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Trainings for Program Providers

March 2012

InterfaithFamily offers trainings and training materials to help insure that your welcome policies are carried out on every level of your organization. From reception staff to educators, board members and administrators, all need to be sensitized to be aware of the needs and issues of interfaith couples and families and how to make your welcome explicit. For more information about these and other training opportunities, please contact us at rcpp@interfaithfamily.com.

InterfaithFamily Training Model

InterfaithFamily's resources and trainings have a goal of institutionalizing a cultural change that recognizes the potential for positive Jewish engagement of interfaith families and encourages welcoming and engaging them. Practical tools are provided to help analyze your existing resources and to make your welcome concrete.

Trainings For Early Childhood Educators

Workshop on Welcoming Interfaith Families
The full staff of an early childhood education center is exposed to the sensitivities and needs of interfaith families through interactive exercises. InterfaithFamily resources are surveyed with suggestions for their use both for staff education (some of whom are not Jewish), for lesson planning and to distribute to the school families. A strong consultant connection is established to encourage staff to continue on the welcoming path.

Trainings For Principals/Directors of Religious Schools

Bringing the Children of Interfaith Families into the Tent
Supplementary religious schools may be the primary Jewish contact for those who are new to Judaism in your community. In this workshop principals will be given tools for assessing the welcoming quotient of websites, welcome letters and all communication with families to build a welcoming culture for children who are from interfaith families. With the goal of creating school policies that will guide teachers, interactive exercises will focus on classroom situations that teachers who work with children in nuclear and extended interfaith families often confront. Special attention will be given to the developmental stages of children and how being from an interfaith family can impact the creation of a Jewish identity.

Trainings For Synagogue Leadership and Staff

Increasing the Warmth of Your Welcome
An opportunity to insure that your institution expresses the welcome of your mission statement by bringing new officers, board members, membership and outreach chairs, administrators and interested congregants together to evaluate congregational communications, websites, publicity and membership packets. Examples of language and gestures that signal a welcome to interfaith families will be provided.

Training the Gatekeepers
Whatever their personal background and knowledge of Judaism, those who answer the phones and greet visitors become the gatekeepers of your institution. Often with little or no knowledge of the community they represent, they are put in a position where their voice and gestures personify the image of your synagogue or agency and sometimes even of Judaism itself! In this workshop they will be exposed to the sensitivities and needs of interfaith families through interactive exercises and small group discussion.

For Program Facilitators

Baby Is a Blessing
Learn how to lead a three-session workshop on birth and naming rituals for prospective parents and, in many cases, prospective members. The first session will help participants create a customized blessing for their new baby, for when they hold their child for the first time, and also as part of a Shabbat or bedtime ritual. The second session will cover birth ceremonies for boys and girls, and the final session on naming will explore the relationship between names and parental wishes for their child's identity.

Finding Your Way
Learn how to lead a three-session workshop for dual faith couples who are in the information gathering stage of choosing a common religion for their family. Exercises will help clarify the specifics that define each person's religious uniqueness, while increasing their ability to speak articulately about those specifics. This three-session program will cover issues of identity, communication, compromise and connections to extended families and the larger community. This will involve both partners moving to a new place together through dialogue. Conversion is not the aim of this workshop.

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." The Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday.
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