30 local organizations on board with Interfaith Family Shabbat

A first-time, communitywide event called Interfaith Family Shabbat — organized by InterfaithFamily and its year-old S.F. office — has generated so much interest that more than 30 Bay Area organizations have signed on to hold events.

Rebecca Goodman

“The participation of local synagogues and other organizations has truly exceeded my expectations for the first year,” remarked Rebecca Goodman, director of InterfaithFamily/Bay Area. “I’m especially pleased that we have not only Reform congregations participating, but a significant number of Conservative, unaffiliated and other Jewish organizations.”

Synagogues and other Jewish entities — such as Moishe House in Palo Alto and the Hillels at Stanford and San Francisco State — will participate in different ways Nov. 15-24. InterfaithFamily has created an online resource guide for leaders to follow, but “the range of possibilities is endless,” said Goodman.

Some synagogues will be blessing partners who are not Jewish but are committed to raising Jewish children, while other organizations might show a movie with an interfaith theme, such as “Keeping the Faith” or “Meet the Parents.” Some will have an educational service or a panel discussion, such as one being led by Goodman at Congregation Beth Israel Judea in San Francisco on Nov. 15.

The overriding theme is that the Jewish community should continue to be welcoming of interfaith families, Goodman said.

The event is being staged by InterfaithFamily offices in the Bay Area, Chicago and Philadelphia. It grew out of an event started seven years ago by an interfaith agency in Philadelphia, which recently became part of the new and expanding InterfaithFamily/Your Com-munity initiative, now operating in four cities with plans to expand.

Information about Interfaith Family Shabbat can be found at www.interfaithfamily.com/bayarea. Details of some of the individual events can be found at www.interfaithfamily.com/bayareaevents, or by calling (415) 878-1998 for more information.