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What are High Holidays like at Jewish Gateways?
They are open, in setting and in feeling, warm, honest, and creative.
We gather outdoors in Berkeley, beneath our big tent, and also stream services live so you can join us online.
All are welcome--come as you are, connect with what's meaningful to you, invite family and friends.
We offer services for all and special services for families, plus hands-on holiday activities for children of all ages.
Services are led by Rabbi Bridget Wynne, Rabbi Stephanie Kennedy, and musician Joel Siegel. Learn more about our service leaders and the unique prayer books we use. Get a preview of the beautiful music used at our services.
"We loved the mix of Hebrew and English, Rabbi Bridget’s excellent commentaries, the beautiful music. Enough tradition but very contemporary, and spoke to us where we are. We felt at home."
We gather outdoors.
High Holiday services invite us to celebrate, reflect on, and make changes in our real lives.
So it makes sense to meet out in the world!
Plus, it's lovely to see trees and sky, and to experience the daylight and the evening, the natural rhythms on which Jewish tradition is based.
Services are participatory.
Take a look inside the Torah, participate in a discussion-- or not, as you choose.
“Services were very moving, very meaningful. Loved the two-way discussion, the lucid explanations, the mix of seriousness and humor, the inclusion of children, the combination of Hebrew/transliteration/English, the contextualizing of a difficult story from the Torah, and being near the play structure, outdoors, in a tent. All of it, really."
"I was smiling and learning at the same time, along with my son. He and I had so much fun together.
"The family service was great! Well explained at a kid’s level. Music was fantastic."
We offer family services and children's holiday activities.
On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur mornings we have:
9:00 am: Family services for children under 9 and their loved ones
10:15am: Hands-on holiday activities for families and for children of all ages
The holiday activities are led by a teacher near the services. Older children can participate on their own while adults attend regular services; younger children can participate with their families.
You are also welcome to bring children to the regular services.
If your children need to move around or take a break, feel free to be with them--or let them play on their own, depending on their ages--at the playground or the picnic tables, both of which are near the tent in which we hold services. Books and art supplies are also available for children, families, and all to enjoy.