A synagogue serves the community in three ways: As a Beit ha Tefila, a House of Prayer; Beit ha Midrash, a House of Study and Beit ha Knesset, House of Assembly. These are the still the foundation of our Temple. The traditional prayers are still chanted in our community, supplemented at times by modern interpretations, poems and music.
I want to focus for the moment on the Temple as a gathering place or Beit ha knesset, again with both traditional and modern influences. Our social hall allows us to expand and welcome more of the Jewish community for religious observance and for non-religious activities as well. There are holiday celebrations such as the Biggest Little Sukkah Party and Family Day events like our Purim carnival. The annual Holiday Gift Bazaar is in November, and we are planning a comedy show in December. In the past, we have the Lunch & A Movie series, community dinners, a wine & cheese social, made gefilte fish and challah, even held a fashion show. We have come together in a town hall forum to listen to our own local candidates’ debate and to explore questions of social significance.
And how could Temple Sinai may be your house of study? For families, Torah for Tots provides a fun introduction to Jewish life and there is Sinai School for older children and Whole Family day programs for everyone. Adult education doesn’t end with b’nei mitzvah: there is Talmud study on Wednesdays and informal Torah discussions every other Saturday morning. We have formal classes each semester and informal programs on a variety of topics. Our new youth library and refurbished main library offer visitors a comfortable place to gather and learn. We encourage you to awaken to new insights or a deeper understanding of Jewish culture and practice as the new year begins.
Like NPR, we rely upon the generous support of our community and our congregants. We are proud to have had a full time Rabbi over the past decades, to have expanded our facility and grounds, to have improved our religious school. I urge you to give generously by mail or on-line at our website www.sinaireno.org. The synagogue is the center of Jewish life and I encourage you to explore more of our offerings this year and to support us in our efforts.