Downton Abbey Portrays Reality of Interfaith RelationshipsBy Gerri Miller
Go inside Season 5 Episode 9 where the story line of Atticus and Rose's interfaith relationship comes to a head.Go To Pop Culture
InterfaithFamily empowers people in interfaith relationships — individuals, couples, families and their children — to engage in Jewish life and make Jewish choices, and encourages Jewish communities to welcome them.
People in interfaith relationships are welcomed and embraced by Jewish communities and contribute to Judaism's enduring strength and continuity.
The online magazine InterfaithFamily.com was launched in November 1998 by Jewish Family & Life!, then a leading provider of Jewish media. Edmund Case became the publisher of the magazine in May 1999. In late 2001, he founded the independent non-profit InterfaithFamily.com, Inc., which acquired the URL and existing content. Since starting independent operation in January 2002, the organization has grown from an exclusively Internet content and connections resource, to providing trainings for clergy and program providers, to offering programs in local communities. Although we will always be web-based, since the August, 2012 launch of our re-designed website we are referring to the organization as "InterfaithFamily" without the ".com" because more and more of what we do involves on-the-ground programs and services.
InterfaithFamily is the leading producer of Jewish resources and content, either online or in print, that are designed for people in interfaith relationships. We deliver helpful, non-judgmental information and a warm welcome that can be accessed privately, at any time convenient to the user. Our content is organized by topics of interest to people in interfaith relationships, with well over 3,000 articles. We offer downloadable introductory booklets and Resource Guides to Jewish holidays and life-cycle ceremonies, tips, blogs (including our Wedding Blog, Parenting Blog, and Animated Torahlog), audio files and videos, and other resources. In 2001, Jewish Lights published an anthology of some of our best early content, The Guide to Jewish Interfaith Family Life: An InterfaithFamily.com Handbook.
InterfaithFamily connects people in interfaith relationships with each other and with local Jewish resources. Our Network facilitates connections with other Members, with Groups, with Organizations, with Professionals, and with Events. As of September 2012, the Network lists over 1,000 organizations in local Jewish communities throughout North America that welcome the participation of interfaith families. Our online discussions allow readers to support and inform each other by sharing their experiences. Our Jewish Clergy Officiation Referral Service is a free, high-quality service that helps over 2,000 interfaith couples a year find a rabbi or cantor to officiate or co-officiate at their weddings and other life-cycle events.
InterfaithFamily advocates for attitudes, policies, and practices that Jewish organizations and leaders can use to engage and include interfaith families within Jewish communities. We conduct surveys, and speak and write in favor of engaging interfaith families Jewishly. We provide resources for rabbis and cantors through our Resource Center for Jewish Clergy, and for other professionals and lay leaders through our Resource Center for Program Providers.
In July 2011, we launched InterfaithFamily/Chicago, the first pilot in our InterfaithFamily/Your Community initiative to coordinate and provide comprehensive programs and services for interfaith families in local communities. Our model includes a Community Page on our Network that centralizes all local information, personalized responses to officiation requests, trainings of program providers, hybrid online/in-person workshops (called Love and Religion — Online) for new couples to talk about religious traditions, and hybrid online/in-person classes developed specifically for people in interfaith relationships (so far, Raising a Child with Judaism in Your Interfaith Family, and Preparing for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah in Your Interfaith Family). As of October 2012, we started operating InterfaithFamily/San Francisco and InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia; and as of October 2013 we started operating InterfaithFamily/Boston and we have an ambitious plan to be in nine communities within five years, with economies of scale provided by our existing content, Network platform, officiation referral service, and training programs, workshops and classes.