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2017 Posts


Sinai Congregational Forum

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

Save the Date: Sinai Congregational Forum – Sunday, January 28, 1:00 p.m.

At our October retreat, your Board of Trustees brought forward the idea of holding a Temple Sinai Congregational Forum in January. This will not be a congregational business meeting. That will take place in May or June as in previous years. We expect the Forum to last approximately 90 minutes and cover the following topics:

  • Welcome/Overview
  • Purpose of the Meeting
  • Rabbinic Search Committee Update
  • Finance Committee Update
  • Questions

The Social Action Committee will convene another Living Room Conversation immediately following the Forum so we invite you to stay for that as well.

This is the Board’s opportunity to speak with you about what is happening at Temple Sinai and to ensure we hear your thoughts and comments directly.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday, January 28.

~John Louie



Your Sinai Board of Trustees, Working for Our Congregation

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

Last Sunday your Temple Sinai Board of Trustees attended a 5-hour retreat at the synagogue, together with committee chairs and representatives. I need to thank everyone who attended, those who wanted to attend but could not; and especially Stefanie Fenton for volunteering many hours to plan and facilitate this retreat, as well as the previous retreat in late June. This retreat focused on how well the board and committees are implementing the strategic initiatives we defined in late June, and on refining these initiatives. The board is spending much effort on the two initiatives identified in June as most critical, so these were not refined further:

  • Develop a sound financial plan/Set up rainy day fund. Since this initiative enables everything else we do at Sinai, we have emphasized it. The Financial Advisory Council of TS (FACTS) is meeting several times each month, and drawing many hours of effort from a dozen volunteers, including five board members. FACTS focuses on Budget and Finance, Philanthropy and Legacy, and Grants. If you would like to attend a FACTS meeting, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
  • Get clear on/codify what TS is looking for in a Rabbi. Our search for rabbinic leadership has gotten a strong start. The rabbinic search committee is working hard, and applications from candidates are coming in.

Here are the initiatives that we have much work yet to do on, with the purposes set down just last Sunday:

  • Board governance/operations. Ensure Temple Sinai runs effectively, efficiently, and transparently.
  • Healing divisiveness. To facilitate inclusiveness, educate about what the Reform Movement represents.
  • Better communications. To increase engagement, provide more openness; encourage transparent dialogue among our board and congregation.
  • Understanding various demographics. What would attract participation from the underrepresented and underserved?
  • Jewish education. Pillars: Students, teachers, Rabbi, curriculum, Torah, financial, support, results.
  • Increase membership/bring in new members. Become more relevant to our various Jewish demographics; explore alternatives to traditional membership.

As you can see, we have our work cut out for us. The Board invites Sinai members to all of its meetings- we want you to know what we are doing, and we want to hear from you. (Next meeting 7 p.m. Nov. 8)

Two more invitations: Did you know that Sinai’s twice-monthly Shabbat morning services (1st and 3rd Saturday’s) (9:30am) and Torah study (10:30am) are as well attended as Friday nights? Many thanks to Deborah Achtenberg and Marilyn Roberts, for elevating Sinai’s Shabbat mornings. Come and be a part of it, next Shabbat Nov. 4!

Also, starting Nov. 17, every 3rd Friday night will be an uplifting, musical, camp-style, rockin’ Shabbat called “Shabbat Alive!” These services will take place at 6:00 p.m. followed by a robust Oneg. They will feature a song-leader from URJ Camp Newman! Please join us and invite a friend!

Moving forward together,
John Louie

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