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Looking for a unicorn of a shul/community in NYC…..

I’m 25(F). My husband (29) and I just moved to NYC in the Washington Heights area and I’m looking for a Jewish community– holidays, friends, etc. Would go to occasional Shabbas services (1-2/month) + holidays and synagogue events. Ideally, we would make friends to do things outside of that with as well. We’re both Jewish and feel similarly about all below so that’s not going to be an issue.

The three things i’m looking for that I’m hoping exist together:

People our age– basically, I want to make Jewish friends ; bonus if the synagogue hosts events for that kind of thing

Cool with me being an atheist / not particularly observant in my life — fine if people are more observant than me, but not judgement and not such that I stick out like a sore thumb

Somewhere around Conservative movement

I realize these things are paradoxes, but there you go. First one is most important, the second two can move around a little bit.

More details if anyone wants to read my novel–

I’m 25. My husband (29) and I just moved to NYC (Washington Heights area; willing to go around NYC but bonus points if its nearby) and are going to be in the area for another 5 years. I’m in medical school and he’s going to start his anesthesia residency. Planning to have kids in about 2 years if everything works out, but it’s not on the immediate horizon. We’d prefer a synagogue with people in similar life stage– young couples / singles, at least some of whom don’t have kids. I would love to not be the only ones in a room of retirees (who are awesome, but not what I’m looking for). That might mean a bigger shul so it’s 10 young people to 100 older people instead of 1/10? A lot of shuls have groups for young people but then it turns out they don’t actually go to services and the groups meet a few times a year– looking for a bit more activity than that.

  • I’m an atheist (no disrespect to those who do believe in Gd, but I haven’t since I was young) and am more drawn to the tradition of Judaism than an actual idea of divine law. I don’t practice much in my life in terms of my regular life– don’t keep kosher (I’m vegan so a lot of the rules don’t apply anyway– I grew up in a “don’t eat pork” kind of mouse), don’t keep Shabbas, etc. So a lot of more observant settings — anything modern orthodox up — probably aren’t going to work for me.
  • I like traditional-ish services. I’m open to a range but I’d prefer not to have TVs in the room on Yom Kippur. For reasons above, other things won’t work– mechitzas, requirements to cover my hair, etc. Also prefer that services are somewhat approachable (I’ve been to very Orthodox services and not interested). I prefer conservative services over other denominations but willing to go to a liberal conservadox or a not-too-reform Reform. I prefer that women can read Torah.
  • My Jewish education is… not great. I didn’t go to a day school or anything. I’m not totally uneducated (don’t need the word “mitzvah” explained to me, for example, I did read “Jewish Literacy”) but for example, I don’t know a lot of the prayers or things that people know by heart. I would love a venue to learn more that would make sense at my level. I also don’t speak Hebrew but would love to learn some as well. My husband went to day school and knows more than me.
  • Politics– open to a range, but I would strongly prefer that the shul is Zionist ; anti-Zionist is a no-go. Social justice-y / tikkun olam stuff is great but actual communism as an institutional ideology is a no for me. Apolitical is also fine.
  • If the above doesn’t seem like it makes sense together, my parents are both from the Soviet Union. I think some people in the ex-Soviet descendent generation feel a similar mix of atheist + uneducated + very passionate about Judaism and retaining our culture.

Any ideas for places to look would be so appreciated. There are so many Jewish communities in NYC and it’s very overwhelming for me right now to try to pick one. I put it off for a few years in NJ because there wasn’t anything good nearby, but if anywhere has the unicorn combo I’m looking for, it’s NYC.

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