I’m not gonna bury the lead: We are launching 5784 as a Year of Renewal at Temple Sinai. This will be a deliberate campaign to invite old and new friends back to Temple Sinai and to ask our members to invite Temple Sinai back into their lives.

As one of our first steps in this campaign, I am delighted to announce that Temple Sinai is hosting our first in-person Yom Kippur Break-the-Fast since 2019. The Break-the-Fast is not just a rote part of the Yom Kippur holiday. This is an opportunity for us all to come together over delicious food and build a more connected community. If you would like to join in the effort to make this feast and celebration a success, please consider signing up to contribute an item to the meal: http://sinaireno.org/breakthefast

I am also thrilled to share that our interfaith friends have answered the call to assist with the setup and tear down of the Break-the-Fast meal. This is an excellent example of how we can engage with the broader community to expand our reach and deepen our impact. Continuing this trend, our Temple Sinai Library and Social Action Committees are hosting an Interfaith Celebration of Sukkot on October 4th. Whether helping to build the Sukkah (build date Saturday, 9/23 at 2 pm!) or attending this lovely potluck event, your participation is a chance to bond with other Temple Sinai members and make new friends. We are committed to seizing opportunities to bring our people together with fresh vigor and energy.

As another pillar of our Year of Renewal, your Sinai Board is actively engaged in a Listening Campaign to reach out to every member – without any agenda or request – and have meaningful conversations about how the Temple best serves our membership. The purpose of these conversations is to get to know our community, build relationships of trust, discover a member’s appetite for participation, and ultimately, change our culture here at Temple Sinai.

We are also actively reshaping our culture of caring. We honor and thank our prior Caring Committee for their many years of service (Harvey, you’re a mensch!), but taking care of our people, showing compassion and support for each other, performing acts of kindness – plainly stated, this is not a “committee” that we can choose to be on or off. This is nothing less than our purpose as a people. Please be alert for opportunities to offer support to those in need. We are working to identify specific, single acts of kindness, like preparing a meal or making a wellness visit, and then to better communicate those opportunities to be of service to our membership. Please reach out to me at president@sinaireno.org if you wish to be dialed into this Chesed effort. This will be a challenging project, but the connections you’ll make and the difference you’ll create are bound to be deeply fulfilling.

Your board leadership hears you – we need stronger relationships, better communication, and more diverse programming at Temple Sinai. We need to become more connected, more responsible, and more responsive to our members. This Year of Renewal begins with the board’s commitment to rebuilding community and warmth, and we need our membership to join us in this transformation. Let’s all fall in love with each other and with this synagogue again. I wish you all a Happy New Year. Welcome back and welcome home.

Shanah Tova,
Tova McGilvray