Are there any Conservative synagogues that daven Nusach Sfard?

  • Yosef, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for the interesting question. Please consider clicking "register," above, to create your account. That will give you access to all of mi.yodeya's features and will allow you to take full credit for your contributions. – Isaac Moses Mar 28 '10 at 2:31
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    Sephardic, or Nusach Sefard (closer to Hasidic)? – Shalom Mar 28 '10 at 3:05
  • Shalom: I was thinking of the latter. But it was interesting to read about the former, below. – Yosef Mar 28 '10 at 23:49

As already mentioned, the "official" Conservative siddurim use a slight variant of nusach Ashkenaz (the differences are not that great).

However, I have been in some "Conservative-like" (though officially unaffiliated) congregations that use nusach Sefard. These are, as you suggest, descendants of Orthodox congregations that once used this nusach. The congregations I am aware of use the Birnbaum siddur or a related older siddur.

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    Jordan, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for contributing your experience. I look forward to seeing you around. – Isaac Moses Mar 29 '10 at 2:34

The conservative movement uses a variant of Nusach Ashkenaz with some small changes (in terms of the percentage of the text changed), to express some rather large philosophical differences from Orthodox Judaism.

However, there are some Conservative-affiliated Sephardic synagogues that are egalitarian, but use the Sephardic nusach. These synagogues are thankfully the exception among Sephardim, rather than the rule.

  • Where? I've seen some fairly liberal Sephardic synagogues (the most you get is no mehitza and affiliate affiliation with Conservative affiliate groups, e.g. Sisterhoods and Men's Clubs and USY), but they've never associated wit the USCJ. – B.BarNavi Aug 10 '11 at 3:48

The conservative have their own Nusach

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    Yes, I know, but it is based on the Nusach Ashkenaz. What I was getting at, though, is that since there were many cases, circa 50-100 years ago, of once-Orthodox shuls that came to affliate with the Conservative movement. It stands to reason, then, that some were originally Chasidic/nusach Sfard and may have kept some of their original customs. I was asking if anyone could confirm. – Yosef Mar 28 '10 at 23:53
  • Why this is the case I don't Know But it seems that Sfard does not Work for all the off shoots of Judiasim.The Conservative siddur, Siddur Sim Shalom is also Nusach Ashkenaz. To the best of my knowledge, the Conservative Movement simply doesn't use Nusach S'fard. Even the Reconstructionist Movement, which is an offshot of the Conservative Movement, uses Nusach Ashkenaz, and, for that matter, I think the (North American) Reform Movement's prayer books are also Nusach Ashkenaz. Nusach S'fard seems to be the exclusive province of certain Orthodox communities, at least in North America. – SimchasTorah Mar 29 '10 at 1:14
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    There's a fairly large shul in my area which was once Nusah Sefard before it became Conservative. It's got some remnant practices, such as Sephardi haftarot, Mizmor Shir leYom haShabbat before Torah reading, and Ashrei/Uva leTzion before returning the Torah on Mon/Thurs, but otherwise it uses the Sim Shalom text exclusively. – B.BarNavi Aug 10 '11 at 3:51
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    @B.BarNavi (I had to check how to write that so that you'd get notified*), this looks like an answer (and a good one: it's an actual instance of a Conservative synagogue that, partially, uses nusach S'farad; it'd be even better IMO if you mention what synagogue this is). Perhaps you should post it as such. (*You might wish to change your username so people know how to @-notify you, as otherwise you may well miss responses to your comments.) – msh210 Sep 13 '11 at 21:36

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