and Other Dirty Words”

I am excited to announce that the new play, “Love, Faith, and Other Dirty Words” by Kent Stephens is coming to Adas Israel Congregation, and the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia next week! This exciting play focuses on topics that today’s interfaith couples face on a regular basis. I hope you will join us for this one-of-a-kind cultural exploration of this important Jewish conversation. The play, developed by the New Center for NOW in Boston, MA, with support from the Jim Joseph Foundation, will be read in the Biran Beit Midrash, and I will be moderating a “talk-back” after the reading. The play is directed by Shirley Serotsky, and presented by Adas Israel Congregation, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia Cultural Arts Program, Theatre J of the Washington DCJCC, and Love and Religion-An Interfaith Workshop for Jews and Their Partners. The play will be read at Adas Iseral Congregation on Tuesday, February 18th at 7:30 p.m. and at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia on Wednesday, February 19th at 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public—Click here to register: http://bit.ly/1jeem8I Please reach out to me for more information about either of the play readings, or take a look at the play’s Facebook page. Read More >
TAGS : , , , ,
How Does Judaism Inform My Daily Life?

How Does Judaism Inform My Daily Life?

In my interfaith classes, I’m often asked the question, “How does Judaism inform your daily life?” Yesterday, I had one of those days where everything that is meaningful and special to me was a part of my day from sun up to sun down. In the morning, I gathered with my friends and family to celebrate my dear friend’s 80th birthday. To honor someone’s life, to mark the event by being present, and to share our love of his presence in our lives was very special to me. All of these activities give my life meaning, and fill up my internal psyche. Next we went to celebrate the brit milah of our Cantor’s newborn baby. The entire Adas Israel Congregation was invited–our cantor and her husband wanted to include us in bringing their child into the Jewish community. I was both honored and grateful to be included. For me, this invitation represents an authentic building of our congregational community. And lastly, I ended the day by having a good friend over for dinner. I knew she was grieving a loss, and hadn’t been out in a while, so having her at the table was a gift to us all. To […] Read More >
TAGS : , ,

Video: Interfaith At Adas Israel – Lisa Kleine’s Story

Read More >
TAGS : , ,

Video: Interfaith At Adas Israel – The Sloan’s Story

Read More >
TAGS : ,

Video: Interfaith At Adas Israel – John Donvan’s Story

Read More >
TAGS : ,

Video: Interfaith At Adas Israel – Leigh Gilman’s Story

Read More >
TAGS : ,

Video: Adas Israel Welcomes Interfaith Families

Read More >
TAGS : ,