[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]
Are you a non-Jewish mother who has committed to raising Jewish children? Why do it alone?
The Jewish Community of Louisville is starting a new Mothers Circle group this fall to bring mothers of other faiths raising Jewish children together to learn about Jewish rituals, customs and beliefs and discuss ideas for creating positive experiences for their families. It will also give these women a chance to share their concerns and common experiences and to provide the support they need to be successful.
“I want to create a safe and welcoming place, where women can come to learn and ask questions,” said Carlyn Altman, the group’s facilitator. “And if I don’t know the answers, I’ll know where to go to find them.
“There are many women in this situation in our community, and they’re dealing with different streams of Judaism and different life situations. I want them to know, they’re not alone. There are others who share their experience. I also want to help them find what they’re looking for and where they fit in.”
The Mothers Circle is an excellent resource that offers education about Jewish rituals, practices and values. It thanks these women for raising their children as Jews, while letting them know that we respect their decision to retain their own faith. The group also provides networking and support opportunities through the Mothers Circle National Listserv. Other local programming will also be developed for the women and their families.
If you’d like to learn more about the Mothers Circle, contact Allison Schwartz at 618-5325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mothers Circle is open only to mothers of other faiths raising Jewish children. Once a core group of members is established the first Mothers Circle class will be scheduled. Eligible women will be able to participate in the listserv immediately.
The Mothers Circle is sponsored by the Buddy Schwartz Family Fund.
Altman is a social work student at the University of Louisville’s Kent School. In three months, she will complete the requirements for certification as a marriage and family associate. Prior to this, she taught at Jefferson Community College and in schools in Maryland. She was an English teacher and reading specialist.
She and her husband, William, have two children, Daniel and Alayna. They are members of Congregation Adath Jeshurun.