Jewish Gateways is an inclusive community that helps people (not just Jews!) explore personal connections with Judaism in relevant, inspiring, and meaningful ways …
through holiday celebrations, family and adult learning, lifecycle events, and working towards compassion and justice.
FREE FESTIVAL OF JEWISH LEARNING!
Sunday, May 31, 3:00-10:00pm PDT, online
Includes session taught by Rabbi Bridget Wynne
This unique, community-wide celebration of meaningful Jewish learning brings together people of all perspectives and backgrounds. Come for whichever topics interest you -- it's your choice.
The event is sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay. Amazing teachers, ranging from secular to Orthodox, offer a variety of learning sessions on Jewish topics of every sort every hour throughout the event.
JOIN US FOR LIGHT AND WARMTH
Shabbat candle lighting
Every Friday during shelter-in-place, 6:00pm PDT, online
We'll gather online for singing, candle lighting, and blessings. Set up your candles, wine or juice, and challah! All are welcome, adults or children, Jewish or not. No experience is necessary.
The words to the blessings will be visible as we sing them, and are also available here.
COFFEE & CONVERSATION
Casual chat hosted by Sandy Warren
Every Tuesday during shelter-in-place, 9:00am PDT, online
Interpersonal connection is essential to our wellbeing. Jewish Gateways member Sandy Warren is an experienced group facilitator who makes friends wherever he goes. He hosts this casual Tuesday morning chat, “to check in, see friendly faces, both familiar and new, and hopefully laugh a little together.” Bring your coffee, tea, or whatever you’d enjoy, and join us!
PANDEMIC PARENTING SUPPORT GROUP
Group facilitated by Jewish Gateways' parenting support group leader, Lex Schrader
Every Sunday, 10:00-11:00am PDT, online
We are all navigating new territory: having our kids home all the time, facilitating distance learning, attempting to mitigate social isolation, all while fulfilling our usual work and household obligations. It's a lot. Take some time to connect, share tips, and get help with our free Sunday morning parent support group, facilitated by Lex Schrader, Jewish Gateways' experienced parent support group leader.
Rabbi Bridget's High Holiday Sermons 2019 • 5780
Rosh Hashanah: Faith In Hard Times
When I realized, years ago, that I felt called to be a rabbi, I had a problem. Yes, I was a woman, and that was a problem then, and a lesbian, and that was a bigger problem. I grew up celebrating Jewish holidays but never going to synagogue; that was not so much of a problem.
But none of those were the big problem. There was something more important. I didn’t believe in God.
But I’m persistent, so I dug in to explore what Judaism teaches about belief, and I discovered that our tradition is built on something different: faith.
I did have faith, and I still do. Faith, or in Hebrew, “emunah,” is what I want to talk to you about this evening. These are hard times for having faith, but the hard times make it even more important.
Yom Kippur: Building Our World
Our tradition teaches that the world was created on Rosh Hashanah, the day that begins the High Holiday season we are now in. Besides being a time to look at our lives, at the kind of people we want to be, and how we can come closer to living in these ways, this is also a time to celebrate the birthday of the world.
This teaching about the creation of the world is not meant to be literal, but instead to remind us that we make choices, each day, about the sort of world we are creating. Our tradition has something quite profound to say about this. That is, the world will be built through kindness, "olam chesed y’ba’neh." (Psalm 89:3)
“Kindness,” you might say, “that’s very sweet, but haven’t you noticed that things are falling apart? What is kindness in the face of climate change, the resurgence of hatreds of all sorts, gun violence, and much more?”