Jewish Camp is a valuable way for interfaith families to learn and share in the joy of Judaism in a comfortable, fun and meaningful environment. See which camps identify as welcoming to interfaith families.
Connecting Interfaith Families to Jewish Life in Greater Cleveland by providing programs and opportunities for interfaith families to experience Judaism in a variety of venues, meet other interfaith families, and to connect to other Jewish organizations that may serve their needs.
This is an interactive, fun, and low-key workshop for couples who are dating, engaged or recently married. The sessions will give you a chance to ask questions about faith, to think about where you are as an adult with your own spirituality and to talk through what's important to you and your partner.
A great way for Jewish professionals and volunteers who work with and provide programming for people in interfaith relationships to locate resources and trainings to build more welcome into their Jewish communities; connect with and learn from each other; and publicize and enhance their programs and services.
Just like the approach of the secular new year, the approach of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year,Â is a great time to reflect on the past year and to make resolutions about how you can be better in the year ahead. (Click here to read how Jewish new year resolutions are different from secular new year resolutions.)
We propose that synagogues use this time to take stock of how theyâ€™ve been welcoming and inclusive to interfaith couples and families over the past year, and how they can be even more welcoming and inclusive in the year ahead. One way toÂ do this is to participate in InterfaithFamilyâ€™s Interfaith Inclusion Leadership Initiative (IILI). But even for those not participating in IILI, this is a great time of year to come up with an action plan of how they can be more welcoming and inclusive. Below are suggestions based on a webinar on â€śLanguage and Opticsâ€ť that we are presenting to IILI participants. These suggestions are the combined work of a number of InterfaithFamily staff members over the years based on our vast experience working with interfaith couples and families. What is your synagogueâ€™s response to each of the following questions? Based on your responses, you can see where you have work to do.
Does your synagogueâ€™s website have photos that present the diversity of your communityâ€”including people of color, members of LGBTQ families, mixed-race families, etc.? While presenting diversity, you also want to be sure to be honest and make sure to present your community as it actually is, not how it aspires to be.
Are all Hebrew words and Jewish â€śinsider termsâ€ť that you use on your website translated and transliterated?
Is there an explicit statement on your website letting interfaith couples and familiesÂ know that you want them to be part of your community?
Does your website have resources and links to resources (such as interfaithfamily.com) for interfaith couples and families?
Who can be a member of your synagogue? Where are membership policies stated? Are they clearly stated on the website or in a pamphlet/brochure?
Who can be on which committees in your synagogue and who can hold leadership roles? Where is this stated? On the website or in a pamphlet/brochure?
Are printed ritual policies with explanations accessible? Where are they? On the website? In a pamphlet/brochure? In a b’nai mitzvahÂ manual? Do you also have clearly stated policies on all of the following:
What role can parents and other family members, who are not Jewish, have during a baby naming?
What role can parents and other family members, who are not Jewish, have during a bar/bat mitzvah?
Can members who are not Jewish open the ark?
If there is a synagogue cemetery (or local cemetery), can family members who are not Jewish be buried there?
Does your religious school handbook include information about children from interfaith homes?
Does your bâ€™nai mitzvah handbook include information about interfaith families and extended family from other backgrounds?
Is there a guide to your Shabbat service available for those who arenâ€™t comfortable with the service (bâ€™nai mitzvah guests and others)?
Hopefully these questions can help guide your synagogue in institutional cheshbon nefesh (accounting of the soul) at this time of the year and encourage an action plan for becoming more welcoming and inclusive of interfaith couples and families in the year ahead.
To learn more about InterfaithFamilyâ€™s Interfaith Inclusion Leadership Initiative click here.