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.

Upcoming Events

ANTI-SEMITISM: HOW DOES IT AFFECT US? HOW CAN WE RESPOND? 

Topic for Havdalah and Potluck Dinner

​Saturday, Feb. 15, 6:30-9:00pm

Martinez

 

The recent surge of anti-Semitism in the United States is frightening. Jews may wonder whether we should hide to stay safe, or be more visibly Jewish to show we won't give in to terror. How does the increase in anti-Semitism interact with other targeted identities? The 12-15% of American Jews who are people of color are experiencing a rise in both anti-Semitism and racism. 

We'll explore this topic together in an open environment led by Rabbi Bridget Wynne, including reflecting on ways we can make a difference.

Learn more and register now

POLITICS AND PARANOIA: A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK AT HOW POWER CORRUPTS

Topic for Torah for Everyone

Wednesday, Feb 26, 7:00-9:00pm

Berkeley

Beneath the idealized version of King David is a complex tale of how power corrupts those who wield it. In public, he presented his actions as pious and selfless. Yet, looking closely, we see how his family, friends, morals, and religion became part of his self-serving efforts to hold on to his kingship at all costs. 

We'll explore the dangers and pitfalls of centralized power through the lens of this story in an open environment led by Rabbi Bridget Wynne. All are welcome, and no questions will be considered "silly."

Learn more and register now

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.

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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?”

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Listening to a story at a family gathering