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RCPP Newsletter January 2012

January 2012

Resource Center for Program Professionals Update

Dear InterfaithFamily.com Network Professionals,

I'm excited to show off InterfaithFamily.com's Resource Page for Program Providers. This is where you will find our newly created marketing materials, policy templates and sample programs for interfaith couples and families. Please let me know how these new resources are working for you and what you are hoping InterfaithFamily.com will produce next by writing on our RCPP discussion board.

New Model Program

This month you will see the brand new History of Jewish Interfaith Marriage in the program box; a ready-made class for you to offer! Through the Biblical stories of welcoming people from other clans and cultures, as well as our ancestors' many marriages outside the tribe, discuss the history of interfaith marriage. Examine shifts in perception and acceptance with your congregants while addressing the impact of intermarriage on your own community.

Tu Bishvat Resources

Are you getting ready for Tu Bishvat? Don't think this is too minor a holiday for interfaith families to learn about. Emphasizing the importance of trees to the life of the community, this holiday can actually be a great introduction to Jewish ethics. Plus it is a holiday centered on food and families sitting together at a table! What could be more ideal for a family program?

If you have a social action group or a committee which keeps your synagogue "green," they will enjoy hosting this very "green" celebration. Read about a gourmet, locavore, interfaith Tu Bishvat seder for adults and see five different seder menus which can give your committees a jump start on their Tu Bishvat program planning.

Everything you need can be found on our brand new Tu Bishvat Resource Page, including a short video guide to the seder, audio clips for the blessings and more. And for a colorful and informative booklet that you can copy and give out to families, you will want our newly redesigned Tu Bishvat: the greening of Judaism.

In this booklet your families and congregants will find the history, the blessings and activities for children. It is a great handout for preschool and elementary school children to take home, can be the basis for a family education class, or can be used by a taskforce that wants to add a Tu Bishvat seder to the synagogue or school calendar. Please add it to your regular schedule of holiday booklet gifts at your school, synagogue or agency.

Now that these emails go out directly from InterfaithFamily.com, I'm hoping more of you will join in conversations about what you are doing and what works best for you. Every time I have the occasion to speak with one of you, I am impressed with your passion and creativity. I want every one of you to have such opportunities to be inspired and invigorated. Let's cut down the isolation caused by distance and time zones and begin the sharing that will support us all in our work.

Warmly,

Karen Kushner,
Chief Education Officer

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."
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