Who's Who in Outreach : Arlene Sarah Chernow
My goal as Regional Outreach Director in the Pacific Southwest
Council, UAHC, is to help congregationsı outreach programming
move beyond the ³welcome² stage. Affiliated and unaffiliated
couples, and Jews-by-choice experience similar unanticipated
issues that keep them from forming close ties to the Jewish
community. I try to develop programs where issues can
be aired so that they can begin to be resolved.
Parent groups are only one step in addressing the
problem. We also need to provide training for lay leaders,
educators, teachers and temple staff members. Training
helps them understand the issues in depth as well as
to react empathetically.
One of our programs is aimed at the intermarried family.
I understand the problem as stemming from the familiesı
inability to openly discuss issues of religious identity.
Our response is to offer parents the opportunity to
express their religious expectations, to share their
fears related to holidays and other life-cycle celebrations,
and to talk openly about their childrenıs religious
identity questions. The goal is for parents to help
their children understand their choice of religious
identity, hopefully a Jewish choice.
Other programs deal with the religious identity of
preschoolers (aged 2-5) as well as a series of seminars
introducing teachers to childrenıs needs, the journey
of the individual as they choose Judaism, issues and
conflicts that intermarried parents experience, and
the lessons that the community can learn from outreach.
to Who's Who in Outreach