Since 1990, Rabbis Laurie Rutenberg and Gary Schoenberg have welcomed over 8000 different strangers into their home.  Around candlelight, music, sumptuous food and the sharing of stories, Gesher: A Bridge Home has transformed the way we define Jewish community, Jewish outreach, and the role of the Jewish home in contemporary living.


Our Mission

Gesher is an immersive Jewish home that takes “Jews without memory” and “Jews on the move” and engages them in a relationship with Jewish living and learning that leads into affiliation with the Jewish community.  Gesher shares the warmth and connection of Jewish home life, imparting a deep sense of belonging to the Jewish people.

As the evening drew to a close around a table of sweet desserts, it was clear that the sixty strangers had been knitted together into a fledgling Jewish community through the power of shared challah, wine, song, and the study of Torah reminding us again of the old adage: more than the Jews have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jews.
— Dr. Egon Mayer, founding director of the Jewish Outreach Institute

What We've Achieved

  • Welcoming over 8000 strangers into our home, and transforming them into a community of family and friends
  • Helping thousands of unaffiliated Jews become members of synagogues
  • Inspiring Jews without Jewish memory to become founders and leaders of Jewish communities
  • Providing a setting in which many have met their life's partner, found their life's work, and found a community in which to share the joys of both.