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The Reconstructionist movement is the result of Kaplan’s lifelong effort to create a Judaism that could bring the culture, community, and spirituality of the Jewish people forward and make it meaningful in a world of science, reason, and cultural diversity. “A people can live,” Kaplan said, “as long as it can reconstruct its life to meet changing conditions.” Striking a balance between respect for tradition, and the recognition that in the modern world not all aspects of tradition are relevant or meaningful, Reconstructionism seeks to do what Kaplan felt the Jewish people have done throughout our history — re-examine and re-invent tradition to make it vital in a particular time and place.
Kaplan described Judaism as the evolving religious civilization of the Jewish people, and he encouraged American Jews to live fully in two civilizations — the Jewish and the American. In practice this means respecting tradition — but having a willingness to modify it when that makes sense. It means working to preserve the Jewish “religious civilization” and to enhance it by borrowing the best of modern American civilization, as Kaplan did when he celebrated the world’s first bat mitzvah at the SAJ in 1922.
Come to the SAJ and experience our ongoing reconstruction of Judaism to mesh our desire for traditional observance with our 21st-century needs.
We’re very pleased to send each new member a free copy of Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach, by Rabbis Rebecca T. Alpert and Jacob J. Staub, published by the Reconstructionist Press.
To find out more about Reconstructionism, visit the Jewish Reconstructionist Movement.
Sun, 26 March 2017
28 Adar 5777
welcome to the sAJ 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.
Upcoming Events at SAJ
Tuesday, Mar 28th 4:00p to 6:00p
Tuesday, Mar 28th 8:00p to 10:00p
Shabbat, Apr 1st 10:00a to 12:30p
Naomi Less and her band (Glenn Grossman on percussion, Shy Kedmi on keyboards and David Meer on double bass) join Rabbi Lauren and Cantor Lisa. A theme is woven into the music throughout the service.
Shabbat, Apr 1st 10:30a to 12:30p
Shabbat, Apr 1st 10:30a to 11:30a
Monday, Apr 3rd 7:30p to 9:30p
First annual Hugh Baron Memorial Lecture with Rabbi Manuel Gold.
Tuesday, Apr 4th 4:00p to 6:00p
Friday, Apr 7th 6:30p to 8:00p
Come to relax and unwind as we welcome Shabbat with live classical music performed by SAJ community members and light food and beer, wine and a special mixed cocktail - the "15 West". We will welcome Shabbat together in this fun and relaxed environment. All are welcome!
Shabbat, Apr 8th 10:30a to 12:30p
Shabbat, Apr 8th 10:30a to 11:30a
Join the SAJ Mailing List
Society for the Advancement of Judaism
15 West 86th Street, NYC 10024