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Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob Synagogue

Welcome to a community with a vision!

SVAJ is a Modern Orthodox congregation with a firm commitment to Halacha, a spirit of inclusion and ahavat achim, and a strong belief in the intellectual discussion of Torah and Jewish texts.

What does that mean?

  • It means that we do more than just listen. We believe in intellectual inquiry in both Torah and Jewish text, and we continue to demonstrate that with a broad range of exciting, provocative and expert speakers and scholars-in-residence. These are new voices from every corner of Orthodoxy and academia. In the recent past we have hosted Roshei Yeshiva and educators from Yeshiva University, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, SAR High School of Riverdale, Yeshivat Maharat and Har'el Beit Midrash of Jerusalem as well as professors of Tanakh from the University of Chicago, Bar Ilan University and the Catholic Theological Union.  We have also been blessed with the insights and learning of many accomplished teachers and scholars in our own community.  Indeed, learning opportunities in Tanakh, Mishna and Gemara, and Halakha are available on a daily basis.
  • It means that at SVAJ you are just as likely to learn Torah or Halacha from a doctor, mother, accountant, academic, student or neighbor as from a rabbi.
  • It means that you and your family will participate in and help conduct or initiate youth programming, social events, holiday celebrations and some lovely luncheons and kiddushes. Your voice has to be heard for our community to thrive!
  • It means taking advantage of expert and friendly staff members, including Rabbi Joseph Ozarowski, our pastoral counsel
  • It means taking part in a community in which the role of its women has grown in both the leadership of our shul and participation in its religious services. A typical Shabbat includes women reading a number of communal prayers as well as sharing the Torah on their side of the mechitza before its return to the ark. Divrei Torah typically delivered to the congregation before Mussaf are just as likely to be delivered by women as by men.

If you are not already a regular attendee, we invite you to visit, call, email or just “demand” our attention. We have a long history in Skokie and a large, multipurpose facility. With no need for a building fund, SVAJ is one of most affordable shuls in the Chicago area.

The JUF News recently identified SVAJ with this headline: “A shul flourishes through its ‘Big Tent’ model.” We invite you to join us in a “tent” that offers each of us an opportunity to express the vitality and enthusiasm that defines us as Jews.

Sat, 28 November 2015 16 Kislev 5776