Can Intermarried Families “Call Synagogue Home”?

As reported in a recent article by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, we have begun implementing the pilot program “Call Synagogue Home,” which is a partnership between the Jewish Outreach Institute and STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal) thanks to the support of the Samuel Bronfman Foundation. The goal of the program is explained in the Federation article:

Through emphasis on the transformative power of lifecycle events, the program connects interfaith families – a large and growing segment of the Jewish population – to congregational life, in anticipation that they will choose to “return home” to the synagogue time after time….

Through a welcoming approach, addressing the needs of interfaith families as they prepare for lifecycle moments, such as a bris, bar mitzvah, wedding or funeral, the program creates an experience between families and synagogues will be positive and, in most cases, joyful.

The initiative calls for a one-day training seminar for participating synagogues at The Jewish Federation Valley Alliance in West Hills and will provide training tools in three key areas: creating a welcoming environment, celebrating Jewish lifecycles and helping interfaith couples on their Jewish journey.

After a successful training seminar in the Los Angeles area, we look forward to addressing additional partnering synagogues in Atlanta and Philadelphia in the coming months. Our work with these pilot synagogues will allow us to refine our materials and eventually share them with synagogues across North America, in the hope that more intermarried families can indeed Call Synagogue Home.

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