Readers’ Choice 2018: Innovative Programming

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Congregation Emanu-El

(415) 751-2535  •

Founded in 1850 in San Francisco, Reform Congregation-Emanu-El, the Bay Area’s largest, offers innovations such as a adult education courses in Judaism and gender and the “70 Faces” of Israel. It is involved in community outreach, both through its Social Justice Action Center and a full calendar of cultural arts events. Its museum features exhibits by local and internationally known artists.

Congregation Sherith Israel

(415) 346-1720  •

Also in S.F., the historic Reform Congregation Sherith Israel, founded in 1851 amid the Gold Rush, calls itself a modern congregation in a classic home. It offers a broad range of classes for people eager to learn about Judaism, a model volunteer program to feed the homeless and infirm, a thriving social action program, and a spiritual home for interfaith families.



Kehilla Community Synagogue

(510) 547-2424  •

Kehilla Community Synagogue in Oakland is one of the area’s premier Jewish Renewal communities. With a strong commitment to inclusiveness, social progressiveness and justice and spirituality, it provides a participatory, musical, celebratory and democratic congregation for all ages, identities and family constellations.

Temple Isaiah

(925) 283-8575  •

Lafayette’s Reform Temple Isaiah, founded in 1952, considers itself a Jewish neighborhood, with playgroups for babies and toddlers, day camps, family Shabbats and activities for youth, empty-nesters and seniors. It also offers a gift shop, thriving mental health and grief support programs, havurahs, Mussar (Jewish ethics), yoga and meditation, as well as a volunteer adult band and choir.



Congregation Beth Am

(650) 493-4661  •

Congregation Beth Am, founded in 1955, has worked with the Reform movement to re-envision the b’nai mitzvah process. Continuing programs include Torah study, drawing more than 200 people weekly; mental health and end-of-life support groups; Oneg Israel, combining cultural presentations with Israeli food; the Equal Start initiative, supporting high-quality early learning; and interfaith outreach with other communities.



Chabad Jewish Center of Novato

(415) 878-6770  •

Rabbi Menachem Landa and his wife Adina founded this center in 2012, inspired by the teachings and legacy of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The center is dedicated to making the beauty and joys of our Jewish traditions and heritage accessible, relevant and meaningful. A top choice for synagogue life in adult education, innovative thinking and social action.

Congregation Rodef Sholom

(415) 479-3441  •

Congregation Rodef Sholom, affiliated with the Reform movement, creates a sacred community in San Rafael, welcoming Jews and families with open arms and open minds. The synagogue offers many opportunities to explore Judaism through creative religious services, community events like Shabbat dinners and religious school.

View all of the Readers’ Choice 2018 Listings