Religious Life & Congregations

Religious & Rabbinical Organizations

East Bay
Bay Area
North Bay
Peninsula
Northern California
San Francisco

Congregations

Because Bay Area residents come from a variety of communities and backgrounds, our synagogues take pride in being warm, welcoming and inclusive. Call individual synagogues for information about schedules for services, holiday worship, bar/bat mitzvah training, religious schools, day care, children’s and adult classes, and special program offerings.
Santa Cruz / Monterey
Orthodox

Chabad of Monterey

A popular center for Jews of all backgrounds who want to learn more about their Jewish roots. Offering a wide variety of educational and spiritual opportunities, including Torah classes and lectures, Shabbaton dinners, and family and social activities.
http://www.chabadofmonterey.com
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Independent
Conservative
Reform
Jewish Renewal
East Bay
Orthodox
Independent

Minyan Dafna

Independent, traditional egalitarian minyan in Berkeley. Meets for monthly Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning services. Also meets for High Holy Day and occasional other holiday services. Vibrant, energetic, and inclusive community committed to halachah.
http://www.minyandafna.org
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Nishmat Shalom

Egalitarian, observant, feminist. Committed to inclusive liturgy and encouraging women's leadership. Shabbat services in members' homes. Men and women of all backgrounds and orientations are welcome.
http://www.nishmat.org
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Temple Beth Sholom

Independent synagogue, Reform rabbi, Renewal cantor using Reform and Conservative siddurim. Everyone welcome. Services Friday 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. Torah and Hebrew schools, adult Torah study, preschool, kosher kitchen.
http://www.tbssanleandro.org
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Conservative

Temple Beth Abraham

Living Judaism together as an egalitarian, participatory, vibrant congregation, providing service to preschool, bar/bat mitzvah, confirmation and adulthood. Celebrating Judaism, enjoying Shabbat and holiday celebrations since 1907.
http://www.tbaoakland.org
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Reform

Congregation Beth Emek

Shabbat services with guitar, lots of singing and inspiring sermons. Participatory Shabbat morning Torah study. Outstanding preschool, religious school and adult education. Family services, senior groups and vibrant youth group.
http://www.bethemek.org
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Jewish Renewal

Aquarian Minyan

A Jewish Renewal community, combining innovative and traditional approaches. Meets for holidays, potluck Shabbats, lifecycle events, guest speakers, and progressive discussion groups throughout Berkeley. Offers participatory worship, deep learning, meditation and dance.
http://www.aquarianminyan.org
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Chochmat HaLev

Dynamic Renewal shul with musical celebratory Shabbats, meditation, contemplative services and transformative High Holy Day observance. Meditation, Kabbalah, mysticism and adult/children's education. Walking distance from Ashby BART.
http://www.chochmat.org
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Reconstructionist
Humanist-Secular
Bay Area
Independent

Russian Speaking Jewish Community

Traditional congregation serving the needs of Russian-speaking Jews in San Francisco Bay Area. No-membership High Holy Day program. Youth/teen programs. Bar/bat mitzvah classes.
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North Bay
Orthodox
Independent
Conservative

Congregation Beth Ami

Monthly Shabbat dinners and holiday celebrations, fostering a strong sense of community; toddler through teen programming, adult education, library and gift shop. Conservative egalitarian. Warmly welcomes interfaith, singles and LGBTQ.
http://www.BethAmiSR.org
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Reform
Reconstructionist

Dorot

Welcomes unaffiliated individuals and families. Workshops and services support Jewish life-learning through a Reconstructionist lens. High Holy Day services, children's education, interfaith programs, b'nai mitzvah training for all ages and lifecycle events.
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Peninsula
Orthodox

Chabad of San Jose

Shabbat services, adult education classes, holiday awareness programs, Hebrew school, bar-bat mitzvah lessons, drug prevention. All welcome regardless of religious background, knowledge or level of observance.
http://www.chabadsj.com
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Chabad of Sunnyvale

Open door to the entire Jewish community. Children's programs, bar/bat mitzvah preparation, teen club, Chabad Hebrew school. Adult education. Beginner and children-friendly services on Shabbat and holidays. Camp Gan Israel, summer and winter.
http://www.chabadsunnyvale.com
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Independent

The Karaite Jews of America

The only Karaite Jewish synagogue in the United States, representing families with roots in Cairo, Egypt. With its new Karaite Jewish Cultural Center, the synagogue provides advocacy and learning resources throughout the United States.
http://www.karaites.org
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Sephardi-Orthodox
Conservative

Congregation Kol Emeth

Conservative, participatory, egalitarian, traditional services; daily minyanim; Friday night Shabbat programs; religious school; social action programs; adult and family education; and programs foryoung professionals,
http://www.kolemeth.org
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Reform

Congregation Emeth

South Santa Clara Valley's only Reform synagogue, with 90+ families. Full religious school, Hebrew school and adult programming. Interfaith families welcome. Overseeing Jewish section of Gan Emet/Emeth Gardens Cemetery in Gilroy.
http://www.emeth.net
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Reconstructionist

Keddem Congregation

A community-led Reconstructionist congregation that is inclusive, egalitarian, participatory, inquiring, innovative, and compassionate. Practicing an evolving Judaism that infuses tradition with new meaning.
http://www.keddem.org
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Modesto
Denominations
Conservative
San Francisco
Orthodox

Congregation Anshey Sfard

Morning minyan Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30 a.m. Shabbat services led by cantor on Friday night and on Saturday morning, followed by a luncheon. Ongoing children's Hebrew classes.
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Independent
Sephardi-Orthodox
Conservative
Reform
Jewish Renewal

West Bay Chavurah

Jewish Renewal celebratory evening gatherings such as occasional Shabbat and Havdallah events. Services are muscial, inclusive and participatory. Potluck vegetarian meals.
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Reconstructionist

Conversions

Most congregational rabbis are available for lifecycle events and to teach Jews-by-choice. Many synagogues have conversion programs. Contact the Board of Rabbis of Northern California at (415) 369-2860, the East Bay Council of Rabbis at (510) 522-9355 or the Cantorial and Rabbinic Association of Greater San Jose at (408) 358-3033. Also see Chapter 3, Lifecycles.

Interfaith Programs

Interfaith programming is provided by most JCCs, JFCS and synagogues, as well as the organizations listed below. Activities include holiday workshops and celebrations, support groups and social occasions. Several local rabbis perform interfaith marriages. Contact individual rabbis or the organizations listed below for further assistance.
East Bay
Bay Area
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