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The rings represent members of an interfaith family joining together to celebrate their traditions while respecting the distinctiveness of each faith.

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Rabbi Harold White
IFFP Spiritual Advisor

Ellen Jennings, M.Div .
IFFP Director of Religious Education-Sunday Schooll

Rev. Heather Kirk Davidoff
IFFP Coming of Age Teacher
Former IFFP Spiritual Director

Susan Ryder
IFFP Program Coordinator

 

Ren Julia Jarvas

Spiritual Director


Harold S. White is a native of Hartford, Connecticut. He completed his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and received Rabbinical Ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City. He served as a U.S. Navy Chaplain at Parris Island, S.C., and with the 7th Fleet in the Pacific. He has served as a congregational rabbi at the Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation in Dublin, Ireland, and at Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was the B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation Director at the American University in Washington, D.C., for nine years prior to his being appointed Jewish Chaplain of Georgetown University. Rabbi White was also the associate rabbi of Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C. from 1980 -1985. He has lectured extensively nationwide.

 Rabbi White is the first rabbi to be appointed to a full time Campus Ministry position at a Catholic university. He teaches in the Theology Department of Georgetown and has been very active in creating a milieu for Jewish-Christian theological dialogue in the greater Washington, D.C. area. He also serves as scholar-in-residence at Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, VA, and at Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, PA. Rabbi White's current academic interests center around Kabbalistic Studies and the Judaic Roots of Christian scripture. He has been deeply involved in ecological issues and the protection of animal rights.

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Rabbi Harold White

Spiritual Advisor


Harold S. White is a native of Hartford, Connecticut. He completed his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and received Rabbinical Ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City. He served as a U.S. Navy Chaplain at Parris Island, S.C., and with the 7th Fleet in the Pacific. He has served as a congregational rabbi at the Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation in Dublin, Ireland, and at Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was the B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation Director at the American University in Washington, D.C., for nine years prior to his being appointed Jewish Chaplain of Georgetown University. Rabbi White was also the associate rabbi of Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C. from 1980 -1985. He has lectured extensively nationwide.

 Rabbi White is the first rabbi to be appointed to a full time Campus Ministry position at a Catholic university. He teaches in the Theology Department of Georgetown and has been very active in creating a milieu for Jewish-Christian theological dialogue in the greater Washington, D.C. area. He also serves as scholar-in-residence at Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, VA, and at Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, PA. Rabbi White's current academic interests center around Kabbalistic Studies and the Judaic Roots of Christian scripture. He has been deeply involved in ecological issues and the protection of animal rights.

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Ellen Jennings, M.Div.

IFFP Director of Religious Education, Sunday Schooll


Ellen Jennings grew up in the two mountain states, Vermont and Montana, which has resulted in her lifelong love of the natural world. She is the daughter of a Catholic mother and Presbyterian father and was raised in the Episcopal Church. She met her husband, Mark Corrales, when in graduate school, while they were both involved with the Harvard Environmental Network. Mark's family of origin includes a Spanish Catholic atheist father and a Ukrainian Orthodox mother. He and Ellen were married by a Unitarian minister near the shores of Flathead Lake, Montana in 1993.

After earning her Master's of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 1991, Ellen worked for Bread for the World, a church-based hunger and poverty group for six years. She then focused on raising her three young boys, including one child with special needs, for the next four years before joining IFFP as its Director of Religious Education in 2001.

Ellen is currently a ministerial candidate with the United Church of Christ (UCC), a progressive Christian denomination, and looks forward to becoming ordained sometime in 2006. In addition to her work at IFFP, Ellen is actively involved in helping families that have children with special needs. She has founded and facilitated support groups, helped other parents with school advocacy, and arranged workshops and trainings for families. A special area of concern for her is the religious education of children with special needs.

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Rev. Heather Kirk Davidoff

Coming of Age Teacher
Former IFFP Spiritual Director


Rev. Heather Kirk-Davidoff grew up in St. Paul, Minn., the daughter of a Quaker father and an Episcopalian mother. She met her husband, Daniel Davidoff, as an undergraduate at Yale University. They were married under a chuppah in the Macalester College Chapel in July 1993. Despite their religious differences, both Dan and Heather have inherited their parents' deep commitment to progressive politics and the anti-war movement, as well as a love of family, friends and food.

After earning her Masters in Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 1994, Rev. Kirk-Davidoff was ordained to the Christian ministry by the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ. From 1994-2002 she was the Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Somerville, Mass. During that time, she and Dan became the parents of twin sons and a daughter, as well as foster parents of a teenage girl. The family also developed a relationship with, and eventually joined, a progressive Jewish community, Havurat Shalom, which was located just four houses down from the First Church parsonage.

Between August 2003 and June 2005 Heather was the IFFP Spiritual Director. In September of 2005 Heather became the head minister of Kittamaqundi Community in Columbia, MD, a full-time position. However, she will continue to be the lead teacher for IFFP's Coming of Age class and ceremony.

In addition to her work at IFFP, Heather is the founder of the Emerging Women's Leadership Initiative, a project to envision new models of church leadership with women from diverse church backgrounds. Heather continues to build relationships with at-risk teenage girls as a mentor in the MOMS program of Montgomery County Mental Health. She is also an avid sewer, runner and reader.

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Susan Ryder

IFFP Program Coordinator


Susan Ryder's life has taken her from a Jewish conservative/orthodox family in the South during Klu Klux Klan days to Manhattan in the '60s and early '70s, brief stints in London and Florida, to a macrobiotic study house in Baltimore and then married life in the Washington suburbs. During that time she worked in advertising agencies and ran an assemblyman's constituent office in NYC, explored many New Age ideas and religions, met (by blind date!) and married a very wonderful man, Bill, (who happened to be raised Catholic) from the DC area. They both read widely on religion and spirituality, and like camping, hiking, traveling, and the beach, and have three grown sons and a large extended family incorporating several religions.

By choice, she was mainly a stay-at-home mom, very involved in school and community volunteer activities. She organized and ran a Caring Kid program that worked with shelters, soup kitchens and held a Christmas toy collection for the Mother Dear Community Center in DC for eight years. She also founded and facilitated a women's peace organization that held dialogues between American Jewish women and Muslim and Arab women. Eventually she worked as the facilitator and coordinator of craft shows at the Audubon Society in Chevy Chase and for many years operated a home day care business.

She is presently working on an issue of Dovetail magazine that focuses on Muslim interfaith families and includes interviews with couples as well as imams.

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