Finding a Jewish "home" and spiritual nurturance in NYC
October 16, 2016 3:24 AM   Subscribe

I am seeking a spiritual home in NYC through a Jewish group or synagogue. Help me find the right place!

I'd like to join a Jewish community in NYC. I have a pretty disconnected and painful background with my family, and am looking for a spiritual place to help me get my head together.

- It doesn't have to be an official synagogue. A regular Friday night dinner group or a small morning minyan or something would be ok too.
- I'm don't want to deal with strong beliefs in essentialized gender roles, singles groups that are trying to nudge you into marriage, etc. I don't want females to be separated or treated as second-class citizens. Lesbian-friendly is a HUGE plus.
- I'd love to meet a strong spiritual leader or rabbi who has a lot of compassion and heart and gives really good advice on life issues.
- I am looking for a place with an artsy, creative vibe
- I want a place with a caring, loving ethos, and possibly a lefty or activist bent
- Denomination is not as important to me as the above
- I spend most of my time on the Upper West Side, but any location within an hour of the NYC area is ok, even out into Westchester or New Jersey. Brooklyn, Queens, etc. are fine too.
posted by 3491again to Human Relations (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think you'll have huge options. Try Pratt if you like an art community.
posted by sammyo at 4:45 AM on October 16, 2016

Have you checked out Romemu? I have not been to services there, but have had the pleasure to meet Rabbi Ingber several times and he is wonderful.
posted by danielle the bee at 4:47 AM on October 16, 2016

Yes, Romemu is great. Also CBST, which is in the west village, is a queer-friendly congregation where several great people I know have found a home. The rabbi there, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, is just fantastic - I know her and her kids and they're all awesome.
Memail me for more info! I hopped around NYC looking for a community for a long time. :)
posted by bookgirl18 at 5:21 AM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I know a number of lovely people who are members of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue on West 68th Street. Over the summer I went to a service there just to see what it was about. It was very relaxed, the live Klezmer music during the service was really fun, and the (young, female) rabbi gave a thoughtful sermon. Might be worth putting on your list of possible spiritual homes.
posted by 6thsense at 9:21 AM on October 16, 2016

Seconding CBST.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:32 AM on October 16, 2016

Came in to say Romemu as well, since you're asking for Upper West Side. But I highly recommend the rabbi and programming at CBE in Park Slope, since you mentioned you would consider leaving Manhattan.

* (full disclosure, we went to college together)
posted by Mchelly at 12:06 PM on October 16, 2016

Also came in to suggest romemu. Brooklyn jews is great for a casual younger crowd, very LGBT friendly.
I personally just started going to town and village synagogue in the e village and I like it but I haven't figured out the vibe-I think irs a lit of families but I might just think that because I interact with other moms the most since I bring my toddlers. Anyway, everyone has been nice.
posted by rmless at 3:48 PM on October 16, 2016

If you're interested in a classic Consevative shul, I grew up going to Ansche Chesed on the Upper West Side and I can't say enough nice things about it. Super friendly, welcoming community in a classic UWS liberal Jews kind of way, very woman- and lesbian-friendly (no mechitza, female cantor leading services alongside a male rabbi). Plus, Rabbi Jeremy is a wonderful spiritual leader who has compassion and heart in spades.
posted by Itaxpica at 11:10 PM on October 16, 2016

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