Located in the heart of the Lincoln Center area, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue has a rich and historically significant tradition of music and the arts. The congregation is known for its innovative and engaging approach to worship and an expansive array of music programs that explore all genres of sacred and secular Jewish music, both historical and contemporary.
We are blessed to have inspiring, musical, and participatory services at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue led by our rabbis, cantor, and professional music team as well as lay prayer leaders or ba'alei tefilah. We encourage all of our congregants to participate not only as spectators from the pews, but to engage wholeheartedly in the act of communal prayer.
For our most talented, proficient, and disciplined congregants, we offer some wonderful opportunities to participate as prayer leaders or chanters for select lifecycle, Shabbat, High Holy Day, and Festival services. If you are interested in improving your Hebrew reading and chanting skills through group or individual tutorial, or if you are looking to further explore these and other music and prayer opportunities, please contact Cantor Dan Singer at or 212-877-4050, ext. 237.
We welcome our congregants to participate in our Shabbat, High Holy Day, and Festival readings as lay chanters or ba'alei koreh, masters of chanting.
If you are interested in improving your Hebrew reading and chanting skills through group or individual tutorial, or if you are interested in becoming a regular participant in the chanting of Torah, Haftarah, and Megillah readings throughout the year as a ba'al koreh, please contact Cantor Dan Singer at or 212-877-4050, ext. 237.
Members and non-members alike are invited to join us as we take our music to the streets, visiting the sick and the elderly. We sing a large number of old popular favorites that inspire our audiences to participate in singing, clapping, and even dancing! This includes Yiddish classics like "My Yiddishe Mama" and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (in Yiddish) to memorable secular hits like "Heart of My Heart" and "Swanee". During our holiday visits after the High Holy Days and around Chanukah, Purim, Passover, and Shavuot, we spice up our performances with participatory Jewish melodies and medleys related to relevant holiday music.
Choristers and soloists of all levels of ability are welcome. No Hebrew knowledge or musical background is required! For the Musical Mitzvah tour, it is the power of your enthusiasm, smile, and joyful spirit that matter.
Besides our participatory and musical prayer services, we enjoy a wide variety of performances throughout the year for our holidays and other special occasions. The music spans a wide array of styles and generations of interest. Please see our calendar for upcoming performance series.
For nearly 30 years, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue's popular Purim spiel has been written and directed by congregant Norman Roth. It features the greatest talents of congregants of all ages and involves weeks of dedication and rehearsal. In 2016, Roth and Stephen Wise Free Synagogue were featured in the New York Times. Roth’s Purim spiels have been purchased and performed by congregations in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
Perhaps you want to serve as a chorister, soloist, or instrumentalist? Or maybe you want to help out behind the scenes for an upcoming production? To get involved, please contact Norman Roth at 212-260-0828 or .
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is located just a few blocks away from Manhattan's Lincoln Center. 68th Street is relatively quiet, and the size of the sanctuary, social hall, and other rooms in the building may be ideal for your upcoming recital, rehearsal, or recording.
Since 2007, when Stephen Wise Free Synagogue officially became a Bosendorfer venue by acquiring a new Bosendorfer Imperial, one of the largest and finest hand-made pianos in the world, many musicians have taken advantage of the space. The modular seating in our sanctuary allows us to host large symphony orchestras and choruses with a variety of arrangements.
Our sanctuary boasts the Bosendorfer Imperial, a fully digital audio recording facility, HD video recording, live audio and video streaming equipment, a PA system, and a flexible and large but intimate space.
Our social hall has a semi-concert grand piano and a theatrical stage with flexible area for open seating and/or tables in the hall. A smaller adjacent room has a baby grand appropriate for small gatherings or receptions. The building also includes smaller rooms with either an upright or electric pianos for private rehearsal space.
If you would like to make an inquiry regarding a music rental, please contact Donna Levine at or 212-877-4050, ext. 223.
JEWISH ARTS AND MUSIC PROGRAM
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is proud to present the Jewish Arts and Music (JAM) program, an array of innovative educational offerings and performances for all ages, generously supported by the Covenant Foundation.
CENTENNIAL TORAH SCROLL
In the fall of 2007, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue observed a year-long Centennial celebration. The largest project of the year culminated in the creation of a new Centennial Torah that was written by many of our congregants with the assistance of Sofer Niel Yurman.
Today, all new Torahs require very sophisticated computer scanning to detect imperfections before they may be declared kosher. When we discovered this new technology was required, we requested that we be given a "tikkun" copy of the scans so that we would be able to allow our Bar / Bat Mitzvah students and other Torah Chanters to study their portions exactly as they would appear in our beautiful new handwritten Torah.