The Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) received a $10,000 grant from NCEJ in January 2017 for a new “Outreach” initiative to encourage individual sisterhoods to develop innovative programming to engage women and families they would not otherwise have engaged with who were interested in learning more about Judaism. The program launched in Spring 2017 and since then 6 grants have been awarded.
Kudos to the leadership of the chapters who submitted winning applications and to the WRJ Outreach Committee for their work overseeing the process. As a result of their efforts, thousands of people were reached through WRJ’s weekly email newsletter, their social media sites, and at conferences. WRJ still has funds to allocate and will be accepting and reviewing outreach grant applications on a rolling basis until June 1st, 2018.
For more information on this program, contact WRJ Program & Communications Associate Micaela Sheinhait at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-650-4060.
Awarded Affiliate Program Highlights
WRJ Sisterhood: Temple Israel Sisterhood, Tulsa, OK
Program: “A Taste of Jewish Life”
Temple Israel has planned an outreach program for women in interfaith relationships and interested non-Jewish women that will combine sessions about Jewish living and culture with a lunch featuring a traditional Jewish meal. Sessions will include learning about Shabbat, making challah; learning about Passover and making charoset; and a tour of the Judaica shop featuring items used in celebrating Jewish life.
WRJ Sisterhood: Women of Temple Beth Torah, Fremont, CA
Program: “Daughters of Miriam Seder”
The Women of Temple Beth Torah is hosting a women’s Seder before Passover. This event will bring together members of 3 local congregations and unaffiliated members, including those in the deaf community. (The California School for the Deaf is located in Fremont.) The event will include “teachable moments” including traditional and non-traditional rituals by seder leaders and Jewish educators.
WRJ Sisterhood: Women of Temple Sinai, Pittsburgh, PA
Program: “Pride Seder”
Temple Sinai will host a Pride Seder in May 2018, a few weeks before LGBTQ Pride Month. They are reaching out to non-Jews and interfaith families within the LGBTQ community beyond their synagogue walls by partnering with a variety of organizations including the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh, other nearby Reform Jewish congregations and the Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh.
WRJ Sisterhood: Women of Temple Bat Yahm, Newport Beach, CA
Program: “A Shared Seder”
The Temple Bat Yahm WRJ chapter will be holding a “Shared Seder” for interfaith member families, university students, and those exploring Judaism through Taste of Judaism and Introduction to Judaism classes to help them prepare for Passover and feel more comfortable attending the synagogue’s 2nd night Seder.
WRJ Sisterhood: Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood, Dallas, TX
Program: “Navigating the Religion Decision: A Workshop for Interfaith Couples”
This is a 6 session workshop for interfaith couples, led by a counselor. For those that decide to make Jewish choices the sisterhood will encourage them to enroll in the synagogue’s “Goin to the Chuppah” program which will help them understand how to create a Jewish home and also provide a connection with other newly engaged/married couples.
WRJ Sisterhood: Sisterhood of Temple Shalom, Newton, MA
Program: “Becoming Miriam: A series of programs around Miriam and Passover”
Becoming Miriam is a program series for interfaith families, young couples still forming personal traditions and new Jews by choice, using the traditions of Pesach and the Seder to create greater personal and community engagement with Jewish life. This program involves a series of education and engagement events designed to build relationships as well as increase knowledge about making the Seder a rich and enjoyable experience for all.
From the March 9th WRJ Weekly Digest:
“WRJ will provide Outreach Grant funds of up to $1,000 to WRJ sisterhoods and women’s groups to fund programs within their communities that reach out to interfaith families, unaffiliated Jews, and non-Jews who are seeking information about Jewish life. Made possible by the National Center to Encourage Judaism, the grant is designed to encourage and enhance learning about Judaism and to engage participants in Jewish life. An interfaith seder not only engages the community around the holiday of Passover, it brings a larger community together to discuss how we can be more welcoming to others.”