I wish my first President’s Message to you all – our Greater Reno Jewish Community of Temple Sinai (TS), was on better terms. This is what are we faced with here at Temple Sinai and the upcoming Rosh HaShanah/Yom Kippur Holidays. We have all seen the news of constant anti-Semitic rhetoric all over this past year – up to and including this very past week in Las Vegas where a person was arrested prior to a planned attack on a synagogue. The big question that concerns your current TS Board is how do we protect our congregation during these times of both joy and sacrifice? Ultimately, there is no way we can for certain say, “come one, come all” without having the ability to vet the process of the High Holidays.

The TS executive committee fought long and hard (in debate) to think of ways that we as a board can add a level of protection beyond our usual one security guard. I want to let the TS congregation know that since security is our priority, along with vetting those who are welcomed into our home, the number one item that is widely mentioned is a Ticket System. We looked at this and, with the HHD’s right around the corner, this is something that would not be fiscally possible at this time, and not to mention the many, many hours it would take to get a system in place to accomplish the printing and mailing of tickets. We will continue to look at this for our future events. I want to assure all of our TS Community that the word “Ticket” is not meant to be a bad thing or associated with MONEY, it is a step up in protecting us all as we gather in numbers. So as a step in the direction of keeping us all safe for the HHD’s, we will be asking everyone to wear a name tag while at Temple Sinai.

The following is the FIRST step of what we are implementing:

  1. We will make member nametags for all people in all member families. These nametags will be available at the entrance to the synagogue and will be collected after services in the same place. (This will additionally help our new board members learn names of members and give the security guard a visual knowledge of the people who belong to the congregation, as well as serve as a set of nametags we can use on Friday nights.)
  2. For guests, we will be asking them to register for free on our website and we will print out nametags that are individual to the year. We will also use this spreadsheet for members who want to update their information. Mike has already created the spreadsheet and indicated that guests will show ID to get their nametags.
  3. For those guests who come to the door, we will have a separate blank nametag with distinguishing features and we will have board members talk to them, take ID, and then give a nametag. This way, the security guards can know they have been ID-ed as well.
  4. Here is the LINK TO ORDER your High Holiday Nametags.

SECOND, we will have a single point of entrance and exit during the HHDs. The main entrance will be used this year. For those who need more assistance with walking, we will reserve the front parking lot for our more fragile guests.

THIRD, we will have two security guards for all services. One guard will always be stationed at the entrance and one will be walking our premises.

FOURTH, we will have at least two board members at the entrance to assist with entry and help with name tags (again – a step in the protection of all). These are all deterrents – not fail-safes for our TS Community.

FIFTH, I – along with another Security Team member – will have tablets with our security cameras on view at all times during services. We love our tradition of not having this level of security but it is important that we are all safe as we gather during the High Holy Days.

We look forward to seeing you all at Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur this upcoming year of 5780.


Your Temple President,
Michael Gorden