Jewish Gateways

Rating: 4.9 stars   68 reviews

Issues:

Location: 409 Liberty Street El Cerrito CA 94530 USA

Mission: Think of all the Jews – plus their family members, and spiritual seekers – who want to connect with Jewish life and community, or explore Jewish identity, but cannot find a comfortable way to do so. They may not know much about Judaism. They may fear being judged, bored, or told what to do. They may not have found groups, activities, and personal connections that work for them. Jewish Gateways welcomes all those who want to explore Jewish life at their own pace, in an open environment. We help them discover Jewish choices that are right for them and find or make their place within the broader Jewish community.
Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area
2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

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.

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

the relationship I have with Rabbi Wynne.

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?

2009-1-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

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.

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?

2009-9-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have followed this organization from its inception and have worked with the directer. As a Jewish professional who has worked in the Jewish community directly and as wife of a Director of a major Jewish Community Center, I know how rare and valuable the work of Jewish Gateways continues to be. Its Director is a person of the highest integrity, intelligence and commitment. She is able to reach people and guide them wisely in a way that is rare and significant.

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

The benefits I draw are more indirect, through the knowledge that the Jewish community is served in such an ethical, efficient and caring manner by this unique organization.

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

I only know the Director who is an exceptional professional. I know many other directors of Jewish organizations and rank Rabbi Wynne at the very top.

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

Oh my! I leave it to the Director to imagine the many directions the work can take, expanding into social justice and expanding into other communities as well. I know that this organization would be using its funds with integrity and wisdom.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

We love the Jewish Gateway's Shabbat dinners and holiday events. Rabbi Wynne always conducts interesting and informative discussions about Judaism and Jewish topics. The environment is warm, welcoming and open to all interested in expanding their Jewish experience, knowledge and backgrounds. Jewish Gateways is especially appealing to families with children who wish to have communal observance of holidays and Shabbat. It is an interactive experience and Rabbi Wynne is a wonderful teacher for all ages. I highly recommend Jewish Gateways to anyone who wishes to attend a diverse, informational, warm and exciting Jewish event. Good food (potluck), song, discussion and conversation about Judaism and meeting nice people is a wonderful experience for all ages and Jewish background. Jewish Gateways is especially great for the intermarried and the newcomer to Judaism because of the openhearted and welcoming atmosphere.

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

very skilled, kind and hard working. They really provide our community with a much needed alternative to the traditional synagogue. They are an educational organization and one that provides outreach to a diverse group of people.

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  

4 people found this review helpful

I have personally witnessed folks coming into this organization lost, confused and actually scared, and come out the other end on a path they embrace and excited about the journey.

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

seeing the transformation and excitement in the participants.

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

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

Wow... watching people go from lost and somewhat resistant to happy and resolved. Also, I have to say that the director, Rabbi Wynne, was THE BEST boss I've ever had. EVERYTHING was good about this organization. Truly!

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

absolutely nothing but delightful

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

reach more people, offer more programs, and pay the director a decent salary!

Ways to make it better...

I honestly, absolutely honestly can't think of a thing.

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

budgetary

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

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

 
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