A Diverse Jewish Community

The City Congregation was founded in 1991 as the New York City affiliate of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. Our members come from many different backgrounds. We hold many different opinions and beliefs. We joined the congregation in search of something cultural, spiritual, intellectual, or social. What we have in common is a commitment to our shared secular values and future.

“Both of us were born and raised in observant Jewish families. For the first time in our over 60 years, we can celebrate Shabbat, and our Jewish heritage, without mouthing words that have no meaning for us. — Devera & Michael

Many Jewish Backgrounds

Some of us grew up unaffiliated, secular, or “just Jewish.” The City Congregation is our first Jewish community and we came to it knowing little or nothing, or maybe even a considerable amount about Judaism. We wanted a connection to our heritage for ourselves or our children.

Some of us had religious upbringings that were either perfunctory or rigorous, but traditional teachings and rituals no longer appeal to us. We may have spent years affiliated elsewhere or “synagogue shopping” without satisfaction. The City Congregation allows us to embrace the Judaism we cherish in a form that doesn’t require us to compromise our beliefs and values.

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Our diverse members

We are Jews by birth, Jews by choice, and non-Jewish partners of Jewish members. We are singles, students, young families, and retirees. We are single parents, adoptive families, blended families, and child-free. We are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. We come from throughout the New York City tri-state area — Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Long Island, and New Jersey — to be part of this remarkable secular Jewish congregation.

Interfaith couples and families welcomed unconditionally

Intermarriage isn’t just a fact of modern life to be tolerated, it’s an expression of our wonderful multicultural society that we fully embrace. We welcome non-Jewish spouses and partners as full members of our community and encourage them to share in our celebrations. We urge children in our secular Jewish school and bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah courses to explore and honor their multiethnic and non-Jewish heritage