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InterFaithways to Sponsor Family Shabbat Weekend

November 5, 2009 By:
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InterFaithways, the only organization in Greater Philadelphia dedicated to welcoming interfaith families to the Jewish community, will host its third annual Family Shabbat Weekend, Nov. 13 through Nov. 15.

Some 50 synagogues throughout the area, as well as in communities in neighboring southern New Jersey and Delaware, will sponsor special Oneg Shabbats, learner's services, Shabbat luncheons, speakers and other programming to deepen the relationship between the congregations and interfaith families.

In celebration of its Family Shabbat Weekend, Interfaithways is presenting three performances of Theatre Ariel's "Two Become One: Reflections on Interfaith Families." This original interactive play is designed to inspire discussion about identity, holidays, rituals and the family dynamics in interfaith families. It will be performed at Temple Sinai in Dresher on Friday, Nov. 13, at 8:45 p.m., after services; at Ohev Shalom in Richboro on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 1:30 p.m.; and on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m., at the Kaiserman JCC.

Originally founded in 1999 as a program of Jewish Family and Children's Service of Philadelphia, InterFaithways became an independent organization in September 2007. Throughout the past 10 years, it has been at the forefront of outreach efforts to welcome interfaith families, offering a full spectrum of programs and supportive services to address the unique issues and possibilities of interfaith living.

InterFaithways is the local sponsor of Mothers Circle, a national initiative created by the Jewish Outreach Institute for women of diverse religious backgrounds who are raising children Jewishly. This learning and support group enables these moms to explore Jewish holidays and rituals, and to deepen their connection to the religion of their husbands and children.

Throughout the year, InterFaithways Rabbinic Director Rabbi Rayzel Raphael hosts Friday-evening Shabbat dinners for those in interfaith relationships. Participants learn blessings and songs, and sit down to a traditional Shabbat meal.

InterFaithways advocates and provides support for institutional and attitudinal change in the Jewish community. Innovative and creative programs provide opportunities for open dialogue among interfaith families and Jewish professionals.

Organization staff provides training and consultation to rabbis, educators and other Jewish professionals so as to make the community more welcoming to interfaith couples and families.

InterFaithways is funded in part by a grant from the Federation's Center for Jewish Life and Learning.

To learn more about the InterFaithways Family Shabbat Weekend, or other programming, call 215-207-0990 or go online to: www.interfaithways.org.

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