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Jan 28 2013

What Kids’ Cartoons Teach About Intermarriage

By at 9:48 am

Elana Gartner’s piece about “adjusting” the fairy tales she tells her son and daughter reminded me of how my poor children are forced to bear the brunt of my Master’s in Media Analysis every time they watch a movie or television show.

Most recently, my 13-year-old son and I discussed how in Les Miserables, the noble revolutionaries who only care about the plight of the poor set up their barricade and destroy the poor people’s (whom they care so much about) neighborhood. Then, while said poor people are literally on their knees cleaning up the mess, the only revolutionary left goes back to his rich grandfather’s house and proceeds to celebrate his lavish wedding without a moment of irony or even self-awareness. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 18 2012

To Tree or Not to Tree? Jewish Answers to Christmas Trees

By at 1:01 pm

As Christmas approaches, many Jewish families, especially interfaith families, confront the question: Do you have a tree? Both married to non-Jews, but raising Jewish children, friends Aliza Worthington and Shoshana Martyniak have two very different answers.

Aliza: So, I have a Christmas tree in my house. Here’s why, not that you asked.

I’m married to a man who was raised Catholic. I was raised in a secular Jewish household by Jewish parents who insisted that the most important requirement for marriage was mutual love (lots of it) and mutual respect (lots of that, too). All other considerations were secondary. So, it surprised no one when my sister married a Catholic. When my grandmother learned my sister and her then-husband were going to have a Christmas tree, she said, “But, it won’t be a Jewish household!” Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 7 2012

Testing Out the Intermarriage Waters

By at 9:54 am

movie ticketsIt didn’t sting this time. Watching Meet the Parents, that is. I watched part of it with my husband and father-in-law after Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s actually a pretty funny movie.

I first saw it in a Texas theater 12 years ago. A new college graduate, I had recently moved to Austin to intern for a campaign. Some interns went to the movies one night, and I spent the whole time squirming. The story of a New York girl who brings home a boyfriend with a different religion and an underwhelming career (at least in the eyes of the future father-in-law) mirrored my life too closely. Read the rest of this entry →

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