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August 25, 2008



Beautiful letter - well said. I really don't think the religious community understands or really knows how to meet the needs of those of us who aren't the typical traditional family. So now add being single over the age of 40s and just try to find a place...
Best to you in your quest.
And, hope you get the cool kitchen!


I think this is so beautifully perfect. what a strong and eloquent yearning for connection and community through faith. I really hope you get some sincere, thoughtful and welcoming responses.

and congrats on finding the house!

(oh, and I might put "real" children in quotes to drive home the point even further.)


While I understand how hard it must be to deal with what you've dealt with, both in your faith and with IF, I think you should take an edit to this letter once you have some distance from writing it. It seems a bit confrontational to be sending to a new shul, especially in retaliation for the way you've been treated elsewhere, and it might put them off to you before they've had the chance to meet you and learn how amazing you are.

I also wonder if a letter is the best way to approach this. I wonder if, instead, taking a trip to each shul and speaking to someone in charge about what they offer for someone of your circumstances (rather than what they lack) might go over better with the shul and will also give you a better sense of the people there, as you'll be able to see their reactions, not just read a reply that they've had time to manufacture.


Very powerful letter. I don't know how I'd feel if I were on the receiving end of that letter (and I'm a fellow IF'r).

I can tell you that we found, for us, the best way to understand the makeup of a shul is go to it.

I've been to synagogues that were whiter than white. My son got some glances that made me uncomfortable so it's not an option.

I've been to synagogues that are like Jacob's coat of many colors :) Asian children, Black children, Latino children, White children (and parents as well!). The glances my son got were the glances of "oh, what a beautiful baby" not "what is a brown baby doing here".

Many families built through adoption meant many who had dealt with infertility (while it's not always a given, it's more common than not). I don't know if they have a support group there but I'm sure if I offered to start one there would be people willing to join.

I guess what I'm saying is maybe just going and seeing vs. a confrontational letter may be your best plan of attack.

Whatever you decide, good luck in your move and I wish you Shalom.


I read all the time, but don't get to comment much these days.

This is a powerful and eye-opening letter. The only thing that I might change would be to say something in the first paragraph like, I have had enough difficult experiences at other shuls that I wanted to write and see whether you felt like there might be a welcoming place for me at your shul.

I also think, even though your primary concern is how you & D. will be received without children, that there is more to you than just infertility, and it might be good to mention a few of the other things you look for in a shul - celebrating diversity, doing tikkun olam etc. etc.


Great letter. I feel incredibly left out a lot of the time, and because of that will even avoid going to shul on specific holidays, just because I am so miserable.

When my husband and I were thinking of moving over the past couple of years (not going anywhere right now), we always brought up the topic. We found two communities where there were already internationally adopted children, which was wonderful!

Good luck.

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