Jewish Gateways, an open community, invites all to explore and connect with Jewish traditions.
Our “come as you are, no experience necessary” environment encourages wandering and wondering Jews and their families and friends to discover what is personally meaningful.
HANUKKAH COOKING CLASS: LEARN TO MAKE KREPLACH
Sunday, December 6, 2:00-4:00 pm PST, online
With Chef Andrea Quinn
Back by popular demand, Chef Andrea Quinn will teach us how to cook these delicious Jewish dumplings. Choose from meat or cheese fillings, or, if you are ambitious, both! Chef Andrea is a Bay Area native with over 20 years of experience as a pastry chef, small business owner, and most recently Resident Chef at Sur La Table.
Learn more and register here
HANUKKAH CELEBRATION FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Sunday, December 13, 10:00-11:00 am PST, online
Join other families with young children to celebrate the Festival of Lights with Rabbi Bridget and musician Joel Siegel. Enjoy holiday songs and dancing, the Hanukkah story, and lighting the menorah. To help children be actively engaged, we will also work on and share a holiday project.
This event is especially for children 1-5 years old and their grownups. Older and younger siblings are also invited. No Jewish experience necessary. Feel free to invite your friends!
Learn more and register here
JOIN US FOR CANDLELIGHT AND FRIENDLY FACES
Shabbat candle lighting
Fridays, 6:00 pm PST, online
Set up your candles, wine or juice, and challah, and join Rabbi Bridget and community members online for singing, candle lighting, and blessings! All are welcome, adults or children, Jewish or not. The words to the blessings will be visible as we sing them, and are also available here.
Rabbi Bridget Wynne's High Holiday Sermons 2020 • 5781
Making Room for Our Fears, Opening Our Hearts
A Sermon for Erev Rosh Hashanah
Do you remember, many long months ago, the Great Toilet Paper Panic of 2020? In case it’s hard to think back that far, I’ll share a few highlights. Some folks responded with unusual solutions, ranging from creative to desperate to illegal. A Los Angeles restaurant started selling “emergency taco kits” that included several pounds of meat, rice, beans, and, crucially, four rolls of toilet paper. There were fights in store aisles over the precious rolls. Police even caught one person transporting nearly 18,000 pounds of the stuff in a stolen 18-wheeler.
Then there were the ordinary folks, rushing to Costco, scouring the internet, perhaps considering a columnist’s suggestion that when children find the afikoman – a hidden piece of matzah – at the Passover seder, rather than the usual small prize, we give them something far more valuable – a roll of toilet paper.
Ironically, panic buying helps cause the shortages people fear. But it’s understandable. We’re frightened. We are aware of the truth we usually push away, except in times of illness, or other crises – that life is uncertain, we don’t know what the future will bring. We want to feel secure, protected. We want to regain a sense of control.
The Power of Vulnerability
A Sermon for Erev Yom Kippur
In my first position as a rabbi, one of my responsibilities was to organize a group of synagogue members to help those who were ill or facing other crises. We had a few meetings and set up a communication system. Then, we ran into a problem we hadn’t expected: hardly anyone was willing to accept help. A committee member would call a family in which someone was ill and offer to bring food, or help with rides, and almost every time the response was something along the lines of, “Thank you, but we’re OK.”
I dug deeper to try to understand what was going on. Here’s what I discovered. Many people were embarrassed to have others see them not at their best, or to say that they couldn’t manage things on their own. They were afraid of feeling indebted – if they accepted help, what would they have to do in return? Needing help from others seemed to be an admission of failure.
This shouldn’t have been such a surprise. We live in a culture in which we are taught to be self-sufficient, and to strive for perfection. We like to prevent or fix vulnerability.