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.
TORAH FOR EVERYONE - DEBORAH: PROPHET, JUDGE, LEADER OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE
Wednesday, November 13, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Most of us know little about Deborah- a prophet, judge, and leader of the Jewish people following Moses' death. She was a heroine like no other in the Hebrew Bible, acting in several important capacities that demonstrated her wisdom and charisma. Led by Rabbi Bridget Wynne, we'll explore the story of Deborah, the status of women at that time, and how the social and religious decline of Israelite society directly corresponds to the well-being of the female characters we read about.
HANUKKAH CELEBRATION FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Sunday, December 22, 10:30am-12:30pm
Albany Community Center
Join Rabbi Bridget Wynne, musician Joel Siegel, and other families to celebrate with Hanukkah songs, stories, crafts, treats, and more. Especially for children 1-5. Older and younger siblings invited, too. All are welcome!
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?”