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Lifecycles & Celebrations

We believe in the power of ritual and tradition as we mark holy moments of transition in our lives. Being a member of a synagogue offers us the opportunity to mark these moments in community.

Whether offering a Hebrew name to a new baby, throwing candy at a b’nei mitzvah, or blessing a couple at their auf ruf (a special aliyah before a wedding), we grow our joy as we celebrate together. On a regular basis, Rabbi Lauren and Cantor Lisa offer blessings for couples for anniversaries, or to individuals for birthdays, or personal achievements such as a new job, retirement, or service in the larger community. If you would like to sponsor kiddush or provide a cake for a simcha (joyous event), please call Rachel at 212-724-7000 or email rachel@saj.nyc.

Yahrzeit

There is power in remembering loved ones in community. Each Shabbat, an aliyah (call to the torah) is dedicated to those observing a yahrzeit (anniversary of a death) and the El Maleh prayer, chanted by Cantor Lisa, provides comfort. Members receive a letter indicating the Hebrew anniversary of a loved one’s passing, which is a reminder of when to say the Mourner’s Kaddish.

Conversion

We appreciate and celebrate SAJ members who are Jews by choice — many of whom are board members, torah readers, and committee leaders. If you are interested in learning more about Judaism or are considering conversion, please contact Rabbi Lauren. would love to speak to you and you can contact her at 212-724-2721 or rabbilauren@saj.nyc.

Contemporary Ritual

In the spirit of reconstructing Jewish tradition, SAJ embraces new and renewed rituals as a way to address those life transitions not marked by traditional Jewish ritual. Every year before the High Holidays, SAJ organizes a “Mikveh Experience of Reflection and Renewal” with our partner, Immerse NYC. Rabbi Lauren accompanies congregants on mikveh visits for various reasons including treatment or recovery from illness, infertility or pregnancy loss, divorce/separation, and will craft alternative rituals as needed for other moments of transition.

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