InterfaithFamily.com has announced that it has secured funding to implement InterfaithFamily/Chicago, a two-year pilot initiative to coordinate and provide a comprehensive set of local programs aimed at engaging Chicago-area interfaith families Jewishly.
“The field of engaging interfaith families Jewishly requires a world class website, inclusivity training for Jewish professionals and lay leaders, and a comprehensive set of programs in local communities,” said Mamie Kanfer Stewart, Board Chair of InterfaithFamily.com. “InterfaithFamily/Chicago will build on our strengths as the central web address for people in interfaith relationships interested in Jewish life – offering extensive personal narratives, ‘how-to-do-Jewish’ resources, and a Network that connects interfaith families with each other and with local welcoming organizations, professionals and programs – as well as on our experience in inclusivity training and online workshops for interfaith couples.”
“Until now, prospective funders have not found an existing model of local programs to replicate in other communities,” said Edmund Case, CEO of InterfaithFamily.com. “When proven successful, the Chicago pilot will be replicable around North America, filling the missing link of local community programs in the interfaith engagement field.”
The pilot includes a full-time Director of InterfaithFamily/Chicago who will:
- Provide information about and connect people in interfaith relationships with Chicago Jewish resources,
- Publicize and raise awareness that the Chicago Jewish community welcomes interfaith families, and
- Provide a robust, personalized referral service for rabbinic officiation at weddings and other life cycle celebrations, help officiating clergy maintain connection with Chicago couples, and help couples maintain connection with Jewish life and community.
The pilot also includes the following offerings to be coordinated by the Director:
- Resources and trainings to ensure that interested interfaith couples are welcomed by Chicago Jewish organizations and professionals,
- Online and hybrid online/in-person workshops to help Chicago interfaith couples learn how to share religion in their lives, and
- New online and hybrid online/in-person basic Judaism classes to help Chicago interfaith couples and families learn how and why to live Jewishly.
InterfaithFamily/Chicago’s supporters include The Crown Family, the Marcus Foundation and the Jack and Goldie Wolfe Miller Fund.