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From the Rabbi


From the Rabbi

Rabbi Ethan Bair


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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 seminary, Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, in 2011. He wrote his Rabbinic thesis on "Re-Envisioning Reform Jewish Prayer," with 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 would describe himself as a member of a new generation of Jewish leaders for whom denominations are secondary to transformational Jewish experience. Over the last six years, he has served congregations in Ogden, Utah; Vancouver, British Columbia; Sun Valley, Idaho; and San Rafael, CA. Most recently, he worked at American Jewish World Service, a global Jewish non-profit working to realize human rights in the developing world. Before that, he 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 writing her dissertation.


Visiting Israel

Written by // Rabbi Ethan Bair Categories // 2017 Posts

Over a week ago now, the Temple Sinai Trip to Israel came to an end. It was a fun, spiritual, educational and identity-affirming trip for everyone. We flew in to Tel Aviv and traveled through the north, before visiting S'fat and spending several days in Jerusalem. The trip combined culture, history, border and political issues, religious pluralism and diversity in Israel, and great food! We even had lunch in a Druze home in the Carmel one day! Check out some of the pictures, below! I hope everyone gets a chance to visit Israel in their lifetime, as there is simply nothing like hearing spoken Hebrew and being immersed in Jewish culture in the homeland of our people. I hope the trip participants will share their experiences with the community for many weeks and months to come!

Rabbi Bair

Photos from This Past Week at Sinai

01 sinai at the kotelOur group learning about the history of the Temple in Jerusalem, its architectural feats, construction and destruction by the Romans.

02 sinai and the women of the wallWomen of the Wall on arias Chodesh before Shavuot, reading Torah and advocating for an egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel.

03 noam zion of the shalom hartman instituteLearning with Noam Zion of the Shalom Hartman Institute on educating an ethical warrior and the dilemmas of asymmetrical warfare in Israel.

04 sinai at the supreme court in jerusalemSupreme Court in Jerusalem

05 sinai with lieutenant colonol saria zehaviLieutenant Colonol Saria Zehavi, formerly the Senior Intelligence officer at the northern border, teaching us about the situation in Syria from Israel's perspective.

06 sinai standing in jaffa overlooking tel avivStanding in Jaffa, overlooking Tel Aviv

dr solomiya ivakhivDr. Solomiya Ivakhiv -- Ukrainiuan violinist from our June 4, 2017 Men's Club breakfast and Violin Fundraiser -- standing in front of an untitled lithograph of a fiddler by artist Chaim Goldberg which is the symbol of Sholem Aleichem (Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich) who is from the very same region of Ukraine that our speaker grew up in.


Jumping Into Spring!

Written by // Rabbi Ethan Bair Categories // 2017 Posts

It has been a busy  month at Temple Sinai. The Familyhood Committee put on a wonderful and highly successful fundraiser for Youth programs, the Spring Simcha Sock Hope and Silent Auction at the Grove. Thank you to everyone who helped to make it a smash, especially Beth and Adam Slamowitz, Mary Allstead, Ellen Lessinger -- and all our parents and attendees who donated auction items and money. What a fun event!

Of course, we celebrated Passover at the Atlantis and Saundra Goodman and many others planned a wonderful seder for us. Thank you to everyone who attended!

Last week we marked Yom HaShoah and many of you attended Holocaust Education events for the community. We at Temple Sinai are proud of the work and dedication of Temple members Judy Schumer, Nurit Stites and Marilyn Rappaport, and next year Mindy Hertz, for investing so much care in Holocaust Education for the state. We marked Yom HaShoah as a community with a Shabbat service dedicated to the memory of the six million who so tragically perished. Thank you to the Youth Group for helping to lead a very meaningful service-- and to the survivors and children of survivors within our Temple Sinai family who lit our Yom HaShoah candles.
Tuesday night, we also celebrated the culmination of the four-month Introduction to Judaism class. A hearty thank you to Jill Flanzraich, the Teaching Assistant for the class, who managed the roster, communications and logistics for the 18-session class. Next year, we will be offering an Adult B'nei Mitzvah class. Please let me know if you are interested in taking part!

This Friday we have a special Yom HaAtzma'ut-themed Family service at 6:00 p.m. with Pot-Luck dinner at 7:00 p.m. This follows Tot Shabbat at 5:30 p.m. Thank you to Tova Ramos for her puppetry during Tot Shabbat and Steve Rubin for playing guitar at both services. Come celebrate Israeli Independence Day and Shabbat! We are also looking forward to Shavuot with Temple Emanuel and Temple Beth Or on Tuesday, May 30. Please see the flyer below and send in your RSVP. It will be lovely to celebrate Shavuot with all three synagogues together two days after the Temple Sinai Israel Trip.

Finally, please look out for membership pledge letters coming in the mail soon as we ask everyone in the congregation to please submit membership renewal commitments for the next year before July 1. Thank you for your timely attention.

Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Bair

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