Sinai Update Week of September 21-27, 2014

September 23rd, 2014

   SINAI UPDATE  |  Week of  September 21-27, 2014  | Parashat Ha’azinu

Reflections on the Jewish Calendar – Rabbi Andy Vogel

Tomorrow evening we begin our celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of another New Year. It is a time of renewal, blessing and hope. We can celebrate at arriving at the start of another year, grateful for our many blessings this year, regretful of our many mistakes. But the Jewish calendar’s gift to us is the blessing of starting anew, filled with the knowledge of the past. On Rosh Hashanah, Friday, we begin with a “clean slate,” looking ahead to a year whose story has yet to be written. “Days are scrolls; write on them only what you want remembered.” (Bachya ibn Pakuda, 11th century)   A whole year lies before us! May we use our time in it well!

My family wishes you and your loved ones many good things as we enter the New Year. May you be blessed with a good year, with good health and happiness, and many, many blessings. L’shanah tovah!

            - Rabbi Andy Vogel

We welcome you to join us for High Holiday Services at Temple Sinai

EREV ROSH HASHANAH - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Service 7:00 p.m.


ROSH HASHANAH – First Day, Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rosh Hashanah Morning Service   9:30 a.m.

Children’s Programs in Religious School Wing:

Pre-K through Grade 3, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.*

Grade 4-6 Services start off in Sanctuary, 9:30 a.m.

Tashlich  12:30 p.m.

Children’s Service:  Ages 1-8, 2:15 p.m.


ROSH HASHANAH -Second Day,  Friday, September 26, 2014

Congregational Hike and Shofar-Blowing

Meet at Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge, Concord, 10:00 a.m.


KOL NIDRE - Friday, October 3, 2014

Kol Nidre Service  7:00 p.m.


YOM KIPPUR - Saturday, October 4, 2014

Yom Kippur Morning Service   9:30 a.m.

Children’s Programs in Religious School wing:

Pre-K through Grade 3, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.*

Grade 4-6 Services start off in Sanctuary, 9:30 a.m.

Healing Service 1:00 p.m.

Children’s Service, Ages 1-8, 1:45 p.m.

Afternoon Panel Presentation and Discussion  3:00 p.m.

Afternoon, Memorial and Ne’ilah Services 4:15 p.m.

*Children’s Rosh Hashanah Morning Program for Grades pre-K through Grade 6 on Thursday, September 25

We are looking forward to a wonderful morning of Rosh Hashanah programming for our pre-K through Grade 6 students. Please note that we have made some CHANGES in the schedule since the printing of the High Holiday tickets. On Rosh Hashanah morning, children in Grades pre-K through Grade 3 will report to the second floor of the religious school wing from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. for programming and a service led by our religious school teachers. Students in Grades 4 – 6 should report to the sanctuary at 9:30 a.m. At a given time, team leader, Jessica Lowenthal, will come collect your students from the sanctuary, and bring them to the top floor of the religious school wing for programming and a service. We look forward to a wonderful morning!

~Heidi Smith Hyde, Director of Education

Join us for our annual Second Day Rosh Hashanah hike – this Friday, September 26, 10:00 a.m.

Once again this year, we gather for a congregational hike on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. We will re  turn to the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord, Massachusetts. Plan to meet us at the Observation Tower parking lot at 10:00 a.m. and then at the Concord River site for singing, shofar-blowing, apples and honey. Bring a picnic lunch! For more information and directions to Great Meadows, clic  k To RSVP or if you have further questions, contact Evan or Victoria Medoff, 617-277-4058 or

This Shabbat @ Temple Sinai
Please join us for our Erev Shabbat service this Friday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m.  The service will be led by Rabbi Vogel and Cantor Toubes and the oneg following the service is sponsored by Charlie Homer and Judith Fabricant.   All are welcome to join us.

In our lives….

I am very sorry to inform you of the death of one of our members, Katie McQuade-Toig, who passed away on Friday, September 19. She was 33 years old. We offer our heartfelt condolences her dear husband, Jeff Toig, and her beloved son, Cole Feins, who is a 7th grader in our religious school. Funeral services are scheduled for tomorrow,Wednesday morning, September 24, at 10:00 a.m. at Temple Sinai. Burial services will follow immediately at Walnut Hills Cemetery in Brookline. Rabbi Vogel will officiate. During this difficult time, our hearts reach out to Jeff and Cole, and we offer them our sympathies.

-       Rabbi Andy Vogel

Scroll of Remembrance submissions

The Scroll of Remembrance Memorial Book, distributed at the Yizkor service on Yom Kippur, is a lovely way to honor your departed ones while helping to support the life of Temple Sinai. Because of printing requirements, the deadline for submitting names for inclusion in the book is today. If you would like to remember your departed loved ones, please email Rose Mandelbaum, , and let her know the names you would like included – as soon as possible. A suggested minimum donation of $36  can be mailed directly to the Temple office with a note “Scroll” in the memo line.

Shabbat Morning Torah Study - this Saturday, 9:00 a.m.

Join Rabbi Vogel in his study this Saturday at 9:00 a.m. for Shabbat morning Torah Study. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore Jewish ideas as they emerge from the week’s Torah portion. No expertise or prior reading required! We begin with a light breakfast and singing and then begin the discussion. All are welcome!

Join Tzedek@Sinai for brunch - Sunday, September 28, 11:00 a.m.

Come to the first, monthly Tzedek@Sinai Brunch to learn about and discuss timely social justice issues. This month, the focus is on the ballot questions in the November 4 election, particularly earned sick time. Identify opportunities to have an impact and get together with others in making a difference. For more information, contact Zippy Ostroy at 617-645-8891 or .


Tzedek@Sinai Reading Buddies 

Starting in October, read weekly with a second or third grader at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School. For more information, contact Amy Shulman Weinberg at 617-645-8891 or            ~Tzedek@Sinai

Adult Hebrew class graphic

Beginner’s Hebrew for Adults — concludes this Sunday, September 28Weintraub Auditorium,11:00 a.m.
Start the year off with an introductino to Hebrew!  This course is appropriate for students who have little or no background in reading Hebrew.  If you once learned letters long ago, but need a refresher course, or never had the opportunity to learn the Alef-Bet, come join us.  The class offers the means to firm up first steps and to gain some proficiency in reading.  It provides a fun, non-judgmental learning environment.  Open to Temple Sinai members and the community.  The class, taught by Dr. Sandy Goldfless,takes place in the Charles Street Room.

food drive grocery bagTemple Sinai’s Annual Yom Kippur Food Drive

For the 22nd consecutive year, Temple Sinai joins the nationwide effort to collect food for people in need during the High Holy Days by holding our Yom Kippur Food Drive. All donations will go to the Grow Clinic food pantry at Boston Medical Center. This unique and successful program serves over 5,000 malnourished people a year. When you come to Yom Kippur services this year, please bring your donated grocery bags. A greeter will direct you to leave your bag in the small room off the vestibule of the temple. Your donations are greatly appreciated.

Strausberg, AviAdult Learning: The Jewish Class of Why – begins October 2, register on-line now!

Did you ever wonder why we joyfully break a glass at Jewish wedding? Or, why we have two challahs at our Friday night meal? In this class, we will address the why’s of all of the curious questions behind why Jews do what they do. We will track down our answers by working our way back through time, starting with the Torah, continuing with the Mishnah and Talmud, and then following the thread of our question as a particular practice develops and is shaped throughout the generations. By the end of this class, you’re guaranteed to walk away with some educated, well-sourced answers as well as a few more questions to keep you curious in the years to come. Taught by Hebrew College rabbinic student Avi Strausberg, the Jewish Class of Why will include 2 hours of suggested reading assignments each week, with the intent to raise the level of discussion, learning and understanding. The class beginsThursday evening October 2 and continues October 9, 23, and 30, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Tuition is $25 for Temple Sinai members ($30 non-members.) To register, call the Temple office or click

Join us on the Music, Prayer and Ritual Committee - Tuesday, October 7, 7:30 p.m.

The Music, Prayer, Ritual (MPR) Committee is the committee that (unsurprisingly) concerns itself with Music, Prayer, and Ritual at Temple Sinai. We meet with the clergy to discuss issues and to help formulate policies. If these topics interest you, we would love to have you as an active member of the committee or a “lurker” on our email list.   Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, October 7 at 7:30 PM at Temple. Feel free to simply appear and see what you think.  You can also express an interest by send an email to committee chair, Jeremy Wolfe, .

~Jeremy Wolfe, Chair, MPR Committee

Dessert in the Sukkah! - Wednesday, October 8 , 7:30 - 9:15 p.m.

Celebrate the first night of Sukkot! Rabbi Andy Vogel and Martha Hausman invite the Temple Sinai community for “Dessert in the Sukkah” in their backyard Sukkah.   Please join them on Wednesday, October 8, 7:30 p.m. - weather permitting! Please RSVP to the Temple office 617-277-5888, ext. 3.  Address and directions are also available from the Temple office.

challah and knifeOur next monthly Community Shabbat Dinner is October 10 – registration is open!

Temple Sinai’s next Shabbat dinner will take place on Friday, October 10 following “Shabbat@Six!” services. Our catered dinners always have a vegetarian option and all ages are invited to attend. This is a wonderful way to meet others in the Sinai community and enjoy a delicious Shabbat meal. Plan to join us! Register on line,

Congregational Israel trip pictureBook Club/Israel Committee book discussion, Tuesday, October 14 - all invited!

The Temple Sinai Book Group and Temple Israel Committee invite you to join us in Weintraub Auditorium on Tuesday, October 14 @ 7:30pm as we discuss Like Dreamers by Yossi Klein Halevi. The book follows the lives of seven members of the 55th Paratroop Brigade from their liberation of Jerusalem in the Six Day War through the decades following. Their divergent paths following the war help illustrate the many challenges facing Israeli society today. It’s a lengthy book, but well worth the effort.   Questions? Contact Sheila Shulman

simchat Torah graphic 2Simchat Torah service for all ages - Wednesday, October 15, 7:00 p.m.

Plan to join us on Wednesday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m. for our Simchat Torah service and celebration. Dance with the Torah Scrolls in the street and sing as we march around with the Sefer Torah. We will read the end and beginning of the Torah and our new students are consecrated. Our festivities are followed by our delicious Chocolate Oneg! All are welcome.

Cerrotti, DennisAdult Learning: “The Rescue of the Jews in Denmark” – begins Sunday, October 19

This course will provide an historical overview of the Jews in Denmark and how they escaped Nazi attempts to capture them in 1943 with the assistance of the Danish people and their political and religious leaders. A major focus will be on the uniqueness of Danish history, culture and religion. How did these contribute to a social paradigm which guaranteed the protection of the Jews and others and how did that sense of solidarity and purpose contribute to the actual operations of the rescue? The course is taught by Temple Sinai member Dr. Dennis Cerrotti. It begins on Sunday October 19 and continues October 26 and November 211:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. All are welcome.

Temple Sinai’s Night at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Wed, October 29, 7:00 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts 

Join us as at the Boston Museum of Fine Art on Wednesday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m. for a very special evening. Marietta Cambareri, Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture and Jetskalina H. Phillips Curator of Judaica Art, will describe how her position got funded and how this bequest paved the way for the acquisition and study of Judaica objects at the MFA . This session will include the path that led to a recent gift of a collection of 120 Judaica objects, some of which we will see and discuss. Please note that the tour will require considerable walking and climbing stairs! This event will be limited to 20 people and registration is required.   Please call the Temple office, 617-277-5888, to sign up.

Special 75th Anniversary Scholar in Residence weekend - November 7 and 9

Dr. Ellen Smith, Jewish historian and co-editor of “The Jews of Boston” is Temple Sinai’s Scholar-in-Residence this year. As we celebrate our 75th year, Dr. Smith will help us look back to the origins of our congregation and see the distance we have traveled as a community, both the similarities and the changes from the Jewish life of 1939. At Erev Shabbat services on Friday, November 7, the topic of Dr. Smith’s guest d’var Torah is “Happy Birthday to Us: Temple Sinai and Boston’s Jewish History.” On Sunday, November 9, the weekend continues with a brunch where Dr. Smith will discuss “The Future of the American Jewish Community.” The weekend is supported in part by the Thurer Scholar-in-Residence Fund at Temple Sinai.

Register now for trip to Eastern Europe, May 16-27, 2015!

You can now register for Temple Sinai’s congregational trip to Eastern Europe, including Budapest, Prague and Berlin, which will take place on May 16-27, 2015, led by Rabbi Vogel.Registration is limited to 30 participants, and will close when we reach that number, so register now through the ARZA Travel website:

For more information, call ARZA or speak with Rabbi Vogel. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime tour with members of your synagogue community!

In the community….

~Tikvah Family ShabbatonOn November 7th to 9th, families who have children with disabilities will join together at Camp Ramah in New England in Palmer, MA for a fun and meaningful Shabbat retreat. The Shabbaton will include programming catered specifically to parents, children with disabilities, and their typically developing siblings. Together we will create a unique, supportive community, where everyone is not only accepted, but truly celebrated. The Shabbaton is open to families of all denominations. For more information about the Shabbaton click To register, click   If you have any questions about the Shabbaton contact Tali Cohen, Director of Tikvah Vocational Services or 781/702-5290 x108.
~A kick-off event for the Kolot Community, a long-time study series for Jewish women, will take place on Sunday, October 26. Professor Susannah Heschel will speak at this event with additional speakers scheduled for the year.   For more information, click

You may also contact Marilin Lipman at or 617-244-6506, ext. 10

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