I wish I could explain my latest blogging hiatus as stemming from some fabulous vacation.
Or, I could be like The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, and attribute it to crisscrossing Pakistan and the Middle East to interview dozens of people on an array of issues vital to global security. Not that I really want to shlep around Pakistan. As it is, I can't keep up with my children's myriad school obligations or requisite Tooth Fairy visits.
Instead, chalk up my negligence (blogligence?) to various unglamorous commitments, both at work and home: in addition to balancing various articles, each in different stages of development, I got a bit overbooked on the children’s birthday partying and communal volunteering front.
Fortunately, it’s been a relatively slow news week on the intermarriage beat, so I don’t think I’ve missed anything major.
And some of my volunteer work indirectly related to “the mix”: almost all the adults who attended a Jackson Heights “parlor meeting” I helped organize for Ellie’s Jewish summer camp, Eden Village Camp, are intermarried.
Granted, most Jew-ish families in our Queens neighborhood — and most Jew-ish people I know socially, rather than professionally — are intermarried. (My hyphen here is neither a typo, nor intended to question anyone’s legitimacy/authenticity. Rather, it’s more an acknowledgment that for many people and families, being Jewish isn’t necessarily at the forefront of their identities. “Jew-ish” is a little more playful and more comfortable for those who equate “Jewish” with “religious” or “affiliated” or whatever baggage they have from some bad Hebrew school experience or embarrassing relative.)
It probably also helped that in publicizing the event, I emphasized that interfaith families were welcome and that the three neighborhood girls who attended this past summer had intermarried parents.
Not that the camp has any special focus on intermarriage. It just is a very comfortable, inclusive environment, one that seems to manage to bring together Modern Orthodox kids with uber-secular ones and everything in between. And I think the fact that it is not “just” a Jewish camp — that it integrates Judaism with the environmental/healthy-eating values many parents already hold dear — adds to its appeal.
Hopefully, when things settle down a bit, I’ll be able to devote more attention the blog.
In the meantime, here’s an op-ed I really liked on Jerusalem Post this week about "The Problem With Worrying About Jewish 'Continuity.'"