Love and Religion

Interfaith Consultation for Jews and their Families

Guest Post: Lisette Partelow’s Jewish Journey

Mazel Tov to Lisette who has made the decision to become a Jew. Her conversion will take place at the Beit Din held at Adas Israel’s Mikveh. She studied at Temple Sinai with Rabbi Jessica (Oleon) Kirschner and Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein. Lisette has elegantly described the process in this beautiful essay she wrote. I hope you will take the time to read it. -Marion Usher “I was raised Catholic, but…” followed by a shrug to show my ambivalence. I suppose my Jewish journey started with that offhand remark, made in 2007 in the atrium of my graduate program’s building to a then acquaintance who also happened to be my future husband. He was inviting me to a Yom Kippur break fast and a friend’s birthday party later that evening, which I guess you could call a first date. Unbeknownst to me, I had given him the green light. Though I wasn’t Jewish, I was what he would later call “religiously ambivalent,” which was second best. And religiously ambivalent I was. Allow me to back up a little bit so you have some context. My mother is a religious Catholic and growing up we went to church every Sunday, church school, and CCD. […] Read More >
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Malbec and Midrash: Developing New Traditions and Creating Memories

It always pays to do someone a favor. While the benefits are obvious, the gifts we receive can be totally unexpected. About a month ago, I received a phone call from a wonderful young woman who had been a participant in my “Love and Religion” workshop many years ago. She had a favor to ask of me. She belongs to a Jewish women’s discussion group, and the Rabbi who leads the group was going to be out of town. Could I please lead the group in her stead? While I was flattered, I am certainly not equipped to lead a biblical text study. She sweetened the pot when she added, “You can talk on whatever topic you want.” This was irresistible! As she described the goals for the group, I began to formulate what I wanted to discuss with them. Since we were meeting before Thanksgivakkah I knew the holidays would be one of the themes we would address. I also wanted to know if there were any interfaith families within the group and she said there were a few. When this group meets, they start with wine and cheese–what a civilized ritual after a long day of work and […] Read More >
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What An Incredible Day!

On Sunday, April 28th, the Jewish Federation of Washington sponsored a "Conversation about Interfaith." This was a landmark occasion where interfaith couples, Jewish communal workers, and donors came together to listen and to participate in a dialogue. The positive energy in the room was palpable. The audience heard presentations from interfaith couples, and from both local and national groups. The breakout groups were buzzing. No one wanted to leave his or her groups. Participants were stimulated by the discussion and they wanted more. Read More >
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A Guest Letter from Rabbi Charles Feinberg

Below is a kind letter from my dear friend and colleague, Rabbi Charles Feinberg. Together, Rabbi Feinberg and I have led support groups formed of grandparents with children of interfaith marriage. Please take a look and consider our workshop! Read More >
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