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From the President


From the President

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.


With Gratitude

Written by // John N. Louie Categories // 2017 Posts

It is with a great deal of gratitude that I write this message. It is clear that everyone in our community cares deeply about the future of Temple Sinai, and that we all are doing everything we can to help our synagogue prosper and progress. We have a new Board, new committee chairs and committee members, and new volunteers who I need to thank for stepping up and taking on new roles and new challenges. I could not do this job without all of them. I am very grateful as well to last year’s leadership -- especially for the dedication of Past President Marilyn Rappaport. I need to add my personal thanks to the retiring leaders who Marilyn thanked in her last message: Nicole Appel, Ellen Lessinger, Pam Sloan, Nurit Stites, Doug Goodman and Rod Sloan.

I have also been lifted up by you, our loyal and caring members and friends. The big turnout at the congregational meeting was wonderful. I am grateful to all those who came to the front of the room and spoke. I heard great passion and concern for our Temple, and many ideas that we need to consider and test out. Please continue to express yourself by writing to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Another reason that I am grateful is the fantastic response to our appeal for membership renewal. Your annual pledges have been coming in very rapidly, and this is already lifting us toward better financial stability. Rabbi Bair and I have been speaking to members individually in our strategic philanthropy campaign. The response we have gotten is nothing short of amazing. All of our members count, no matter the size of your pledge. Rest assured, the Philanthropy committee will be speaking with each of you soon. I am very grateful to Rabbi Bair as well, for getting this effort going.

Thanks to Marilyn Roberts and the Jewish Practice committee, planning for our High Holy Day services is almost complete. It’s a little scary for me -- there is not much time left for me to consider all the things I need to atone for, and start making apologies. I will look forward to seeing all of you there, if not sooner.




Written by // Marilyn L. Rappaport Categories // 2017 Posts

There are several members of the Board who will be leaving after this year and I would like to thank them for their service to Temple Sinai. Their friendship and support these past years are greatly cherished.

Nicole Appel joined the congregation four years ago and jumped right in volunteering, managing Facebook and chairing FASE. She has brought so many ideas, events, and programs to us – from cooking classes to Sunday cinema to the very successful Holiday Bazaar – and gave generously of her time on so many occasions. Nicole was the person who brought the idea of welcoming refugee families to Reno to the Social Action Committee.

Ellen Lessinger served as the Board secretary and provided the minutes in record time. She was also the President of Sisterhood and has been an active volunteer for many years, helping out at every event she could attend.

Pam Sloan stepped up to be the Treasurer this past year and provided diligent oversight, excellent reports, and a more complete understanding of the financial requirements of our Temple. Her many years of service and commitment to our community will continue as she is the new Sisterhood president.

Nurit Stites returned to Board service this year and her active participation there and on the Jewish Practice Committee is very much appreciated.

Doug Goodman served on the Board for nine years, most recently as Immediate Past President and of course, as President before me. He has served the community in a variety of ways as well and he, and his wife Saundra, have given so much of their time and energy over the years. For the past four years he has provided that important historical context as a member of the Board and served as a valued mentor.

We very much appreciate our volunteers and their tireless efforts which support the Temple in a variety of ways. If you click on the link, you will find the names of the 65 volunteers we honor for their service this year. Certificates of Appreciation for these volunteers are available to pick up at our office. Volunteers provided support for the adult and family programs this year, welcomed new members, and brought food and comfort to congregants in need.

I would especially like to thank Rod Sloan, Chair of Building, Grounds, and Security, for taking care of our facility and property promptly, efficiently and at the lowest cost. He has done so very much for Temple Sinai over the years, either doing the work himself or overseeing the projects. Rod also served on the board as the President, and along with several others on the Past Presidents Council, served as a friend and mentor.

Temple Sinai will continue to grow and thrive as a vibrant Jewish community with the continuing commitment of talent, time, energy and enthusiasm of its membership.


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