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.
Her philosophy is simple: “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!”
Building Jewish Bridges joyously supports interfaith/intercultural families in exploring where they want Judaism to fit in their family and community life through online and in-person conversations, workshops, social events and couples counseling.
Building Jewish Bridges was born in 1998 as a grant from the Walter and Elise Haas Foundation. As a Lehrhaus program, Building Jewish Bridges 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, Coffee Shop Rabbi, and Becoming Jewish.
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 LGBTQ Jews, adult children of interfaith families seeking their roots, and by necessity, the concerns of those who wish to convert to Judaism.