WELCOMING: wandering Jews • wondering Jews • those of Jewish heritage • non-Jews • multiracial relationships • families • interfaith relationships • couples • adult children of interfaith families • Jews by choice • people of color • singles • LGBTQIA folks
Growing Together: Jewish Family Learning
Meet Our Staff
Rabbi Educator Stephanie Kennedy (she, her) directs Growing Together and Jewish Gateways' other family programs. In addition to ordination as a rabbi, she has an M.A. in Jewish Education and an M.A. in Judaic Studies. Rabbi Steph loves to work with children and families. She has experienced how, when Jewish learning is creative, sincere, and playful, it offers opportunities for each person to discover themselves and the aspects of Jewish tradition that most speak to them. She is committed to building a community where people can find inclusive, accessible, and progressive connections to Judaism that are also deeply rooted in tradition.
Rabbi Bridget Wynne (she, her) leads the adult learning sessions at Growing Together and participates, along with Rabbi Steph, in program and curriculum development. Rabbi Bridget is the founder and executive director of Jewish Gateways. She has extensive experience teaching families, adults, and children. She especially loves to help people dig beneath stereotypes about Jewish tradition to discover how varied and diverse it truly is, and to explore, rather than avoid, challenging issues.
Elise Frank (she, her) works as a lead teacher at Aurora School in Oakland. Her passions include restorative justice and implementation of social emotional learning in all aspects of the school day. Cultivating Simchah, joy, in a classroom setting and maintaining strong relationships with families, students, and staff is a priority for her. The Jewish Gateways mission of reimagining Jewish experiences through connection, celebration, spirituality, and community resonates with her own Jewish identity and vision. Elise holds a B.S. in Race and Ethnic Studies and an M.A. in Urban Education.
Nancy Brunn (she/her) is a second-generation Bay Area native. Nancy began her career teaching and advocating for adults with developmental disabilities. When her own children were small, she pivoted towards elementary education and graduated from the Delet teacher education program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Nancy has taught in independent schools, religious schools, camps, and afterschool programs. She enjoys sparking a love of learning and building community. Nancy is passionate about B'tzelem Elohim, the concept that we are all created in the divine image and as such, each human being has infinite worth. Nancy enjoys organic gardening, strong coffee, queer Talmud study and watching Marvel movies with her daughter. She lives in Berkeley with her teen twins and senior kitty, George.
Tyler Powles (he, his) grew up on the East Coast where he discovered his passion for education in preschool classrooms before moving across the country to teach in Richmond, CA. Now he works as a 4th-6th grade science teacher at the Crowden School in Berkeley. His passions include music and dancing, supporting grassroots organizing, and working alongside his students. Creating the conditions for compassion and curiosity in his classroom and developing partnerships with families and students are priorities for him. He tries to model a mindset of Hakarat HaTov (finding the good) and is delighted to be a part of the mission, values, and community of Jewish Gateways. Tyler holds a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing as well as an M.A. in Urban Education & Policy.
Micah Bernhard (he, his) loves to play and sing Jewish (and other kinds of!) music. He leads music at our Growing Together sessions. Micah grew up in Los Angeles and studied psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans. He is an a capella singer and vocal percussionist, ballroom dancer, tennis and basketball instructor, and fantasy novel enthusiast. Besides working at Growing Together, Micah is a song leader at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, works with students at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, and lives in Moishe House of Contra Costa County.
Register for the 2022 - 2023 School Year
If you'd like to learn more, Rabbi Educator Stephanie Kennedy welcomes your email or your call at 510-859-7866.