Sinai and Synapses offers people a worldview that is both scientifically grounded and spiritually uplifting. It provides tools and language for learning and living to those who see science as their ally as they pursue personal growth and the repair of our world.
We equip scientists, clergy and dedicated laypeople with knowledge and skills to become role models, ambassadors and activists for grappling with the biggest and most important questions we face. We believe that in order to enhance ourselves and our world, we need both religion and science as sources of wisdom, as the spark for new questions, and as inspiration and motivation.
Through classes, seminars, lectures, videos and writings, it helps create a vision of religion that embraces critical thinking and scientific inquiry, and at the same time, gives meaning to people’s lives and helps them make a positive impact on society.
It is incubated at Clal – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, which links Jewish wisdom with innovative scholarship to deepen civic and spiritual participation in American life.
Sinai and Synapses explores big questions from both religious and scientific perspectives, and achieves its mission through several programs, activities, and learning opportunities.
- Adult education classes, with courses such as “This is Your Brain on Judaism,” “There Are Places I Remember: How Memory Works (And How It Doesn’t),” and “The Morality Stereo System: Why Liberals and Conservatives Can’t Seem to Listen to Each Other.”
- Scientists in Synagogues, an initiative funded primarily through The John Templeton Foundation, that offers Jews opportunities to explore the most interesting and pressing questions surrounding Judaism and science, and to share how some of the most thoughtful Jewish scientists integrate their Judaism and their scientific work
- Seminars for our Sinai and Synapses Fellows, bringing together clergy and scientists to learn together from the top scholars in both the religious and scientific worlds, and then to create programs and facilitate discussions on topics such as “Are We Using Technology, or Is Technology Using Us?“
- Public programs — such as “The Genius of Good and Evil” at the 92nd St. Y — to explore the many ways science and religion interact, and how we can ensure that interaction is productive.
To get involved, to ask questions, or to participate, please contact us.