Fifteen years ago, seven dedicated and thoughtful interfaith families created a Sunday morning religious education program for their children. The program, hosted by Old St. Patrick’s in Chicago became the Family School. The parents crafted a mission that included, in part, the desire to convey to their children the stories, traditions, ritual and values of both Christianity and Judaism and to give their children a sense of belonging to a Catholic Jewish community.
At the same time, the Hebrew Naming and Baptism ceremony was drawing families from near and far as they wanted a way to celebrate the new life they had been gifted with. As part of the preparation for this ritual, new parents were invited to participate in the ‘Under 5” program. After years of attending monthly meetings, families felt ready to move to the next step: religious education for their school-age children. Because they lived in the suburbs and were putting roots down, the natural expansion of The Interfaith Union was the creation of The Union School, to serve families near to where they live. The Union School borrows from the curriculum created by the Family School.
Today there are two schools that provide a Sunday morning, parent taught interfaith curriculum. Although independently run, both schools are founded on the same mission of educating interfaith children by teaching Christian and Jewish traditions, history and beliefs.
Classes begin each September and continue bi-weekly through the end of May. While the children are in class, adult education is offered to parents and guests each week; nursery service is available free of charge for siblings not in class.
For those interested in the programs, and looking for more information or enrollment options, please contact
Erika Schecter at firstname.lastname@example.org
regarding The Family School, hosted by Old St. Pats in Chicago
Garrett Adams at email@example.com
regarding The Union School, hosted by St. Raymonds/Mt. Prospect