What is The Mothers Circle?

The Mothers Circle is an umbrella of free educational programs and resources for women of other religious backgrounds raising Jewish children within the context of intermarriage or a committed relationship. These five Mothers Circle programs explore the “how-tos” and meaning behind raising Jewish children, empowering mothers through education and support, and reminding them that the Jewish community is there behind their choice to raise Jewish children. You can sign up to learn more and request materials at the bottom of The Mothers Circle homepage.

  • The Mothers Circle Course is a 16-session in-depth educational course that explores Jewish practices and ethics. Traditionally held in bi-weekly sessions, the course creates a comfortable space for women to learn about Jewish holidays and rituals, discover how to enrich their families’ Jewish experience, and deepen their connection to the religion of their partners and children—and to do so with their peers. Programs are often held in secular venues, and are free to participants.
  • The Mothers Circle Mini-Course is a free three-session workshop that provides an overview and guide to Jewish parenting. Through experiential education and a supportive environment, participants gain confidence through knowledge and establish key goals by addressing topics such as creating a Jewish home and Jewish life cycle events.
  • The Mothers Circle Holiday Prep Classes are three single sessions, each devoted to a specific holiday or holidays. Covering the High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), Hanukkah, and Passover, each session deals in depth with the holiday. Participants will learn the meaning of the holidays, and how to celebrate them in the home and out in the community, as well as how to share them with their children.
  • The Mothers Circle Self-Guide, a Mothers Circle resource that individuals can take anywhere, serves as a practical tool to accompany the book, How to Raise Jewish Children...Even When You're Not Jewish Yourself by Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky and Paul Golin. Through this introspective guide, mothers can reflect on the stories, recommendations, and questions posed in How to Raise Jewish Children…, as well as further articulate the goals and determine the choices they will make as they raise their Jewish children. 
  • The Mothers Circle National Listserve provides a space for moderated discussion where women of other religious backgrounds raising Jewish children can share their experiences, ask questions, and get practical answers. The listserve offers a venue for advice, support, and regular in-depth conversations that range from ritualistic “how-tos” to navigating interfaith family relationships. 

 

“The Mothers Circle was the perfect gift at the perfect time for me as a non-Jewish mom raising Jewish children.” –Cindy Petersiel, course participant