Interfaith Family Month Resources and FAQs Join us in November to show appreciation for the interfaith couples and families in our communities and gratitude for all they contribute! Interfaith Family Month is an opportunity for your synagogue or organization to join with other welcoming communities in a bold statement that we will continue to build an inclusive Jewish community. Q. Why should my synagogue or organization sign up? This is a chance to show your appreciation for the interfaith families in your community and offer a special acknowledgement, program, or service to highlight your support. Members of our community tell us how meaningful it is to have their families publicly recognized for their participation and contributions to the Jewish community. In addition, InterfaithFamily will be publicizing all of the synagogues and organizations that participate, including an ad in the Jewish Exponent. There will also be publicity on Facebook and interfaithfamily.com/philadelphia. Q. Why the month of November? November, the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, is a perfect time to time to offer blessings and thanks to all of those who are embracing Judaism, especially if those parents and grandparents did not grow up with Judaism themselves. We also want to give all synagogues and organizations an opportunity to participate without having to worry about calendar conflicts. By designating a whole month, every synagogue or organization can find the time to do something, whether it is during a regular Shabbat service, or a special weekend or weeknight in November. Q. “OK! — Great idea, but what type of program should we do?” There are many options to choose from. Offer a blessing for interfaith families during a regular Shabbat service.. We created one that you can use or adapt for your synagogue! Read a special message of welcome at the beginning of a service or program. Here is a sample reading you can use. Have a panel of members who are part of interfaith families. Give them a chance to tell their stories. Letting people hear a personal story of how an interfaith family is engaged in Judaism is incredibly powerful. The Rabbi can give a d’var torah about diversity, sensitivity to diversity, inclusivity and welcoming, how thankfulness is part of Judaism, or about interfaith families in the Torah. Here’s an example of a sermon from Rabbi Elliot Strom of Shir Ami in Newtown, PA. Articles in the newsletter. Families or clergy can write articles about the importance of welcoming. Here is an example from Dorshei Tzedek in West Newton, MA Have a “December Dialogue” workshop. Invite families who are navigating the December holidays and let them develop a framework for their discussion. A facilitator might be helpful to encourage acceptance of people’s choices. Send a thank you note to congregants of another faith for the role they have played in the congregation, in Jewish life, and/or in raising a Jewish family. Host a speaker. Invite one of our InterfaithFamily Directors or perhaps someone of another faith to speak at a Shabbat service or during the week, about what it is like to navigate interfaith conversations in the Jewish community. Offer a special aliyah (honor of saying the blessing over the Torah reading) to interfaith families. Here is a sample of how one synagogue handles the Torah blessings from Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, West Newton, MA. These are just some of the many ideas available. We would be happy to help brainstorm others with you. Contact us at the email below. Q. What are the benefits of my synagogue or organization participating? There are many benefits to participation: An opportunity to welcome interfaith families into your synagogue or organization and show appreciation for current members who are part of interfaith families. A large ad in the Jewish Exponent listing all of the participating congregations and organizations. InterfaithFamily will list your synagogue or organization as a participant with a link to more information. Posts will be published on our Facebook group, which has nearly 1,500 members. Publicity on www.interfaithfamily.com and in an email sent to all our newsletter subscribers. InterfaithFamily can send you resources that you can distribute or display, such as informative Shabbat and family ritual booklets from InterfaithFamily. You will have access to ideas to help you create an inspiring and creative program to welcome interfaith families into your synagogue or organization. Q. How to sign my synagogue or organization up to participate? Fill out our online registration form to sign up: For any questions, ideas, concerns and publicity, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.