“Friendliest Synagogue in San Francisco” put to the test!


B’nai Emunah was featured in the latest Jew in the Pew column by the J’s David A. M. Wilensky:

    The website of Congregation B’nai Emunah proclaims it “the friendliest synagogue in San Francisco.” A bold claim, but they pride themselves on it. Many congregations talk a big talk about being welcoming; there is a whole cottage industry of welcoming best practices and welcoming initiatives and whathaveyou. B’nai Emunah doesn’t need any of that. The people I met there on a recent Shabbat morning are just plain friendly. Start-to-finish, almost every single person in attendance greeted me warmly.

    …When we reached the paragraph of the Musaf Amidah that begins “L’dor vador,” Melamut and several children and adults rushed the bimah to dance in a circle while singing that section of the prayer. This completely blew me away. And in a Conservative shul! At the end of the dancing, the children remained on the bimah; while a congregant continued leading Musaf, Melamut gathered the kids to give them a blessing and some candy.

    …Start to finish, my visit to B’nai Emunah was one surprise after another. Their history is fascinating. Their Shabbat morning service is full of delightful quirks. And their boastful slogan about friendliness is absolutely true.

It was a pleasure to have David and Rachel visit us for Shabbat and we hope to see them again soon!

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