InterfaithFamily expands to Bay Area

InterfaithFamily has announced that it is expanding into the Bay Area with the hiring of Rebecca Goodman as its San Francisco director.

The expansion is part of the Interfaith-Family/Your Community initiative, which aims to coordinate and provide programs aimed at engaging interfaith families Jewishly in local communities across North America.

It was started in July 2011 in Chicago and had “a strong first year,” according to Boston-based InterfaithFamily. It is being expanded to the Philadelphia area as well as the Bay Area.

InterfaithFamily/San Francisco launched last month with a grant from, and a major fundraising effort led by, the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation.

Goodman has a master’s degree in Jewish education and Jewish communal service from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. She is a Bay Area native and has worked with families for 20 years. A national director of the Your Community initiative will work with Goodman and other regional directors.

“There is growing agreement that engaging interfaith families Jewishly requires three elements: a world-class Web platform, inclusivity training of Jewish professionals and lay leaders, and a range of programs and services for interfaith families in local communities,” Mamie Kanfer Stewart, InterfaithFamily board chair, said in a statement.

The InterfaithFamily/Your Community model places staff in local communities to connect interfaith families to local community resources; enhance their experience in finding Jewish clergy for weddings and lifecycle events; train Jewish professionals and organizations to welcome people in interfaith relationships; help new couples learn how to talk about and have religious traditions in their lives together; and help people in interfaith relationships learn how and why to live Jewishly.

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