Meet our Staff
Rabbi Bridget Wynne, Executive Director (she, her)
I am passionate about meeting individuals and families "where they are," and helping them to explore Jewishness in an open environment and find what is meaningful, alive, and real for them.
I was ordained as a rabbi in 1994 after attending rabbinic school in Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and Cincinnati. I then served congregations, first Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, and then Congregation Shir Shalom of Sonoma in the Bay Area.
While I enjoyed that work, I saw a need among many Jews and their families and friends that was not being met. That's why I founded Jewish Gateways. I invite you to learn more about my personal journey.
Rabbi Educator Stephanie Kennedy (she, her)
As a rabbi and educator, building community, creative education, and empowering all learners to meaningfully access Judaism are guiding priorities for me. Along with a love of Torah, I am fascinated by what makes education successful and what it means to be a people with a connection to and a responsibility for the earth. As we continue to build a community that is inclusive, just, and full of joy, I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to create family programs that allow everyone to bring their whole selves to Judaism.
In 2022, I received rabbinic ordination and an M.A. in Jewish Education from Hebrew College in Boston. I hold an M.A. in Judaic Studies (with a focus on post-Holocaust theology) from King’s College, London and a B.A. in History and Religious Studies from the Australian National University.
While wrestling gardens out of cramped concrete courtyards, I also consume an outrageous amount of podcasts, TV, and pop culture, and run after my daughter who is fully inhabiting toddlerhood as a lovable agent of chaos. You can learn more about my background and journey here.
Stephanie Besa-Kallens, Operations and Family Programs Associate (she, her)
I am excited to be a part of the Jewish Gateways team and community. I have spent years thoughtfully working towards living a meaningful Jewish life. As a Chilean Jew, it is imperative to me to be part of an organization that prioritizes diversity and inclusion not only in their ethics, but also in their practices.
I have a varied background. I started my career as a behavioral management specialist, working one-on-one with autistic children, then shifting to general preschool-age children. I eventually shifted career paths, which led me to almost a decade in the restaurant industry. I’ve gone from the front of the house, to the back of the house, to behind the scenes in administration and marketing. Right before the pandemic began, I decided to take a break from the industry and heed my parents’ calls to help run their auto repair business which I did for about two years.
I love to video chat on Facetime with my nieces, who currently live in Mexico City. I enjoy doing puzzles and am currently teaching myself how to play the piano. I also love to cook (Chilean and Jewish food especially), try new natural wines, and watch horror movies with my husband Ben and our dog Olive.