March 16, 2012
Greetings to everyone celebrating St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), Palm Sunday (April 1), Good Friday (April 6), Erev Pesach – First Seder (Passover – April 6), Pesach - Second Seder (Passover – April 7), Easter Sunday (April 8), Easter Monday (April 9), Yom Ha-Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day – April 19), and Earth Day (April 22).
You’ll notice that Passover and Easter fall on the same weekend this year. We know this creates conflicts in some of our families — best of luck in dealing with them!
1. Conference on Half-Jewish People (April 20th, Evanston, Illinois):
Dear Friends: We have been asked to publicize this conference and hope to have a speaker present. If any one living near Evanston, Illinois sees this notice and attends this conference, please let us know what you thought of it.
The organizer, Rabbi Adam Chalom of Humanistic Judaism, has always been friendly to the Half-Jewish Network and displayed concern about the adult children and grandchildren of intermarriage.
Conference Information: Upcoming Colloquium of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism: “Half Jewish?” The Heirs of Intermarriage.“
Our Colloquium will be held April 20-22, 2012 at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL in cooperation with Newberger Hillel at the University of Chicago and Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern University.
How will the heirs of intermarriage change Judaism? Can you be “Jewish and” rather than “Jewish or”? Can the Jewish world handle “half Jewish”? Or is being “half Jewish” no big deal anymore?
For two decades, half of the marriages involving Jews have been intercultural. Their children are now young adults, choosing their own identities.
Online registration at http://halfjewish.eventbrite.com has the program details. Participating speakers and panelists will include voices from the Jewish Outreach Institute, Newberger Hillel, Birthright-Israel NEXT, the Half-Jewish Network, Jews in all Hues, The Society for Humanistic Judaism and Interfaith Family.com, as well as from the world of academic Jewish Studies and from Israel.
2. Here is a funny interview with rapper Drake (African-American father, Jewish mother).
3. Henrique Capriles y Radonski, candidate for President of Venezuela, has a Christian father and a Jewish mother:
This article — click on Radonski’s name to view it — has the same error about Radonski’s family that I have seen in many publications, in that it implies that Radonski is fully Jewish by parentage and converted to Catholicism.
Radonski is half-Jewish, not fully Jewish by ancestry, as the article incorrectly implies. He’s the child of an intermarriage.
His father had Dutch ancestry and his mother was Jewish. His full surname is “Capriles y Radonski” — Capriles would be his father’s name and Radonski is his mother’s name. He became seriously Catholic after a very nasty time as a political prisoner. Capriles Radonski himself has always been very open about being half-Jewish and a practicing Catholic.
I’m guessing that the anti-Semites want to claim him as fully Jewish ethnically so they can target him, and that Jewish groups want to claim him as fully Jewish ethnically due to anti-intermarriage bias.
It would be more respectful to him to acknowledge his Christian family as well as his Jewish family.
4. St. John of the Cross, a prominent 16th century Roman Catholic mystic, who wrote a book on the concept of the dark night of the soul, was apparently of mixed Jewish-Christian descent on one side of his family, and possibly partly-Muslim on the other side:
5. Aish article attacking intermarriage cites to the Purim story in the book of Esther in the Bible without once mentioning that Esther’s intermarriage with the Persian ruler is what saved the life of her Jewish community.
Can we say chutzpah (outrageous gall)? I think we can. Consider leaving a comment on the article pointing this out.
6. Humorous essay on views of American half-Jewish, half-Russian young woman in “My Russian Girl Problems.” If you like the article, you may want to leave the author a supportive comment.
7. What happens to half-Jewish people who make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel?
* American patrilineal half-Jewish woman refuses to convert via Orthodox Judaism, forbidden to marry Israeli Jew and leaves Israel.
* American matrilineal Jewish woman fights to marry Israeli Jew in Israel.
* American patrilineal Orthodox guy allowed to marry Orthodox convert in Israel.
Folks, I’m glad that the Orthodox Jewish couple was allowed to marry, but I don’t think half-Jewish people who are not interested in becoming Orthodox Jews should have to fight to marry Israelis.
8. Be’chol Lashon (In Every Tongue), an American organization for Jewish multiracial outreach, has asked that we publicize the trailer of a film they have made about an Ethiopian Jew who was kidnapped on his way to Israel and sold into slavery, “400 Miles“:
I’d be interested in your opinions of it.
9. The New York Jewish Federation has protested to the Israeli government about the discrimination against Ethiopian Jews within Israel. We are monitoring this issue because many Ethiopian Jews currently trying to make aliyah are half-Jewish and obstacles are put in their way due to being descendants of intermarriage.
Here is an earlier issue of our newsletter that covers the difficulties of the Ethiopian half-Jewish people in greater detail – see especially the comments that were posted by an expert in the field on our website.