Society for the Advancement of Judaism

The Society for the Advancement of Judaism, also known as SAJ, is a synagogue and Jewish organization in New York City, on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Founded in 1922 by Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, the synagogue is affiliated with the Reconstructionist Jewish movement.

Society synagogue

The current rabbi is Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, who succeeded Michael Strassfeld on 1 July 2015.[1]

Moshe Nathanson, composer of Hava Nagilah, was Cantor of the SAJ during Kaplan's tenure.

The first American Bat Mitzvah was held at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism on Saturday morning, March 18, 1922, for Judith Kaplan, daughter of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan.[2]


  1. ^ "The SAJ Welcomes Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann (article on home page)". 8 September 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-09-09. Retrieved 18 November 2015. Rabbi Lauren began her term on July 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "The First Bat Mitzvah in the United States". Jewish Virtual Library. 1922-03-18. Retrieved 2016-10-13.

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