Stained Glass in SAJ Sanctuary
Torahs in Ark at SAJ
Chairs in Sanctuary at SAJ
SAJ Awning  Upper West Side
Stone Tile
“A tradition can live only so long as it continues to change.”—Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan

Welcome to The SAJ Synagogue Community

We’re a community that believes it’s possible to lead a 21st-century life that is deeply rooted in both Jewish tradition and contemporary civilization. Judaism helps us find meaning and inspiration as we seek to lead lives committed to spiritual growth, social justice, and building community. We welcome the richness that diversity brings to this community, where we learn about, struggle with, and even question our Judaism as we continue to "reconstruct" it for our times.

Featured Programs

Welcome SAJ's New Education Director, Rabbi Lori Feldstein-Garder!

Rabbi Lori

Rabbi Lori Feldstein-Gardner was born and raised in New York. She was very active in her home congregation, Riverdale Temple. It was there at age 16 that she decided that she wanted to be a rabbi. She found Reconstructionist Judaism at age 18 while attending Mount Holyoke College. She was a member of Reconstructionist congregation Jewish Community of Amherst (Amherst, MA). Rabbi Lori studied Theatre Arts and History with a concentration in Russian history and the Cold War in college.  Read more»

SAJ Member Alan Sidransky Book Signing & Discussion for his new book Stealing a Summer's Afternoon

Stealing A Summer's Afternoon

Wednesday, September 10, 7:00PM. Take a Jewish Banker from Manhattan's Upper West Side in the midst of a personal financial meltdown. Add his Dominican best friend whose illegal alien wife has been picked up by the ICE. Fold in a valuable painting hidden in the boss's office in Rockefeller Center and an English Aristocrat desperate to reclaim the painting his father lost in a poker game in 1944. Mix in a beautiful woman, a 19 year old slacker hacker, a salsa dancing ex-con and a mid-life crisis and what do you get? A recipe for near disaster and laughter.  Read more»

Revolutionary Jewish Learning Experience for Children Grades 4 - 7

Jewish Journey Project logo

For children in grades 4th - 7th, the Jewish Journey Project (JJP) is a new, revolutionary Jewish learning experience for children and their families.

The whole community becomes a living classroom where every learner's individual interests and abilities help shape an inventive, personalized, experiential curriculum. JJP offers multiple pathways toward a lifelong commitment to Jewish life and values.

Our next Open Houses for Prospective Parents is Sunday, October 5 at 10:00AM. Or call our office at 212-724-7172 before then, if you would like more information.  Read more»

Learning Resources

Click here to see a list of learning resources. There are audio recordings and words of prayers and songs, as well as instructions for ritual ceremonies.

Rabbi Strassfeld Thoughts

The Challenge of Modernity

The question of the role of non-Jews in the Jewish community is part of a larger conversation about the place of Jews in the modern world. How should we respond to the challenges of an open society that welcomes Jews to be fully integrated in that society? One statistic alone says it all-Jews are the most admired ethnic group in America today.  Read more»

SAJ Essentials

Engaging Spiritual Life

image of the letter kuf from the San Francisco museum of contemporary Jewish art

The SAJ is committed to the spiritual lives of its congregants. Congregants take an active role in all aspects of the service. Cantor Arbisser welcomes everyone to sing with her throughout the service. Rabbi Strassfeld leads a Torah discussion as opposed to delivering a sermon.  Read more»

Welcoming Family Services

Image of cover of Siddur Kol HaNoar

Our interactive family services are rich with story telling, singing, movement and connection --a service where no one is a stranger and everyone is a friend.  Read more»