December Dilemma v. Thinking Broadly about Religion in Schools

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As I write this, K-12 schools are wrapping up classes or may have already finished them for winter breaks. In elementary schools, no doubt, many teachers have felt compelled to mention Christmas and Hanukkah in some way.

Look at the photo above, though. First-grade teacher Debbie Fagg at the Minneha Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School in Wichita, KS, is teaching about Hanukkah in early November as part of a multi-week unit on three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. She brought the menorah … Continue reading

Faith Ed. Book Events & More as New Year Begins

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January 7, 2016

Happy New Year! Faith Ed. has now been out in the world for five months, and it’s been fascinating to speak to audiences of many faiths at churches, temples, bookstores, universities, and other venues. Many more events are in store for 2016. I’ll highlight just a few in today’s newsletter.

Florida-Bound: My Tampa event has been postponed, but I will be speaking Sunday, Jan. 17 at 4 p.m. at Books & Books, a Miami book store. Please come if you’re in the Miami area and let Florida … Continue reading

Grocery Bag Heals Old Wounds about Holiday Greetings

A Boston-area grocery store made this Jew very happy today. And yet, I couldn’t help but wonder. How did non-Jews react when they received grocery bags with that picture of that menorah and the candles all aglow with orange flames? They don’t celebrate Hanukkah. Would it make them feel left out like I did many times in my childhood? I seriously doubt it. My hunch is that the bag will give non-Jews a tiny glimpse at Hanukkah.
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Happy Hanumas? Ditch Season’s Greetings

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Happy Hanumas? Happy Chrismakah? Merry Hanukah? The winter holidays are fast approaching. It’s time for non-celebrants of Christmas to ready ourselves for the onslaught of seasonal niceties from store clerks and acquaintances. No one, of course, will blend a greeting that pays tribute to Jewish and Christian holidays. Most will tell me, “Merry Christmas,” or “Happy Holidays.” No one will likely utter Happy Hanukkah.

Am I bitter about this? No, I’m a mature adult. I live in a country dominated by Christianity. Christmas is the one holiday that leads to a shutdown … Continue reading