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Our history and our future

YOUNG COUPLES
Our community is blessed by a growing number of young professional couples in their 20s and 30s (some with children, some without) who form a tight-knit and welcoming group. Most of them came to San Francisco for work opportunities in tech, medicine, or finance. If you are a young couple thinking of moving to San Francisco, or just looking for different city to spend a shabbos in, feel free to email Rabbi Landau, who can put you into contact with the appropriate people.
 
WHAT IS MODERN ORTHODOXY?
Modern Orthodox Jews are comitted to observing the details of Jewish law, including strict adherence to the laws of the Sabbath, dietary laws (kashrus), and the laws governing formal congregational prayer. Further, Modern Orthodox Jews have a positive attitude toward many aspects of surrounding non-Jewish culture, based on the conviction that an observant Jew should confront and deal with modernity in all of its aspects
 
Although it has roots in 19th century Europe, Modern Orthodox Judaism as practiced in America is based largely on the concept of Torah Umadda (Torah and secular knowledge), which was developed by the greatest leader of Modern Orthodoxy in America, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt"l (1903-1993), known as "the Rav". He descended from a prominent rabbinical family in Eastern Europe and in 1941 became the Rosh Yeshiva at the rabbinical school of Yeshiva University in New York. The Rav articulated a paradigm which allowed for a "synthesis" between Torah scholarship and Western, secular scholarship, as well as positive involvement with the broader community; see more on Rav Soloveitchik’s philosophy. Soloveitchik himself did not use the term Torah Umadda, but some of his students including Rabbi Norman Lamm, characterize his legacy using the term.

EUROPEAN ROOTS

Our shul was named Adath Israel because several of our founders in 1949 were immigrants from the Adass Yisroel Shul in Berlin. It was one of the breakaway (Austritt) Orthodox shuls in Germany in the 19th century when the Reform was taking control of many Jewish communal institutions. The Rav of Adass Yisroel in Berlin was R' Azriel Hildesheimer, who is one of the founders of the "Torah im Derech Eretz" school of Orthodoxy, along with R' Shimshon Raphael Hirsch in Frankfurt. R' Hildesheimer's legacy of intellectually rigorous, cosmopolitan Orthodoxy is very much part of the identity and practice of our community in San Francisco

Adath Israel was founded in 1949 as people began moving to the western half of San Francisco, and to the newly built houses of the Sunset District. The community grew as a number of Holocaust survivors and refugees made their way to San Francisco and settled in the Sunset District. Starting in a living room, the shul grew and moved to a storefront, and eventually built its own magnificent building in the early sixties on the corner of 26th Avenue and Noriega Street. In 1967, Rabbi Jacob Traub was hired, and under his stewardship the community became an influential part of Jewish life in San Francisco. As the membership was aging, in 2005 we hired Rabbi Joshua Strulowitz to reinvigorate the community. During his tenure, our community underwent a rebirth, with a younger generation of leaders emerging who have changed the face of Adath Israel. We have developed a reputation as a warm and welcoming community with members from all over the world, reflecting the international flavor of San Francisco, as well as innovative and creative opportunities for Jewish growth for all ages.

 

 


These interviews are part of a series with founders and some central members of Congregation Adath Israel.

 

In this interview, Jonathan Harris speaks with Rabbi Joshua Strulowitz (2005-2012) about his time as Rabbi of Adath Israel.

Interview with Rabbi Joshua Strulowitz from Tamas Makany on Vimeo.

 


 

In this interview, Tamas Makany asked one of the founders and former president of the shul, Martin Sosnick about the birth of the community of Adath Israel.

 

Interview with Martin Sosnick from Tamas Makany on Vimeo.


 

In this interview, Tamas Makany talks with David Henkin about his time as a ba'al koreh at Adath Israel, as well as his subsequent role in founding the Mission Minyan.


 

Interview with David Henkin from Tamas Makany on Vimeo.



In this interview, Tamas Makany asked the former Rabbi of the shul, Rabbi Jacob Traub about the early history of the congregation, other Jewish communities, social events and his first years as a young rabbi in the 1960s in the Sunset district of the City. Rabbi Traub also talks about why should someone consider joining the community of Adath Israel.

 

 

Interview with Rabbi Jacob Traub (Congregation Adath Israel - San Francisco, CA) from Tamas Makany on Vimeo.

 


 

In this interview, Tamas Makany asked Joey Eckstein about growing up at Adath Israel.

Interview with Joseph Eckstein (Congregation Adath Israel - San Francisco, CA) from Tamas Makany on Vimeo.

 


 

Interview with Jack and Sandra Osheroff (Congregation Adath Israel - San Francisco, CA) from Tamas Makany on Vimeo.

In memory of Jack Osheroff, a long-time member of our AI Community, we have released an archive video interview with him and his wife Sandra. During the one hour footage, the Osheroffs talk about their lives, their families and some memorable moments as being part of our community.

The San Francisco Sunset District eruv was established in Sivan 5769 (June 2009).

Certification [PDF]
Map of the boundaries [via Google]
Current status

The eruv is checked every erev Shabbos and the status is updated via the eruv Twitter account. Note that Twitter supports cell phone updates via SMS. if you have any questions about the eruv, please contact Rabbi Landau.