Jewish Greetings Cheat Sheet

Posted on August 6th, 2017
This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily 


Ever hear someone use a Jewish greeting and aren’t sure what it means or how to respond? Happy and sad lifecycle moments, Jewish holidays and other occasions all have Jewish greetings attached. Here are some traditional Hebrew or Yiddish responses and their meanings—and a virtual pat on the back. You're doing fine!

The most common Jewish greeting is Shalom, a Hebrew word which means hello, goodbye and peace.

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Talking About Converts

Posted on July 30th, 2017
From Coffee Shop Rabbi


I am open about the fact that I was not born Jewish. That is a deliberate choice on my part. I have made the decision to be open about my background because I find it helpful to my work.

I worry that my openness may mislead readers into thinking that it’s OK to talk about converts. You can talk about conversion all you want. You can talk about yourself all you want. But if you talk about someone else’s conversion, you are violating an important tradition.

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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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