Non-profit Matches Jews to Synagogue Services for Jewish New Year
Source: Rabbi Bridget Wynne, Executive Director, Jewish Gateways
JEWS FIND HELP COMING “HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS”
Local Non-profit Matches Jews to Synagogue Services for Jewish New Year
At the Jewish New Year thousands of Jews who do little if anything Jewish during the rest of the year decide to “come home” by attending synagogue services to celebrate the New Year.
For many this is an annual dilemma. They do not belong to a synagogue and are not sure where to go. This is made more difficult because last minute decisions may not be possible. Almost all synagogues require that participants obtain tickets ahead of time in exchange for a donation to the synagogue.
Jewish Gateways, a Bay Area non-profit organization, helps solve this problem for the many Jews and their family members who feel lost and wonder where to go. The organization’s staff members, who are familiar with the many New Year services throughout the Bay Area, speak with each individual or family who contact them and help them to find the best matches for their interests. For example, they may be seeking a service that is mostly in English, welcomes interfaith families, or is geared to families with young children.
Jewish Gateways will also get them tickets to the service they want to attend, and, if they are interested, match them with a member of that synagogue so they can go with someone who is familiar with the services.
This simple, personalized help has made an enormous difference to many who have received it.
“It was so different going to a service with someone who understood what was happening,” one young man commented after being matched to a synagogue and a member with whom to attend.
“I’d never gone to a service I could really understand before. It was great being at a place where they used English a lot and explained the prayers,” a woman wrote Jewish Gateways after going to a synagogue the organization helped her find.
Jewish Gateways is a Bay Area nonprofit that serves “wandering and wondering Jews and non-Jews” who want to explore Jewish life and identity and might have felt marginalized or uncomfortable doing so, including those from interfaith and multiracial families, those who are Jews of color or members of the LGBT community, and those of Jewish heritage.
Contact: Rabbi Bridget Wynne, Executive Director, Jewish Gateways
Run dates: 2009-09-12 - 2009-10-12