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Our Leadership

“Who is wise? One who learns from all people…”
~Pirkei Avot 4:1

Our Rabbi

Rabbi Ethan Bair med

Rabbi Ethan Bair

July 2013 to Present
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Rabbi Ethan Bair grew up in Boston where he was raised by spiritual seekers who rediscovered their Judaism through the Jewish Renewal movement. A graduate of Oberlin College and a former Fulbright scholar to Germany, Rabbi Bair was ordained at the Reform Jewish seminary, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles, in 2011. He wrote his Rabbinic Thesis on "Re-Envisioning Reform Jewish Prayer," under Rabbi Dr. Rachel Adler. While in rabbinical school, he was a recipient of the prestigious Schusterman Rabbinical Fellowship, which brought together future Reform and Conservative rabbis to learn about volunteer engagement, strategic planning and synagogue management. Stemming from this experience, Rabbi Bair describes himself as a member of a new generation of Jewish leaders for whom denominations are secondary to transformational Jewish experience. Prior to joining Temple Sinai, he worked at American Jewish World Service, a global Jewish non-profit working to realize human rights in the developing world and served as Campus Rabbi at the University of Southern California Hillel. Rabbi Bair is committed to creating a participatory and authentic Jewish prayer culture; promoting inter-faith social justice work; and integrating Jewish studies with traditional Jewish sources into his repertoire of teaching. He enjoys running, hiking, singing, and welcoming Shabbat guests into his home with his wife, Nadya. She is a doctoral candidate in Art History, currently finishing her dissertation.

 

From the Rabbi (regular newsletter article from our rabbi)

Past High Holy Day Sermons

Selected Past Shabbat Sermons

 

Rabbi Emerita

Rabbi Soifer and kiddush cup

Rabbi Myra Soifer, Emerita

July 2013 to Present
September 2012 to June 2013
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Rabbi Emerita Myra Soifer served as Temple Sinai's rabbi for 25 years (from August 1984 through June 2009). Prior to coming to Reno, Rabbi Soifer served as the Assistant Rabbi at Temple Sinai in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was ordained in 1978, by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rabbi Soifer's activities at Temple Sinai in Reno included services of worship and life cycle, teaching, home and hospital visits, community lectures, and private counseling. She is the author of numerous published articles on a variety of Jewish topics.
 
Retired on June 30, 2009, Rabbi Soifer retains the title "Rabbi Emerita. She has been granted life-time membership at our Temple.
 
Rabbi Soifer also came back to Sinai for nine months (September 2012 through June 2013) and provided full rabbinic services during our search for a permanent rabbi. She re-entered retirement on June 30, 2013.

Past Newsletter Articles from Rabbi Soifer

 

 

Where in the World is Myra?

Rabbi Soifer in tallit in FloridaWhere in the World is Myra?

Follow the wandering Rabbi to Rwanda and beyond.

Hi all! Myra Soifer here. Many of you know me as your (former) Rabbi. Others of you are friends and adopted family. Most of you are all that and more! This is my first blog ever!, as I prepare to head out to Rwanda (9/17) with the Peace Corps.

Click here to view the blogsite.

Then, click the "Follow" button on the bottom right-hand of the blogsite page to get the updated postings emailed to you when they are published!

 

Our Past Rabbis

Rabbi Teri E. Appleby.

Rabbi Teri E. Appleby
July 2009 - June 2012

 

Rabbi Myer Soifer.

Rabbi Myra Soifer
Rabbi Emerita, Temple Sinai
August 1984 - June 2009

 

Rabbi Paul Tuchman.

Rabbi Paul Tuchman
1982 - 1984

 

Rabbi Abraham L. Fineberg.

Rabbi Abraham L. Feinberg
Rabbi Emeritus, Holy Blossom Temple
1943 - 1961
Honorary Rabbi-in-Residence, Temple Sinai
1976 - 1986

 

 

 

Temple Sinai President

John N. Louie

John N. Louie

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John Louie grew up in Southern California, where his parents had been Israeli folk dancing since 1962. He started Israeli dancing 32 years ago while working on his PhD at Caltech's Seismo Lab. He married Neva Donovan 30 years ago; she is a family physician. Recruited to the University of Nevada, Reno in 1992, John teaches geophysics at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, doing research in energy exploration and earthquake hazards. John and Neva began attending Sinai services in 1999, with both of their children Anna and Ben becoming B'nei Mitzvah at Sinai. First joining the Sinai Board in 2001 as Secretary, John subsequently converted with Rabbi Soifer.

 From the President (regular newsletter article from our president)

 

 

Board of Trustees

President John N. Louie
1st Vice-President, Strategic Planning
Howard F. Holden
2nd Vice-President, Membership Mary Allstead
Financial Officer Lynda Goldman
Treasurer Ja-Non Barber
Secretary Steve Weidman
Member-at-Large Yani Dickens
Member-at-Large Jay Goldberg
Member-at-Large Michael Gorden
Member-at-Large Evan Klass
Member-at-Large Beth Slamowitz
Immediate Past President Marilyn L. Rappaport
Sisterhood Representatives Pam Sloan / Nicole Appel
Men's Club Representatives Steve Weidman / Steve Myerson

 

Board Bios

John N. Louie (President) -- John Louie grew up in Southern California, where his parents had been Israeli folk dancing since 1962. He started Israeli dancing 32 years ago while working on his PhD at Caltech's Seismo Lab. He married Neva Donovan 30 years ago; she is a family physician. Recruited to the University of Nevada, Reno in 1992, John teaches geophysics at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, doing research in energy exploration and earthquake hazards. John and Neva began attending Sinai services in 1999, with both of their children Anna and Ben becoming B'nei Mitzvah at Sinai. First joining the Sinai Board in 2001 as Secretary, John subsequently converted with Rabbi Soifer.

Howard Holden (1st VP Strategic Planning) -- Howard and Susan Holden joined Temple Sinai in 2011, finding in the Temple community a source of friendship, belonging, and Jewish identity. They both volunteer with the temple in various capacities including helping out with the Refugee Cosponsor program. He served on the Interim and Permanent Rabbi Search Committee in 2012-13, and has been the Financial Officer since 2013. He completed the Leadership Development Institute course presented at Sinai by Dr. Lynda Goldman last year.

Mary Allstead (2nd VP, Membership) -- Mary Allstead has lived in Reno, NV since she was 4 years old and received her degree in psychology from UNLV. She has two boys, Jesse who attends Reno High School and Will, who is at UNR. Mary has been a member of Temple Sinai for the past four years and has served on the board for the past two years as a member-at-large, as well as serving as the Familyhood Committee Chair. She has a passion for the youth programs at Temple Sinai, especially our youth group, SuNNY. Mary is the coowner of Mix Bakeshop, which she began in 2009.

Lynda Goldman (Financial Officer) -- Lynda Goldman was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida and moved to Reno with her husband Michael 3 years ago. She served on the Temple Sinai Board and various committees, and co-facilitated the Temple Sinai Leadership Institute class. Lynda earned her undergraduate and masters degrees at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her doctoral degree at George Washington University. Her area of practice is Leadership and Organizational Development and Strategic and Operational Human Resources. She is currently a consultant serving UNRMed and other corporate boards.

Ja-Non Barber(Treasurer) -- Ja-Non Barber was born and raised in Reno and attended UNR and later cosmetology school in San Francisco where she studied Esthiology and Massage Therapy. She is the co-owner of Tangerine Aveda Salon Spa, a high-end wellness salon and spa. During her childhood she was a member of Temple Emanuel, had her Bat Mitzvah there, and was very active in SNUSY youth group. In 2014, JaNon, her husband Joel, and their children became members of Temple Sinai, enjoying the young, family-driven congregation. Their twins, Ethan and Sydney, studied and had their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs at Temple Sinai and still enjoy an active life with the NFTY youth at the temple.

Steve Weidman (Secretary) -- Steve Weidman became a member of Temple Sinai in the summer of 2014. He has done volunteer work with Temple Sinai since becoming a member, as the chairperson of the Social Action Committee, and as a member of the Jewish Practice Committee. He is secretary of Temple Sinai’s Men’s Club and served as the representative of the club to the Board of Trustees. Since last Fall Steve has helped mentor the Syrian refuge family, the Zarours, who are cosponsored by Temple Sinai.

Yani Dickens (Member-at-Large) -- Yani Dickens attended Temple Sinai religious school, had his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Sinai, and his family has been involved with Temple Sinai for several years going back to his grandparents Ruth and Louis Dickens, who were founding members. More recently, he facilitated focus groups to help hire the current Rabbi, participated as team leader and facilitator of a Chavurah group with his spouse Jessica. He currently serves the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) as the Counseling Services Assistant Director, Director of Training, and was the most recent Interim Director. He would be interested in helping the Board with budgeting and financial strategies and finding ways to effectively increase membership.

Jay Goldberg (Member-at-Large) -- Jay Goldberg, and his wife Amy, moved to Reno in January 2016. He works as the Vice President, Internal Audit at Employers Holdings Inc., a workers’ compensation insurance company. He has served on several Temple Boards, both in Houston and New Jersey, as a member-at-large and as both Vice President and Secretary and Judaism has always been an important part of his life. He has over 25 years of business experience including starting and leading the internal audit function at various companies, both public and private, for over 15 years. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Bentley University McCallum Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University.

Michael Gorden (Member-at-Large) -- Michael Gorden has been an active Member of Temple Sinai for about 3 yrs now. He has two children in Sinai School (Nathan and Shalom) and one in Torah for Tots (Sasha). He has been happily married to his wife Jennifer for over 11 years now. He is just now completing his first year on the board as a member-at-large and looks forward to another year in this position. Michael is a Social Worker in the community and spends lots of time working with families.

Evan Klass (Member-at-Large) -- Evan Klass, and his wife Suzy, moved to Reno in 2008 and have been Temple Sinai members ever since. He serves on the inter-congregational Hebrew Cemetery Committee. He is an endocrinologist and Senior Associate Dean of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. He is also the Governor of the Nevada Chapter of the American College of Physicians, the largest medical specialty organization in the US (>140,000 members). His nuclear family includes three grown children, Elliott, Nate and Sarah - all of whom live on the east coast.

Beth Slamowitz (Member-at-Large) -- Beth Slamowitz moved to Reno with her husband Adam and their two sons, Russell and Matthew, in 2013. Shortly thereafter they became members of Temple Sinai. Adam served on the Temple board the last two years as a member-at-large, and Beth has been active in Sinai School and the Familyhood committee. She is passionate about Jewish youth programs, and their continuity at Temple Sinai. Beth is a Pharmacist by trade, and works with the State of Nevada Medicaid program.

 

Board Member Nominations

 

Volunteer Opportunities

2015 / 2016 Committee Chairs

Adult Education Dennis Dworkin  Email Committee Chair
Building Grounds & Safety Rod Sloan  Email Committee Chair
Caring Committee Harvey Katz  Email Committee Chair
Chavurah Shabbat (inactive)    
Familyhood Mary Allstead  Email Committee Chair
Fundraising And Special Events (FASE) Nicole Appel  Email Committee Chair
Jewish Practice Marilyn Roberts  Email Committee Chair
Leadership Development (inactive)    
Library Committee Jill Flanzraich  Email Committee Chair
Membership Committee Lori Johnson  Email Committee Chair
Re-design/Rebranding (inactive)    
Social Action Committee Jill Flanzraich
 Email Committee Chair
Strategic Planning Howard Holden
 Email Committee Chair