Building Jewish Bridges: Embracing Interfaith Couples and Families

Have you and your partner asked yourselves: 

  • What holidays will we celebrate?
  • How will we raise our children?
  • Will our home express a religious identity?
  • Will we have a spiritual community?

For interfaith couples, these are just a few of the questions that they consider as they build a life together. Building Jewish Bridges offers workshops, couples groups and other programs to help you find answers to questions about family life, religious identity, and religious practice.  Couples come together in a warm, supportive environment to share their questions & concerns, hopes and ideas.  Many couples continue to be friends long after their groups conclude.

How do I get started?
1. Sign up for the weekly email that goes out to hundreds of interfaith couples & families in the bay area. Topics cover the many questions and mysteries that interfaith couples want answered. Like, how do we decide about our child’s religious identity, does it matter to kids if we do “all” the holidays, how can I explain our choices to our parents, where will we find supportive community? To sign up send an email with your name and city of residence to dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org.
2. Call for a free one-on-one meeting with Dawn. Talk about where you are, what you are hoping for and what confuses or worries the two of you.
3. Consider participating in a Couples Discussion Group. Yes, it’s a time commitment but couples rave about the experience.
4. Check out current programs being offered by clinking on the “current programs” on the right side of the page.

And then?
1. Take the plunge! Sign up for a discussion group. (You’re going to love it, just sayin’)
2. Don’t want to be in a group? Sign up for a three session private discussion with Dawn. For a detailed description look here.
3. Attend a workshop - click on current programs on the right to see what is going on right now.
4. Ask Dawn for help identifying the right community for YOU here in the bay area.

Still unsure?
Just sign up for the email list. “Listen” to the topics and just work on getting comfortable.

Our History
Building Jewish Bridges was born in 1998.  As a Lehrhaus program, BJB is open to residents of the San Francisco Bay Area. We partner with the synagogues from all movements, Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Family and Children’s Services to create gateway programs for interfaith families. We are proud to share ideas, resources and programming with Jewish Gateways, Bechol Lashon and Jewish Mosaic.

Although we focus on the interfaith population, these welcoming events often bring in Jews who have felt ambivalent about formal Jewish community. In addressing the myriad of issues that may arise in a multicultural home, programs are offered that address broader issues, like Jews of color, adoption, interfaith and GLBTQ Jews, adult children of interfaith families seeking their roots, and by necessity, the concerns of those who wish to convert to Judaism

For more information contact Dawn at dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org or call (510) 845-6420 x11.

Dawn Kepler, founding director of Building Jewish Bridges has worked in Interfaith Outreach since 1990.
She has run workshops and classes in synagogues, JCCs, Federations, & Jewish agencies.

“I love this work.  It is about who people are and what they want to make of their lives, how they will shape their families, what they will teach their children.  Is there anything more interesting or worthwhile?  Plus, all my couples seem to be the nicest folks!”

Dawn Kepler, Director

Building Jewish Bridges

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