IFF Rukin Rabbinic Fellowship Frequently Asked Questions



participants raising hands to ask questions

In what communities will InterfaithFamily (IFF) have fellows?
We are accepting applications from throughout the country (except for Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland and Washington, D.C.) we encourage all potential applicants to reach out to Rabbi Robyn Frisch (robynf@interfaithfamily.com) before filling out the application.

How many fellows will there be?
InterfaithFamily is accepting 10 Fellows for the initial 2019-2021 cohort. We anticipate accepting 15 Fellows for the 2020-2022 cohort.

How long is the fellowship and what are the dates?
The Fellowship is for two years.  The Fellowship will begin with an opening retreat in Philadelphia from March 3-5, 2019 and will continue until the end of February 2021.

Is there a stipend for participating in the fellowship?
Yes. All fellows will receive a yearly stipend of $5,000 upon fulfilling the benchmarks and requirements of the program.

What experience and qualities should applicants have?
We are seeking rabbis who already have some experience working with interfaith couples and families, and who want to take their work to the next level.  Applicants must be non-judgmental and willing to “meet couples where they are.” They should also be patient listeners, relationship-builders and connectors.

What are the expectations of each fellow?

  • Attendance at two in-person retreats: a three-day retreat in Philadelphia from Sunday, March 3 – Tuesday, March 5, 2019 and another three-day retreat in March 2020.
  • Participation in webinars approximately every 4-6 weeks
  • Participation in monthly check-ins with a mentor
  • Facilitating workshops and programs for interfaith couples (seriously dating, engaged and newly married) in their area who do not yet have children using the IFF codified curriculum
  • Connecting with local interfaith couples through IFF’s Officiation Referral Service and helping them, among other things, to find clergy to officiate their lifecycle events. By the time they have completed the Fellowship, Fellows should have connected with at least 50 local people in interfaith relationships (some, though not necessarily all, through IFF’s Officiation Referral Service), helping them, among other things, to find clergy to officiate their lifecycle events and to navigate their interfaith relationships.

What will I get from participating?

Each Fellow will receive:

  • Membership in an initial cohort of 10 rabbis (plus another 15 rabbis who will be accepted for the second cohort in 2020)
  • In-person professional development and skill-building at the Fellowship launch retreat in March 2019 and a subsequent retreat in March 2020
  • Learning through participation in webinars that will take place every 4-6 weeks
  • Mentorship through virtual, monthly sessions with the Fellowship’s Director who will support them in their work with interfaith couples
  • The opportunity to facilitate workshops and programs for interfaith couples in their area using the IFF codified curriculum
  • The opportunity to connect with local interfaith couples through IFF’s Officiation Referral Service
  • Preferred listing on IFF’s Officiation Referral Service leading to opportunities to officiate many lifecycle events
  • A featured profile on the IFF website and opportunities to blog for IFF
  • a yearly stipend of $5,000 for facilitating workshops and programs for couples
  • Membership in an Alumni Network at the completion of the Fellowship

How will I learn to facilitate the workshops and programs?
The Fellows will have access to IFF’s codified curriculum and they will receive training in facilitation.

Who will I be offering workshops and programs for?
The Fellows will facilitate multi-session workshops and individual programs for interfaith couples (seriously dating, engaged and newly married) who do not yet have children. In future years, we plan to add programs for couples with children in kindergarten and younger.

What is the purpose of the workshops and programs?
The purpose of these workshops and programs is to empower couples to become more skilled at navigating their interfaith relationships, to determine what is important to them from their faith tradition, and to increase their engagement with Jewish life and the Jewish community in ways that are right for them.

How will I find the couples to participate in the workshops and programs that I offer?
It is expected that each applicant to the Fellowship will already have at least a small network of interfaith couples whom they have worked with – either through officiation of lifecycle events or in some other capacity. We expect that the fellows will draw on this network and encourage the interfaith couples they already know to participate in the classes and workshops that they offer.  Additionally, the Fellows will connect with interfaith couples through IFF’s Officiation Referral Service, and the Fellow is expected to encourage these couples to participate in workshops and programs. InterfaithFamily will also provide some marketing support, but personal contact works best.

How much time do I need to devote to the fellowship?
The time that Fellows will need to devote to the Fellowship will vary from week to week.  We expect that the Fellows will need to devote approximately 15-18 hours/month to the Fellowship.  This time will include: participating in webinars and mentoring; recruiting, planning for and facilitating workshops and programs; communicating with local couples who have made requests for clergy through the IFF officiation referral service; and reporting of activities.

Will I have the opportunity to officiate lifecycles through IFF’s officiation referral service?
Yes. Each Fellow will receive a Preferred Listing on IFF’s Officiation Referral Service, and is expected to be contacted by many people for officiation at weddings, baby namings and other lifecycle events. (The amount of people that contact the Fellow regarding officiation will vary based on the size of the community and other factors.)  The Fellows will work privately with these couples to determine the fees they will receive for officiation.

Do fellows have to pay expenses related to the retreat?
The cost of hotel rooms and meals throughout the time of the retreat will be paid for by InterfaithFamily.  Fellows are expected to pay for their own transportation to and from the retreat. Limited scholarship funds will be available to help cover the costs of travel.

Where will the retreat be? What kind of food will be served?
The retreat will be held at Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia.  All food served during the retreat will be dairy or pareve.  We will do our best to accommodate any food allergies or dietary restrictions that participants may have.

If you have other questions about the Fellowship, please contact Rabbi Robyn Frisch, Director of the IFF Rabbinic Fellowship Program, at robynf@interfaithfamily.com.