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RCPP Newsletter December 2011

Dear Friends,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family or friends. I love the reminder to keep in touch with all we should be grateful for and the tradition of sharing those feelings of gratitude. It seems especially fitting to feel the glow of all we are blessed to have as the days get shorter and darkness descends earlier and earlier.

In the spirit on Hanukkah which will be here in less than two weeks (December 20th), we have a gift for you. All those who are listed on the Professionals directory of the InterfaithFamily.com Network will now be able to access the newly redesigned and reconstituted Resource Center for Program Providers from which you will be able to get access to the RCPP Resource Page. This will be your go-to place for marketing, policy, programming and training materials.

In the Policy Materials box, you will find our brand new Recommendations for Creating a Welcoming Policy Document. We have delineated eleven questions that interfaith couples want clarified when they research congregations and given you examples of welcoming answers from across the denominational spectrum. Now you can easily create your own policy statement and add it to membership packets and to your website to make your welcome to interfaith families explicit.

In the Programming Materials box you will find a terrific discussion packet "Oh Christmas Tree," with three essays from interfaith couples that can springboard a great discussion for a December Dilemma Program.

New materials will be added on an ongoing basis and will be announced in this email newsletter.

And for everything that you could want to help your interfaith families get ready for the December holidays, head over to our Hanukkah and Christmas Resource Page! Here are some highlights of what you will find there:

  • For those who are new to Hanukkah and for those who need a refresher on the blessings, we have created a video that shows where to put the candles and what to say when you light them. It is not too soon to send this link out to your program participants so that anyone who has questions can watch and learn without having to confess that they do not know this ritual.
  • also have a collection of Hanukkah recipes for beginning and advanced cooks and a collection of Hanukkah books for children as well as our new booklet, Hanukkah.
     

December Survey

InterfaithFamily.com is conducting a survey about interfaith families' experiences participating in Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations. People of all backgrounds are welcome to take this survey and anyone who is a member of the InterfaithFamily.com Network is eligible to win the drawing of a $500 American Express gift card. Please spread the word to your participants - the survey closes on December 11 - and take the December Holiday Survey!

iPad Contest

If you haven't already listed your synagogue, school or organization on our Network, you still have one day to win an Apple iPad - the contest has been extended until December 9.

It's easy - you just need to complete three steps: Join the InterfaithFamily.com Network, add your listing to the Professionals directory and register your organization.

Before you start, check to see whether or not your organization is already registered by visiting www.interfaithfamily.com/searchorgs and searching for your organization.

What if my organization is not listed, I am not a member of the InterfaithFamily.com Network and I am not listed as a Professional?
  1. Join the InterfaithFamily.com Network by visiting www.interfaithfamily.com/join and confirm your email address when you receive the email confirmation. Joining the Network and confirming your email takes under 3 minutes.
  2. Once you confirm you email address, you will be directed to a page to edit your personal information. In the "About Me" section, select the appropriate Professional field, such as Outreach Professional/Outreach Volunteer/Synagogue Professional. Then answer "Yes" to the question, "Would you like to add your listing to the Professionals directory?"
  3. Register your organization on the Network by visiting www.interfaithfamily.com/organizations, or by clicking on the Organizations left-side navigation tab and then clicking the Register an Organization button and filling in the form. You must be logged in to do this. You will then be entered in the giveaway.
What if I am already a Member?
  1. Simply login at www.interfaithfamily.com and choose "My Personal Page" at the very top left of the homepage, then "Edit Personal Page".
  2. On your Personal Page, select the appropriate Professional field such as Outreach/Professional/Outreach Volunteer/Synagogue Professional. Then answer "Yes" to the question, "Would you like to add your listing to the Professionals directory?"
  3. Register your organization on the Network by visiting www.interfaithfamily.com/organizations, or by clicking on the Organizations left-side navigation tab and then clicking the Register an Organization button and filling in the form. You must be logged in to do this. You will then be entered in the giveaway.
What if I am already a Member and a Professional?
  • Register your organization on the Network by visiting www.interfaithfamily.com/organizations, or by clicking on the Organizations left-side navigation tab and then clicking the Register an Organization button and filling in the form. You must be logged in to do this. You will then be entered in the giveaway.
What if I am already a Member and a Professional and my Organization is listed?
  • If your organization is listed but is administered by someone else, you can become a member of the organization by clicking Join Group/Org under the picture on your organization page. You will then be entered in the giveaway.

Do this by December 9 and you will automatically be entered to win an Apple iPad! The winner will be announced in the December RCPP email newsletter.

New Email Format

As I mentioned in our last message to you, we will be moving our monthly messages off of the current system (Shamash) to the new Resource Center for Program Providers (RCPP) private group on the InterfaithFamily.com Network. The next message from me will come from a new email address. Please put rcpp@interfaithfamily.com in your address book.

This is an exciting change because, not only will you continue to receive our monthly RCPP email newsletter with helpful tips, resources and ideas, but you will also be able to participate in private discussions and share bookmarks, files and ideas with other RCPP members. To get access to the RCPP group all you need to do is have a Professional listing on the InterfaithFamily.com Network.

To list yourself as a Professional, follow the directions above.

For Help: If you have any problems getting yourself or your organization on the InterfaithFamily.com Network, we are here to help! Debbie Morandi is available to walk you through the process, answer any questions and ensure you get your name into the Apple iPad drawing. Please contact her with any questions at debm@interfaithfamily.com or 617-581-6820.

Warmly,

Karen Kushner,
Chief Education Officer

A ceremony created by the Reform movement as a way for young adults to show their decision to embrace Jewish study and reaffirm their commitment to Judaism. Confirmation is typically held at the end of the tenth grade. Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." Hanukkah (known by many spellings) is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd Century BCE. It is marked by the lighting of a menorah and the eating of fried foods. Hebrew for "helper," a candle used to light all the other candles in the Hanukkah menorah.
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