Religious Life & Congregations

Religious & Rabbinical Organizations

East Bay
Bay Area
Northern California
Peninsula
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

Chabad House of Berkeley

Spreading Jewish joy and inspiration; relationship counseling and mikvah education; adult ed; community outreach and lifecycle events; holiday celebrations and Shabbat services; Hebrew school; bar/bat mitzvah training; children's winter and summer camp and adult education; prison and hospital visitation.
http://www.chabadberkeley.org
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Congregation Beth Israel

Berkeley's Modern Orthodox community is welcoming, vibrant, and diverse. Outdoor daily services during the pandemic, virtual youth and adult programming, ongoing adult education classes and lectures, engaged membership and inspirational leadership.
http://www.cbiberkeley.org
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Independent

Beth Chaim Congregation

Provides preschool, religious school, b'nai mitzvah program, sisterhood, brotherhood, tikkun olam programs, chavurah, adult education, chesed support, family Tot Shabbat and Ruach services. All backgrounds/interfaith families, LGBTQ welcome.
http://www.bethchaim.com
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Minyan Dafna

Independent, traditional egalitarian minyan. Monthly Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning services; High Holy Day services and communal events throughout the year. Committed to halachah.
http://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

Historic synagogue with forward-thinking membership, provides innovative programming while honoring tradition. Renewal cantor uses Reform and Conservative siddurim. All welcome. Friday night services, month family Shabbat and Saturday morning services.
http://www.tbssanleandro.org
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Conservative

Temple Beth Abraham

Living Judaism together as an egalitarian, participatory, vibrant congregation, providing services 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

B’nai Israel of Rossmoor 


Meets at the Vista Room of the Hillside Clubhouse Fridays at 7:30 p.m. High Holy Day services at Event Center, Tahoe Room; call for times. Everyone welcome.
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Jewish Renewal

Aquarian Minyan

A Jewish Renewal community combining innovative and traditional approaches. On Zoom only during Covid: weekday noon yeshiva classes, holidays, Shabbats, lifecycle events, guest speakers. Offers participatory worship, deep learning, meditation.
http://www.aquarianminyan.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

AVTC

Outreach organization providing Shabbat meals, Talmud Torah, private tutoring and summer camp.
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Chabad of Cupertino

Promoting and strengthening Jewish awareness, pride and observance by providing educational, cultural and social activities to all Jewish individuals and families, regardless of background or affiliation.
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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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Los Altos Chabad

Offering Jews of all backgrounds and ages innovative and exciting programs: men's and women's classes and groups, monthly Shabbat service, holiday programming, bar/bat mitzvah preparation, children's programs and more.
http://www.JewishLosAltos.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 for young 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

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
Conservative
Denominations
San Francisco
Orthodox

Congregation Anshey Sfard

Morning minyan Mondays and Thursdays at 7:30 a.m. Shabbat services led by cantor on Saturday morning 9:00- 12:00, followed by kiddish. Rosh Hodesh service 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. 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
Corte Madera
Orthodox

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

18 Doors

Resource for interfaith couples exploring Jewish life, providing in-depth, easy-to-access resources that empower couples to make Jewish choices and help their families embrace the choices they make.
http://18doors.org
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