The Stepping Stones model of offering time-limited, free introductory Jewish education to children of unaffiliated mixed-married couples has met with great success since its inception at Congregation Emanuel in Denver. This program, now in place in close to a dozen additional centers of Jewish life, has led to affiliation and identification by children and adults alike who were once thought to be beyond our reach.
Over 65 percent of the families participating in the Stepping Stones program have affiliated — the vast majority with the sponsoring UAHC congregation.
Now that the Stepping Stones program has established its effectiveness with children of the unaffiliated mixed-married couples, the time has come to consider expanding the program to unaffiliated Jewish families.
THEREFORE, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations:
- expresses its gratitude to those who launched the Stepping Stones endeavor;
- resolves to continue its efforts to make this program available to its initial target constituency;
- calls upon member congregations to consider taking such measures as are necessary to enable them to offer a time-limited, free introductory Jewish education to the children of any unaffiliated Jew, provided that their parents also attend parallel Jewish programs; and
- urges local Federations, consistent with their emphasis upon Jewish continuity and growth, to make funding available to congregations undertaking this project.