Please upgrade to a newer browser.

The Lehrhaus website works best in modern browsers like Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 4, Google Chrome 10, Safari 3 and newer. If you are not using one of these, you may encounter visual glitches or other problems.

The Non-Jew in the Synagogue

This course was offered in Winter/Spring, 2016.

Our synagogue is blessed to have many interfaith couples as members, many of whom are very involved. That involvement has led to some common questions. How should I behave in services; should I do what the Jews are doing – bow, recite the Hebrew? How should I deal with lines like, ‘thank you God for making me a Jew’ when I’m not a Jew? I wonder if I’ll be offending anyone by ‘acting’ like a Jew or by saying Shabbat Shalom or Shana Tovah. Does that make me an impostor? I’m not sure whether I’m allowed to touch the Torah.

For better or worse, every synagogue has its own customs. Come learn about the customs and traditions at B’nai Tikvah. We can also touch on common practice at other shuls if you are anticipating visiting elsewhere for a family simcha.


# Sessions
Date & time

Sunday, January 31
10:00 - 11:30 am

$5 for the public
Free for members
Session Time Days Location Instructors
Jan 31 10:00 AM–11:30 AM Sun B'nai Tikvah Dawn Kepler Jennie Chabon Rabbi Rebecca Gutterman


Congregation B'nai Tikvah

25 Hillcroft Way

Walnut Creek, CA 94597



Jennie Chabon

Jennie ChabonCantor Jennie Chabon, a Berkeley native, has been the cantor of Congregation B’nai Tikvah since 2004. She found her path to the cantorate and her passion for Yiddishkeit when she was living in Israel for two years after college graduation. While in cantorial school, Cantor Chabon discovered a deep love of liturgy and the desire to make prayer accessible to all. Since joining B’nai Tikvah, she has recorded three albums of Shabbat music with her band, Shir Joy.

Rabbi Rebecca Gutterman

Rabbi Rebecca GuttermanRabbi Rebecca Gutterman serves as rabbi of Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Walnut Creek. She is involved with all ritual, programming and educational offerings, and is especially happy when working with synagogue children and teens, helping them find their own unique ways to shine. When not at Temple, Rabbi Gutterman enjoys reading, writing, swimming and exploring the beauty of the Bay Area with her husband Michael.

Dawn Kepler

Dawn KeplerDawn Kepler has worked in programming for interfaith families since 1990. Her programs have been offered at synagogues from all Jewish movements as well as Jewish Community Centers, agencies, and day schools. She developed Building Jewish Bridges: Embracing Interfaith Families in 1998 for Lehrhaus Judaica, in response to a request from the Walter & Elise Haas Fund.

As a synagogue member, Dawn created and chaired the Outreach committee of Oakland’s Temple Sinai for fourteen years. She has chaired the Interfaith Committee of the Union for Reform Judaism, Pacific West region, has served on the Interfaith Advisory Committee for the Jewish Community Federation Endowment Fund, and on the Planning Advisory Committee of Interfaithfamily.com. She is a founding member of the Jewish Intermarriage Professionals Alliance, a national organization.

She has established, Building Jewish Bridges, a service that invites individuals and families to explore the Jewish community and to consider Jewish options. Offering workshops, ongoing couples groups, individual sessions and classes, the program reflects our richly diverse bay area community addressing the concerns of interfaith, multiracial, multiethnic and LGBT families.