Call it what you will, you need a community

call it a tribe

My daughter calls me “Mama” when she’s feeling especially affectionate or especially upset. So when I picked up the phone at 6am on a Sunday morning and heard, “Mama?” I knew things were not OK. Elly is in Israel on a Birthright* trip and her credit card had been frozen. Despite my calls to the US bank they couldn’t do anything that I asked, nor could they take a call from a cell phone – Catch 22. It had been four days of trying and I was finished. Time to call the big guns. Tali L., who has run bay area trips for teens, is Israeli and knows how to travel with American kids. I called her and explained the situation.

“OK,” she said, “I’ll call you back.” I waited. Fifteen minutes later the phone rang.

“Hi, Dawn,” came her cheery voice, “you just needed a little Israeli chutzpah.” She had contacted the trip organizer and arranged for them to receive money I would wire to Israel. She walked me through my end of it. DONE!

What does this have to do with interfaith?

My daughter is 22 years old. Mothers of 45-year-olds have told me, “Your kids grow up but they are still your children. You will always care. You will always worry.”

Mothers and fathers need a network, a community. If you’re in an interfaith relationship you need a unique network, one that addresses the specific issues and events that will occur to you because you are in an interfaith relationship. You need someone who “gets it.” Someone who cuts through the verbiage, who sees the core issue – and that “the issue” may have NOTHING to do with religion. You need someone to help you sort that out. Many of you have turned to me or one of my colleagues with your questions. I’m here for you – always – I hope to help you made a connection.

Call me if you want to talk about any of this, or anything else that is on your mind.

510-845-6420 x11

*Birthright Israel is a trip for young Jewish adults up to age 26. It is free. Must be your first trip to Israel. Look at their website at