One of the hardest things about getting assistance with your interfaith relationship is making the move to ask for that assistance. What the devil will it be LIKE to talk to someone? I thought it would be helpful for you to hear what other folks have said about the experience of working with me. One note, if you are not in the San Francisco Bay Area that’s OK, we can “meet” online or phone. If you do live in the area, we can still meet in person OR Zoom or phone.
I find it helps to know what someone looks like, so I’m including a photo of myself.
And now people’s comments on working with me.
Dawn is an expert in navigating Jewish identity and interfaith relationships. She understands people and has a clear passion for helping others achieve their best selves. Dawn has been an invaluable counselor for our interfaith relationship and in navigating all the personal/familial emotions that come with it. We had one very impactful session with her as we approached our wedding and then a deeper series with her, seven years later, as we revisit many of the same issues in the context of teaching our toddler about her identity and faith. At every step Dawn has been an excellent listener who can quickly understand the big picture, nuance, and heart of what is being shared, then give advice, stories, and ideas for how to move forward. She is fair to all involved (even if they are not present to represent themselves) and approaches helping with the main goal of figuring out what is right for YOU, not others and not necessarily even what is beneficial for the broader religion/community. She is easy to talk to, making things that are heavy and emotional feel lighter with humor and levity. But she doesn’t sugar coat things: she has too much experience and knowledge of research to not directly communicate best practices. Finally, Dawn is also an excellent coach: once we understood our own needs, she helped us identify strategies and language to approach difficult conversations with our family, all informed by the goal of building love and trust while being true to ourselves. We are super appreciative of Dawn and cannot recommend connecting with her highly enough!
I sought out Dawn’s services after I got engaged because my fiancé, who was Catholic, and I were having trouble navigating what it meant to have a Jewish household and a Jewish wedding. While he had agreed to have a Jewish family, while planning the wedding it became clear that there was not a clear understanding of what that meant and we were having trouble communicating about it. Dawn created a safe space for us to be able to talk about our expectations for raising a family and what it meant to incorporate beliefs and customs that were important to each of us. She provided us with great resources, including books, events, and people to talk to. The experience was invaluable, and I can’t thank her enough for the clarity she brought to the relationship. I would recommend her services (which I have) in a heartbeat!
H, San Francisco
Thanks Dawn. You were such a big part of us growing in our relationship. I can’t say that the time before being engaged was easy. Ah, waiting and not knowing where we were headed and trying to figure out some major stuff. Phew, it was intense at times. But I know I speak for both me and Mike, you really helped us navigate some hard questions and know how to talk about them with each other. There were so many times we just didn’t even know what questions to be asking but wanted to be proactive in exploring deeper in our relationship. You really challenged us and allowed for more open honest discussion.
H & B, San Francisco
We wish we were closer to your classes and could have meet in person, but the phone calls did work great. We are so glad we found you via the web.
Now we are so excited to get married and glad we talked through so much early on. It really helped all the holiday drama and concerns we had. Not that this past year was all smooth sailing, but we were more equipped to talk it through and find a solution we both felt comfortable with!
K & M, Colorado
Dawn, I love how you challenge people to be their best selves. I am attending services more regularly – thanks for all you did to help me reach this point.
L, El Cerrito
We miss you so much, Dawn! We wish there were two of you so Denver could be blessed with your presence as well. If you do know of a counterpart to Building Jewish Bridges in Colorado, please send us the info. I have found a few things online but nothing as good as what we had with you.
Love, S & P – from Berkeley, now in CO.
I want to personally thank you for all that you do to make people like me feel welcome at the “Jewish table.” Words cannot describe what a difference it has made. In fact, part of why we wanted to have a child was to bring another Jew into the world. We’re excited to learn about Judaism ourselves, so that we may teach our kiddo.
I & S in San Francisco
Thank you for the meeting yesterday. You really provided us with incredibly helpful context and perspective. We have much to sort through but feel that we now have many more guideposts. We also appreciate your open style, from welcoming us into your home, to being direct and sharing personal stories.
B & N Oakland