Building Jewish Bridges

Rating: 4.88 stars   17 reviews

Issues:

Location: 2736 Bancroft Way Berkeley CA 94704 USA

Mission: Building Jewish Bridges addresses common questions and concerns expressed by couples in which one partner is Jewish. We welcome interfaith couples and families, and invite them to explore local Jewish life. Discussion of Jewish customs, values and celebrations help couples develop confidence in making choices about their family’s religious identity and expression.
Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area
2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Dawn is incredibly passionate and dedicated to her programs, and it was truly inspiring to work alongside her. She is organized, efficient, and kind. A great combination! Her ability to be warm yet professional when it comes to discussing and communicating information about spirituality is quite impressive. I had such a great time working with her, and am happy to call her a friend as well!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my home and family life.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the positive effects of the program on others.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly and open.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

assist many families with any barriers they might be experiencing with spirituality, and identity.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Dawn Kepler has led interfaith programs at my congregation. She was funny, friendly, and sincere. Some non-members from her other programs attended and it was a good way for them to find out about my synagogue and see that we're a warm congregation. Dawn has innovative ideas that are timeless. We have used her ideas over and over. She always leaves participants feeling welcome and better connected. She has been a blessing to Temple Isaiah!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with Dawn Kepler and seeing the impact her efforts have on our interfaith families.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Thank goodness my husband and found Building Jewish Bridges when we were planning our wedding. We had no idea how to find a rabbi who would perform an interfaith wedding. Dawn not only gave us a list of names, but spoke with us at length beforehand to really understand what was important to us and to explain to us what is really a requirement for and what is a tradition in Jewish weddings. She made a very stressful situation for us a couple very manageable.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

How genuinely Dawn cares about helping those that serves navigate the complexities of an interfaith relationship.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

We found your Interfaith Building Bridges Class most rewarding. It's been a couple years now and Mindy has implemented what she has learned and now spouts Yiddish phrases at me and probably knows more about Judaism than I do. It certainly can bring a couple closer together. I recommend the program to any couple.. It also helps keep Judaism and religion in peoples lives. Regards, Burt

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

daily life

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No change but for me to have more time to attend events

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Events and learning

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

most helpful and nice, friendly people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Do alot more

Ways to make it better...

I like it the way it is

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

as always, get the word out

One thing I'd also say is that...

Shalom

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Dawn has built an extraordinary program for interfaith families in the Bay Area. Whether it's dealing with the holidays or families, it addresses key needs for those who trying to make sense of their religious lives. Participants find a safe place in which they express their views and be heard and acknowledged.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

help us address our feelings about having an interfaith family and find workable solutions.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

fantastic.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-2-01

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Role: Client Served
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Dawn and Building Jewish Bridges helped my Jewish husband and me, a Protestant, figure out how to go about raising a Jewish child. The programs she runs also helped me confidently be myself while being an active participant in Jewish community. Without this support, we'd have stumbled into problems rather than talking things through before they became problems. Her ability to respectfully listen to all sides and get right to the heart of the discussion is amazing.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the structure of my family's religious life.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help more interfaith families find their way into Jewish life.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I learned about Building Jewish Bridges when attending a Jewish wedding fair. At the time, I wasn't Jewish. I learned about the work Dawn Kepler does with interfaith couples and also with those who are considering conversion and decided to attend some events: a movie night, an interfaith discussion panel, a women's interfaith discussion group, a Passover presentation... Through the contacts that I was introduced to through Building Jewish Bridges, my family joined a temple and we are now raising our daughter in a Jewish home... with her Jewish-born father and Jew-by-choice mother.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing! Dawn met with me in person when I had questions about Judaism and made it very clear that she was there to support. She even came to our daughter's baby-naming ceremony... So very sweet of her!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-9-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I've found BJB provides a very valuable service to the interfaith community, particularly for me via the e-mail group, wherein questions get asked and answered (messages are organized by the moderator so we don't get spammed).

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Having my questions answered.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

My husband and I attended a series of sessions for interfaith couples. We were able to connect wit other local people in similar situations and expand our community. Dawn Kepler does a fantastic job of outreach and helping people keep their Jewsih connection alive and well.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The opportunity to meet other interfaith couple in the Bay Area who are interested in a dialogue about Jewish values and how that fits in a interfaith context.

Ways to make it better...

The chavurah framework didn't really work for my husband and I. It felt a little contrived as a social activity. However, that is more a personal feeling than a criticism of how things were done, and we did enjoy the people we met.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I am a teaching rabbi in the East Bay Area of CA, and I am delighted that I can confidently refer interfaith couples to Building Jewish Bridges. Dawn Kepler brings passion, spirit, kindness, enthusiasm, and practicality to her work with interfaith couples. I've known Dawn for 15 years and watched her Outreach work grow and bloom over that time. Dawnis sensitive to the many challenges facing interfaith couples, and takes delight in continuing to learn about them. Her enthusiasm adds an upbeat energy to her work, but her work is solidly grounded in the most current research. Her gifts include her vast networking skills, providing excellent guidance and referrals to couples. I am always delighted to refer couples to Building Jewish Bridges, because they will be in good hands.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the enthusiasm, professionalism, and warm heart of the director.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Insure Jewish Continuity, almost singlehandedly. Interfaith couples are NOT "lost" to the Jewish people; they have tremendous potential to bring up the next generation of committed and involved Jews. BJB knows how to make this happen.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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