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									                                                         Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
                                                                                  Shalom Family

                           Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island

                             Community Development Committee
                                   Jewish Life & Learning
                                Program/Service Description
                                         (revised August 2010)

Organization The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island

Contact person and title      Nicole Katzman, Director of Shalom Family

Address        401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, RI 02906

Phone 401-421-411 x180                         E-mail Address



   1. Brief organizational overview and mission:

Shalom Family is a constellation of programs and services offered to provide greater Rhode
Island families with a Jewish lens to enhance their quality of life and to strengthen and foster
their Jewish identity. It also serves to attract new participants and reach inward to more fully and
effectively engage and meet the needs of community members.

It is the mission of Shalom Family to:

      Develop innovative outreach programming that will attract both uninvolved and under-
       involved Jews by offering new and different programs that meet the needs of individuals
       and families regardless of age, interests and geographic location.

      Promote a culture of welcoming across the greater Rhode Island Jewish community by
       ensuring that any contact anyone has within the Jewish community is a warm and
       welcoming one.

      Provide a critical link between the community and communal Jewish resources,
       encompassing areas of culture, education, recreation, religious needs and communal
       affairs. Information will be provided through a website, phone calls and e-mails on an
       immediate basis, as well as distribution of materials in multiple public venues like malls,
       grocery stores, synagogues and various agencies throughout greater Rhode Island.

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                                                       Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
                                                                                Shalom Family

The mission of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island is to build and sustain our local
and global Jewish community by maximizing philanthropic resources, volunteer efforts and
social, cultural and educational opportunities.

Our vision is for a vibrant and flourishing Jewish community that engages and inspires through
inclusion, participation and respect.

   Our mission and vision are based on our shared Jewish values: Tzedakah, or upholding
   the Jewish traditions of righteous giving and justice; L’dor v’dor , securing a future filled with
   Jewish tradition and heritage; Tikkun Olam, repairing the world; Hineni, standing with others
   so no one stands alone; Klal Yisrael, supporting worldwide Judaism and the State of Israel;
   and Torah, pursuing knowledge and lifelong learning.

   2. Name of program/service for which funding is sought:

Shalom Family

   3. Is this a new or ongoing program/project?

Shalom Family is an ongoing program, however, there are new components that we hope to
      ___ New to your agency
      ___ New for CDC funding
      _x_ Ongoing and currently receiving CDC funding (expanded and redesigned)

   4. Which identified priority does the program serve (see the Request for Proposals
      (RFP) document)?

      Improve the overall quality of educational programs and experiences community-wide.
      Encourage and enhance synagogue schooling.
      Encourage and enhance day school education.
      Provide engagement, peer-to-peer networking, leadership development and educational
       opportunities for teens across denominations.
      Serve teens, young adults and young families.
      Respond to a demonstrated and documented need or fill a gap in current community
      Foster collaboration among different agencies and service providers.
      Promote engagement in the Jewish community.
      Promote retention in programs and services.
      Programs and services that demonstrate an innovative solution to a problem .(i.e.,
       declining enrollment/engagement/affiliation, new technology and methods, etc.).
      Programs and services that address emerging needs.

   5. Which target population (see RFP) will be served (number and demography)?
      Approximately what percentage of this group is Jewish?

Shalom Family targets the greater Rhode Island Jewish community and southeastern
Massachusetts, serving over 1,500 people per year, including unengaged, under-engaged,
interfaith and non-traditional individuals, families, and children.

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                                                    Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
                                                                             Shalom Family


   6. Total program/project budget: $

   7. Amount requested from JFRI: $

   8. Total organization annual budget: $

   9. Detailed description the program/service for which funding is sought. Please
      include a specific description of how the program/service will meet an identified
      community priority.

There are numerous components of the Shalom Family Initiative:

      Community Concierge is a referral and information resource providing positive one-on-
       one contact and continual follow-up with individuals and families. This program serves
       as a liaison between those seeking to become involved and the organized Jewish
       community. And “Ask Wendy” column appears in every third issue of the Jewish Voice &
       Herald to put a “public face” on the concierge’s role.

      Synagogue Liaison is a proposed new initiative four primary goals: to provide a single
       point person who will serve as a liaison between the organized Jewish community and
       area synagogues to improve cross-institutional communications and community planning
       and needs assessment; to work with area synagogues to promote synagogue
       membership in the community, in keeping with the June 2008 Jewish Federation
       Consolidated Strategic Plan; to work collaboratively with the Alliance and area
       synagogues schools to promote synagogue education; and to provide another point of
       connection for increasingly seamless transitions for area families from one stage of
       Jewish family life to the next.

      Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC) creates a culture of volunteerism by providing a
       coordinated, centralized entry point for Rhode Island Jewish Community Volunteers.
       JVC will promote the engagement of individuals and groups in becoming volunteers,
       developing volunteer programs and assisting in the enhancement of existing volunteer
       programs within our partner agencies and across the state. The Rhode Island Jewish
       community relies on the dedicated help of volunteers to provide vital services to
       strengthen and support our community. Among their many contributions, volunteers
       mentor young people, help senior adults age with dignity, educate children and adults
       about Rhode Island’s rich Jewish history and work to safeguard the environment for
       future generations. Last Spring, the JVC was instrumental in mobilizing much-needed
       resources and help related to the floods, and was essential to maximizing the work of
       the disaster relief organization, Nechama.

      Shalom Rhode Island and Shalom Baby are programs serving the community as
       welcome wagons. Shalom Rhode Island welcomes people who have relocated to Rhode
       Island and Shalom Baby welcomes new infants to the Jewish community. Shalom
       Rhode Island produces a monthly electronic newsletter (E-Vents) for the community that

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                                                   Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
                                                                            Shalom Family

    compiles information on upcoming events and opportunities throughout the community.
    Four times a year, Shalom Family pages are published in the Voice and Herald to inform
    participants of Jewish community programming including activities to do at home with
    children, books to read and resources to access. On a monthly basis, a Shalom Family
    e-newsletter goes out to more than 500 families with a focus on upcoming family-friendly
    programs, PJ Library news, news and tips for grandparents, and more.

   The Mothers Circle Program is an umbrella of free educational programs and
    resources for women of other religious backgrounds raising Jewish children within the
    context of intermarriage or a committed relationship. Mothers Circle was designed by the
    Jewish Outreach Institute (JOI), a national independent organization dedicated to
    bringing Judaism to interfaith families and the unaffiliated. In addition, as the in-house
    resident “expert” on challenges facing interfaith families, the Mothers Circle Coordinator
    has a column in every third issue of the Jewish Voice and Herald that serves as an
    outreach tool, but also makes information, solutions and references available on issues
    about which a person in an interfaith relationship may not be comfortable seeking help.
   The PJ Library is a Jewish literacy and outreach program for families with young
    children ages 6 months through 6 years. Created and supported by our partner, the
    Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF), the PJ Library reaches out to Jewish families to
    foster curiosity about their heritage while exploring their Jewish identity. Each
    participating child receives a free, high-quality Jewish book or CD every month,
    representing a wide array of Jewish themes, along with a guide to help families use the
    selections in their homes. Books and music have the added benefit of being a natural
    conversation starter for families eager to instill deep and passionate Jewish feelings in
    their children.
   A new component, PJ in the Classroom, will be added in the new program year. HGF
    is piloting this project in several communities around the country. Though we are not a
    pilot community, we intend to offer this as part of our school services to provide a model
    to educators, in both day and supplemental schools, and to families, on how to use the
    PJ library books for more comprehensive learning. Many of the lesson plans and
    activities (including accommodations for children with learning differences) to be utilized
    have already been developed by our own staff and ideal for helping accomplish this

   Jewish Parenting is a new initiative that will work with Jewish Family Service of Rhode
    Island and other experts in the field to provide a series of workshops for parents of
    children of all ages. Workshops will address parenting challenges in a Jewish context,
    such as teens and social networking, new Jewish moms’ workshop(s), financial literacy
    and values, etc.

   The Parenting Center is a new aspect of an existing program. The programmatic and
    client focus of the Creativity Center that has served our area educators and schools for
    decades will be expanded to include creative, engaging, and fun family-friendly activities
    and workshops. A relocation of the Creativity Center to a more central room in the
    building will increase visibility and accessibility and serve as a workshop and meeting
    space for the Jewish Parents program, the Mothers Circle, and others.

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                                                     Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
                                                                              Shalom Family

We know from internal and external evaluations and participant feedback that this constellation
of programs is high impact, and we expect an even more coordinated and collaborative
approach, along with the addition of the new components, will serve to increase the reach of the
programs and their impact.

Each component of the Shalom Family umbrella plays a significant role in recruiting families for
other community and Shalom Family programs. For example, The PJ Library has connected
families to programs such as Shalom Baby, Shalom RI, Mothers Circle and Jewish Volunteer
Connection. Families entering through these community portals have also enrolled their children
in community pre-schools, joined synagogues or affiliated in other ways.

The nature and appeal of the PJ Library program has allowed us to identify families in the
community in a way no other program has. For example, this past year, more than 80 Shalom
Baby bags (the highest number we have on record for a year) were delivered to parents of new
babies because we were able to identify them through PJ Library inquiries and enrollments.

The number of women enrolled in the Mothers Circle course each year is small, but the Mothers
Circle program serves each participant’s immediate and extended family with significant impact.
Mothers Circle program is changing the way extended families experience their Jewish lives.

   10. Objectives of the project (must be specific, measurable, and outcome-focused).
       See the documents entitled “Writing Goals and Objectives” and “JFRI Outcomes
       Reporting” for more information.

The main goal of Shalom Family is to provide the Jewish community of greater Rhode Island
with engaging programs and services that will promote inclusive involvement within the Jewish
community and enhance one’s Jewish being.

To accomplish this goal, the following objectives will be in place:
    Increase the number of people actively involved in Jewish life
    Actively reach out to groups that are less involved
    Develop an integrated community approach to engagement
    Incubate and develop new types of outreach programs
    Market outreach programs
    Evaluate programs and share learning across the community

In addition, different components of Shalom Family have their own specific objectives.

PJ Library Objectives:
    Foster an intergenerational Jewish learning experience through access to high-quality
       Jewish literature, music and parenting resources
    Increase the number Jewish resources accessible to children within their homes
    Encourage parents to read books of Jewish content to their children to initiate a feeling
       of a strong Jewish identity

Mothers Circle Objectives:
    Increase participants’ knowledge of Jewish holidays and rituals to help them create
      Jewish homes and raise their children to have a Jewish identity

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                                                      Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
                                                                               Shalom Family

      Raise participants’ confidence in taking part in Jewish customs and rituals
      Connect participants and their families to the Jewish community by facilitating and
       encouraging their involvement in public events and programs
      Educate participants and link them to the Jewish programs and services their families

   11. Benchmark indicators of success of the project (minimum of 6 months between
       benchmarks). On what basis will your success be measured?

      Participation and enrollment in various programs
      Number of inquiries and referrals about Shalom Family and other community programs
       and services
      Execution of seamless transition of participants/families from one “stage” of programs to
       the next, i.e., from early childhood to school age programs
      For Mothers Circle, increased knowledge, confidence and comfort as reported by
       participants in pre- and post-course assessments

   12. Organization’s experience providing program or service to the target population.

Accomplishing the depth and breadth of this constellation of programs requires a great deal of
talent and experience. Staff professionals from all three of the integrated agencies bring
decades of experience working with and engaging individuals and families in a wide variety of
programs and contexts. Over the last 3 years in particular, the success of this constellation of
programs has been clearly demonstrated and proven.

   13. Evidence/demonstration of the need for this program or service.

There has been and continues to be a significant need for the programs that Shalom Family
offers. This need is validated on a regular basis through demand—that is, requests for
programs, services and referrals or connections. Other organizations and synagogues in the
community turn to this constellation of programs on a regular basis for many of the opportunities
offered under this umbrella.

Rhode Island has a somewhat unique Jewish population, including many interfaith families,
unaffiliated college students and those who have relocated, all looking for a way to be
connected to their Jewish heritage. Where greater Rhode Island tends to be most unique is the
geographic mentality. Shalom Family programs are offered throughout the “neighborhoods” of
greater RI (the boundaries of which community members are often so unwilling to cross) and in
a vareity of Jewish and secular (commercial and public) venues. In this respect, Shalom Family
meets the community where it is.

   14. Is the program/service duplicative? That is, is it offered by any other organization
       or group, Jewish or otherwise?

The programs/services offered within Shalom Family are not offered by any other organization
in this geographic location.

   15. Why is important that this program/service be provided by a Jewish organization?

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                                                       Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
                                                                                Shalom Family

It is of vast importance that these programs and services are provided by a Jewish organization
to ensure the retention and vibrancy of the Jewish population in greater Rhode Island.
According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2008 only 2.2% of the United States
population identified themselves as Jewish, with approximately 1.7% in Rhode Island. Very few
organizations offer programs and services like those of Shalom Family. No non-Jewish
organization has the combination of programmatic expertise and Judaic knowledge and context
to offer these programs.

   16. Challenges to providing program or service.

      Meeting the needs of the diverse populations served with varying interests and levels of
       communal, cultural and religious involvement.
      Capturing and managing the demographic and contact information of community
       members to enable seamless delivery of and transition among programs and services.
      Adequate funding.

   17. Description of evaluation plan. How will the organization evaluate the success of
       each of the program’s objectives? Who will be conducting the evaluation? What
       tools will be used in the evaluation (for example: interviews, questionnaires,
       surveys)? What portion of the budget and/or staff time/resources will be devoted
       to evaluation? Please submit copies of existing evaluation documents.

Each program within Shalom Family may have distinct criteria for evaluation. The Shalom
Family team of highly-trained staff will have the ability to conference together weekly to assess
and analyze the direction of all programs. The success of Shalom Family is dependant upon the
relationships among each individual program and how they effectively they work together to
create a community building team. Thus, evaluation depends on the individual success of each
program in conjunction with the larger success of the team. Generally, methods including
interviews, questionnaires, surveys and feedback forms are utilized to evaluate the success of
the programs and to make necessary changes.

Individual components of Shalom Family have specific means of evaluation in addition to those
listed above. For example, Mother’s Circle will coordinate local evaluation efforts with the
Jewish Outreach Institute’s national process. Ongoing evaluation will be anecdotal as well as
quantitative. All participants complete a pre- and post-program evaluation. In addition, we will
continue to monitor participants’ progress and program impact with person-to-person follow up
and through “alumni” programming.

The PJ Library uses written surveys, interviews with families that attend PJ programming and
word of mouth as methods for collecting data to measure success. The Harold Grinspoon
Foundation has identified the Rhode Island PJ Library to be the national model for all 125
communities, or what the Foundation calls PJ Plus, which refers to all of the educational
programming provided in so many different venues to participant families.

Two years ago, we completed a comprehensive online survey of PJ Library families to measure
their satisfaction with the PJ Library subscriptions, our local programming, and each family’s
connection/identification with our own and other Jewish communal institutions. We intend to
complete a second comprehensive survey in the Spring of 2012.

Finally, we continue to receive quite a lot of unsolicited, positive feedback from the individuals
and families these programs serve. The following are just two recent, representative notes of

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                                                      Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
                                                                               Shalom Family

appreciation received by program staff.

           Dear Nicole,
           Thank you so much for the incredible Shalom baby bag. I am so excited to have all
           of these resources at my fingertips. Thank you for taking the time to speak to me
           over the phone. It was a real pleasure talking to you and I look forward to meeting
           with you soon. –New mom, East Greenwich, RI

           Dear Wendy,
           Thank you so much or all of your help in assisting us on our move to RI. You are
           helping to make this move seamless. When you told me that you were able to
           connect me to a mah-jongg game, I thought I died and went to heaven! -
           Grandmother from upstate New York relocating to RI

   18. Participation qualification guidelines (example, by what means is a client’s
       financial need determined or by what means is a client chosen for participation in
       a program). Please provide copies of documents, assessment tools, applications,
       etc. that you currently use or will use to determine participation or eligibility, if

In keeping with the overarching goals of the program, there are no barriers to participants. With
the exception of special, community-wide events for which a paid performer might be retained,
or for the use of consumable materials for particular program activities, there are no fees to
individuals or families for the programs offered.

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