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November 14, 2009

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November 14, 2009

I attended a holiday dinner. The registration process was easy, the location was convenient to BART, and everyone was welcome.

Ways to make it better...

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

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

the openness and welcoming spirit is evident in all interactions, both online and in-person

Ways to make it better...

the dinner had been scheduled earlier or later so as not to conflict with services

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 14, 2009

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November 14, 2009

I was introduced to the organization by a former employee of mine who knew it needed fundraising help and thought I might be able to do that. I first met with Rabbi Wynne at a face-to-face meeting at which we talked for about two hours. I was impressed by the degree of her dedication and her willingness to put everything she had into this work. As we talked I realized that the organization has serious financial needs and doesn't yet have the tools to address this. However, they do have the basic attributes to be able to deal with this effectively. We met again and I outlined what they could do to begin establishing a donor base in order to build a financial base. We talked a lot on the phone and in person and I became convinced that this was an organization and a person well worth investing my time in. Though the rabbi was willing to pay me for my expertise I did not feel it was necessary, and I decided to work with her on a voluntary basis. The first result I saw is that the rabbi understands what I'm saying and acts on it. Even though I have not yet been able to attend the organization's events I have learned a lot more about the Jewish community than I ever knew before. I feel that if the organization and its programs were replicated it could have a major effect on Judaism, playing an important and pivotal role in bringing people into and back into Judaism.

The Great!

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

the relationship I have with Rabbi Wynne.

More feedback...

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

the way the rabbi takes the expertise I offer, asks questions until she understands, and then implements it.

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

enthusiastic, very knowledgeable, have a high degree of intellect, very down-to-earth, very willing to try new things.

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

develop and refine a program that could change the face of Judaism in this country.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

It helps people get to know Judaism better and go to shul also it's a great way to meet people over a Shabbas dinner.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

Playing with other kids, building the sukkah, and dessert.

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

Funny and really nice.

Ways to make it better...

More of my friends were there.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

I am a Jewish woman that was a Fulbright in this area at UC Berkeley between 1991 and 1995, in that moment I didn’t have a special contact with Rabbi Bridget and Jewish Gateways, I just met them about 2 years ago, and I have felt its cozy ambiance, the desire of Rabbi Bridget to help everyone to connect in many senses: finding more about our Jewish heritage, meeting other people in the area of the same background, adapting and becoming a member of a bigger synagogue, finding a place to celebrate with other members of the community Jewish holidays, etc.

The Great!

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

In the services it provides

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

My daughter and I are hybrids, multiracial jews. I'm of Russian Jewish, African-American, and Latino roots and my daughter is all of that plus Filipina (her mom, my wife is Filipina). When I learned about Jewish Gateways, I was thrilled to see that this organization was created for folks who are converting or returning or just trying to see where they fit in as multiracial Jews. Rabbi Bridget provides a comforting and festive atmosphere and resources for discovering our niche in the Jewish mosaic. The timing of her event for Rosh Hashanah was perfect so I decided to take my daughter to Jewish Gateways. The highlight was storytelling time by the Sukkah. My daughter loved that and I felt at home among the other families there. We have three synagogues that we may affiliate with but I think Jewish Gateways provided a comforting framework that acknowledged my needs as a multiracial Jew. My daughter could also see the varied blend of Jewish kids present as well.

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

Are very welcoming!

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

find an even bigger house for its services.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

The first time I stepped into Jewish Gateway's home in El Cerrito, I knew it would be a warm and welcoming place for our family. It wasn't just that Rabbi Bridget led a sweet and meaningful service, it was the whole experience- the homey space we gathered in, the warm smiles from all the people there, the beautiful music the cantor played... I felt so grateful to have this place to retreat to- a place that didn't expect our family to conform to any particular religious dogma, a place that opened itself to anyone who needed a safe place to start a search. In short, Rabbi Bridget's big heart touches everything and everyone around her.

The Great!

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

my participation in the special organized events such as groups, dinners, and holiday celebrations. (personally is spelled wrong above)

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

the sweet homey feel of all of the events.

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

good, genuine people.

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

help people worldwide!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

I've experienced Jewish Gateways as someone who many years ago found my way back into Judaism. My participation has been as a friend of the organization and sometimes a volunteer. The Shabbat dinners are warm and inviting and the discussions always have substance and depth with people finding themselves able to say things about Judaism and their relationship to it that they've never been able to tell anyone before.

More feedback...

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

the warmth, dedication, and intelligence of the staff, hearing other people's stories, and watching people transform their lives before my eyes.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

more

November 13, 2009

Rabbi Bridget and Jewish Gateways are a terrific resource for those responsible for member recruitment at our synagogues. The people who inquire about our communities already know something about us and are more likely to be great match because Rabbi Bridget has taken the time to get to know them and us. Bridget is also a great teacher and willing to meet everyone wherever they are in their Jewish learning, experience, and comfort level. She's very open and honest in her communication and has offered terrific, concrete ideas about making our synagogue more user-friendly. Rabbi Bridget's warm smile and calm demeanor could even make that greatest of Jewish neurotics, Woody Allen, relax! She is such a giver - of time, attention, and joy. I highly recommend her and Jewish Gateways for any and every type of award.

The Great!

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

meeting new members of my congregation who've been counseled and coached by Rabbi Bridget. They are all a great fit for us and one of them has become a synagogue leader in her first year of membership.

Ways to make it better...

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

Biggify it!

More feedback...

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

its well thought-through approach to making people feel comfortable with situations that are new and threatening to them. Rabbi Bridget is willing to share her knowledge of the wider Jewish community with me to help me improve my ability to serve it.

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

Warm, wonderful, creative, welcoming, hard working.

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

Have a larger facility, more activities, chances for people to interact. Create new synagogue programs. Improve the lives of people struggling with their Jewish identity by offering them alternatives to consider and helping them find fulfillment.

Ways to make it better...

Couldn't be better.

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

Funding, funding, and more funding during difficult economic times. Cost of doing business in the Bay area, including media costs.

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

Give Rabbi Bridget and Jewish Gateways money! Let her train other Rabbis and laypeople to do more effective outreach.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

more

November 13, 2009

Jewish Gateways was an incredibly transformative force in my life. I was born Jewish, but had no Jewish religious upbringing at all. I was always interested in knowing more about my heritage but had no idea where to start. Rabbi Bridget was really interested in hearing what I was looking for rather than telling me what she felt I should be looking for. Based on that, she was able to direct me to various activities at two different temples - torah study, services, and a social group - all of which I am still involved in today. My life feels so enriched by all of these experiences, and without Jewish Gateways I never would have found them.

The Great!

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

Going to a no-experience-necessary Shabbat dinner - it really fired my interest in Judaism.

More feedback...

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

the personal attention to my feelings and story, and the follow-up to ensure that I really felt like I was getting what I felt I needed to from their help.

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

friendly, interested, and caring. They really made time for me and were genuinely, personally concerned in helping me find the path that was right for me.

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

get its message out to the Jewish community countrywide who want to find a way to make Judaism relevant to their lives but don't know where to start.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

more

November 13, 2009

I enjoyed the event very much. The rabbi was very warm and set a safe environment for everyone there. The event was very widely publicized; it was my friend Kate who found an announcement in Oakland.

The Great!

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

It gives people interested in Judaism a safe place to discuss their thoughts on religion and community.

Ways to make it better...

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

if there are people who are dying to come to an event, i believe that space should be made, especially since it is likely that a couple of people will cancel or not show at the last minute.

More feedback...

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

the uninvasive way that my presence/participation is invited.

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

very warm and helpful.

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

educate a lot more people about judaism.

Ways to make it better...

my friend and i who is interested in judaism had been welcome to come to rosh hashana.

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

how to fund their programs.

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

I had asked rabbi bridget about a service/synagogue for young people in the east bay and she never got back to me.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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