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SAJ 100 Years Kick-Off Weekend includes SAJ Centennial Shabbat, Singing Century

100 years ago, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan founded the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (SAJ), the birthplace of the Reconstructionist movement.  As we mark our 100th anniversary, we celebrate the creativity, intellectual inquiry, and social activism forged in 1922, still the core of SAJ today. 

We start our celebration at the end of January with the SAJ 100 Year Kickoff Weekend (January 28-30). We cannot wait to welcome SAJ current, past and future community members as we celebrate our past and step into our future!
Given the rapidly changing Covid situation, we are assessing the appropriate in-person capacity for the Kickoff Weekend. If, as we hope, we will have both in-person and Zoom options for these programs, we will email an in-person sign up form on January 21. Sign up will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Saturday, January 29 

The Miracle of Religion in Modern Manhattan with Professor Deborah Dash Moore (Tish)
9:00 am – 9:50 am
When SAJ was founded a century ago, the Upper West Side overflowed with religious choices. Seekers could choose from classical religious expressions or new religious movements. Those movements included reformers of different stripes as well as ardent and modern traditionalists. Join Professor Moore on a journey to 1920s New York and explore SAJ’s contribution to religious life in modern Manhattan. Professor Moore, who has familial ties to SAJ’s founding, is the author of Jewish New York: The Remarkable Story of a City and a People. 

(Zoom ID:964-139-778)


SAJ 100 Years Kickoff Shabbat
10:00 am – 12:30 pm  

On January 27, 1922, Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan led the first service of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism.  Nearly 100 years to the day, SAJ will kick off our 100th Anniversary Year with a Shabbat service celebrating our founding! Led by Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann and Cantor Lisa Shapanka Arbisser and joined by the Hiddur Band, speakers will include elected officials Manhattan Borough President Mark LevineCongressman Jerry NadlerCouncilmember Gale Brewer, Grace Church Rev. Nigel Pearce and other interfaith friends, and Rabbi Deborah Waxman (President and CEO, Reconstructing Judaism). All are welcome! 

(Zoom ID: 793-399-790 Passcode:183654)

Sunday, January 30

“A Singing Congregation”: A Century of Music at SAJ
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm 
The SAJ 100 Years Kickoff Weekend continues with an experience of SAJ’s musical legacy. Led by Cantor Lisa Shapanka Arbisser, join musicologist Prof. Edwin Seroussi and musicologist/cellist Paula Eisenstein Baker as we honor the legacies of SAJ’s early musical gedolim. Musical selections will include those from A.Z. Idelsohn, Moshe Nathanson, Chemjo Vinaver, Tzipora Jochsberger, and Judith Kaplan Eisenstein.

(Zoom ID: 813-5832-6861 Passcode: 574853)

Updates on SAJ 100 Years Events – Save the Dates! 

Social Justice at SAJ (SOJAC): Past, Present and Future –  Saturday, February 19, 9 am Tish; Panel discussion at 11:30 am (Shabbat services end early)  

Rise Up/Bat Mitzvah at 100: A National Shabbat – Saturday, March 19, 9:00 am – 12 pm (estimate); Other events TBA

Fair Trade Trio Celebrates 100 Years of SAJ  
 Originally January 23; Rescheduled to later in 2022. Details to follow. 

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