Lehrhaus Judaica > Courses > Adoption in Jewish and Interfaith Families
Adoption in Jewish and Interfaith Families
The number of Jewish and interfaith families who are adopting children is significant. Often these children are not Caucasian. As one very sweet Catholic social worker put it, “Jews don’t seem to mind what color their children are.” We take that as a big compliment!
How do parents give their adopted child a feeling of wholeness, helping them integrate their story of origin with the religion and culture they are being raised in? Adoptive parents raising Jewish children have this and unique questions to answer depending on their family situation, such as:
- Will we formally convert our child to Judaism?
- Will we have some kind of Jewish welcoming ceremony?
- How will we honor their culture of origin and give them a rich, secure Jewish identity?
- If our child is a different race from us, how will we handle it? How will we respond to his/her questions at different stages, as well as questions or reactions from people outside of our family?
Thursday, April 20
7:30 - 9:00 pm
|Apr 20||7:30 PM–9:00 PM||Thu||B'nai Tikvah||Dawn Kepler Rabbi Rebecca Gutterman|
Congregation B'nai Tikvah
25 Hillcroft Way
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
Rabbi Rebecca Gutterman serves as rabbi of Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Walnut Creek. She is involved with all ritual, programming and educational offerings, and is especially happy when working with synagogue children and teens, helping them find their own unique ways to shine. When not at Temple, Rabbi Gutterman enjoys reading, writing, swimming and exploring the beauty of the Bay Area with her husband Michael.
Dawn Kepler has worked in programming for interfaith families since 1990. Her programs have been offered at synagogues from all Jewish movements as well as Jewish Community Centers, agencies, and day schools. She developed Building Jewish Bridges: Embracing Interfaith Families in 1998 for Lehrhaus Judaica, in response to a request from the Walter & Elise Haas Fund.
As a synagogue member, Dawn created and chaired the Outreach committee of Oakland’s Temple Sinai for fourteen years. She has chaired the Interfaith Committee of the Union for Reform Judaism, Pacific West region, has served on the Interfaith Advisory Committee for the Jewish Community Federation Endowment Fund, and on the Planning Advisory Committee of Interfaithfamily.com. She is a founding member of the Jewish Intermarriage Professionals Alliance, a national organization.
She has established, Building Jewish Bridges, a service that invites individuals and families to explore the Jewish community and to consider Jewish options. Offering workshops, ongoing couples groups, individual sessions and classes, the program reflects our richly diverse bay area community addressing the concerns of interfaith, multiracial, multiethnic and LGBT families.