In a bold initiative to foster inclusivity within the Jewish community, CJP launched its inaugural session of the “Creating a Space for Belonging” series on June 18, 2024. This groundbreaking series aims to empower Jewish communal professionals and lay leaders to embrace and support marginalized groups within their communities. The first session, “Welcoming to Belonging: Interfaith Family Engagement and Empowerment,” presented by Adam Pollack, Chief Program Officer of 18Doors, set the tone for an enlightening journey ahead.

The event, hosted virtually, brought together representatives from 13 organizations across the community. Participants engaged in a highly interactive workshop that delved into the complexities and opportunities presented by interfaith families within Jewish life. Adam Pollack guided attendees through insightful discussions on understanding the unique needs of interfaith families, their experiences with Jewish traditions, and practical strategies to foster a sense of belonging.

The session began with an exploration of the current landscape of Jewish families, highlighting the diversity within interfaith relationships and the broader Jewish community. Pollack emphasized 18Doors’ mission to empower individuals in interfaith relationships to engage meaningfully with Jewish traditions while advocating for their full acceptance within Jewish communities.

Throughout the workshop, participants took part in breakout sessions where they shared personal stories and discussed common elements that contribute to a sense of belonging. This interactive approach not only encouraged personal reflection but also facilitated a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by interfaith families seeking integration into Jewish communal life.

Key takeaways from the session included the importance of inclusive language, respectful engagement with diverse family structures, and the ongoing commitment needed to create communities where all members feel valued and embraced. The discussion also underscored the role of Jewish communal leaders in advocating for greater equity and inclusivity, ensuring that every individual—regardless of background or identity—has a place within the Jewish community.

Looking ahead, the “Creating a Space for Belonging” series promises to continue this vital dialogue with upcoming sessions focusing on LGBTQ+ inclusion, Jews of Color, and best practices for including the disability community. Each session is designed not only to educate but also to inspire actionable steps towards building more inclusive Jewish communities. Click here for more details.

As CJP moves forward with its mission to create environments where all Jewish community members are supported and valued, the “Creating a Space for Belonging” series stands as a beacon of progress and inclusivity. By equipping leaders with knowledge and strategies to embrace diversity, CJP aims to strengthen the fabric of Jewish communal life and ensure a vibrant future for all.

To learn more about future sessions and how you can participate, email Join us in shaping a more inclusive Jewish community—one where everyone can truly feel at home.

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