Sinai Update — Week of November 16-22, 2014

November 19th, 2014

   SINAI UPDATE  |  Week of  November 16-22, 2014  |  Parashat  Toldot (Genesis 25:17 – 28:9)

Reflections on the Jewish World – Rabbi Andy Vogel

It was deeply painful to read of the terror incident yesterday in a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayers, which left five Israelis dead, including four rabbis, and many more seriously wounded. One of those killed was a native Bostonian, Rabbi Mosheh Twersky, age 59, who attended the Maimonides School in Brookline as a child, and who was a prominent teacher of Torah in Jerusalem, and who lived next to the synagogue. During funeral services held yesterday, the officiating rabbi said: “Added to the number of Jewish mourners today are four widows and 24 orphans, all on one street.” And, it is a heinous act to kill innocent people in cold blood in a house of prayer.

We grieve with Israel today after this terrible attack, and pray for the families of those who lost loved ones. In addition, we pray that the cycle of death, violence and escalation will not continue to drag Israel and the Palestinians down into more senseless killing. It should not be lost upon us that the morning attack occurred while some worshippers had just completed praying the Amidah section of the prayer service, which concludes with the “Sim Shalom” prayer for peace – “Grant peace, goodness, blessing… upon us and upon all Israel,” which we recite every time we gather for morning prayer at Temple Sinai, as do Jews around the world. We are reminded how valuable peace is, and that we must continue to be peacemakers in the world, playing our role as Jews to decrease the chances that such a barbaric act will ever be repeated in the world again. May we remember the teaching of the Psalmist, that “those who sow in tears,” as many Jews do around the world today, “will one day rejoice with songs of joy”; this is a vision for the peace for which we must never lose hope, and for which we must not cease to labor.

We pray for healing today, in solidarity with all Jews around the world.

-           Rabbi Andy Vogel

This Shabbat @ Temple Sinai 

Join us for Erev Shabbat services this Friday, November 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary, led by Rabbi Andy Vogel and Cantor Rosalie Toubes. The pre-service nosh is sponsored by Richard Long and Elizabeth Charm in honor of the bat mitzvah of Micah Long.

Torah Study discussion, this Saturday, 9:00 a.m.

Join Rabbi Vogel in his office this Saturday, November 22, at 9:00 a.m., for our regular Shabbat morning Torah study discussion. We begin with light breakfast, and some singing, and then we jump into the world of Jewish ideas as they emerge from the week’s Torah portion. No experience is necessary, just an interest in exploring Jewish ideas. All are welcome.


Shabbat morning services, this Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

Join us this Saturday, November 22, at 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary for Shabbat Morning Services, including the Bat Mitzvah ceremony for Micah Long, daughter of Liz Charm and Richard Long. The entire congregation is encouraged to attend, as Micah reads Torah beautifully, and delivers a D’var Torah on the dynamic between Joseph and his brothers and parents. We wish mazel tov to Micah on this occasion, and to her entire family! All are welcome

In our lives…

I’m sorry to inform you of the death of Theresa Hayes, mother of our member, Barry Hayes.  She passed away on November 14, at age 84, in Springfield, MA. A memorial service will be held this coming Saturday, November 22, in Springfield, at Kapino-Mazur Funeral Home in Ludlow,MA. We offer Barry, his wife Ellen, their son Danny, and their entire family our heartfelt condolences.

-           Rabbi Andy Vogel


We offer our condolences to Jeremy Wolfe on the death of his uncle, Roy Wolfe, who passed away on November 15, 2014, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was 96 years old, and had been a college professor. We offer Jeremy and his entire extended family our condolences.

-           Rabbi Andy Vogel  


Mazel tov to Enid Shapiro, who was awarded the Friendship Award last night Tuesday, November 18 at the Fairmont Copley Hotel, by FriendshipWorks, an organization that matches volunteers to elders around Boston. Temple Sinai member Janet Seckel-Cerrotti is the founder and executive director of FriendshipWorks, and presided over the gala event, presenting the award to Enid.

CJP Jewish Community Study – please read 

Because the Boston Jewish community continues to evolve, every ten years the Combined Jewish Philanthropy commissions the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University to perform a detailed study of the Jewish community in the Boston metropolitan area. The goal is to create an accurate representation of the Jewish community in Boston at the present time. The information obtained provides invaluable assistance to social service agencies, organizations, and congregations such as our own. Temple Sinai participated in the last study, which was done in 2005. Planning for another is currently underway. (To see a copy of the last study, click ) Temple Sinai, along with more than 350 other local and national organizations, has been asked to participate in this study by providing the researchers with our membership list, including phone numbers and email addresses.   We are assured that confidentiality and privacy will be rigorously protected and will be maintained under the highest technological and ethical standards.  The information will be used only for research purposes – not used for marketing, fundraising, events, publications or any other purposes by any organization. The Temple Sinai Board of Trustees has voted to participate in this study, with the understanding that information for members who do not wish to participate will be withheld. If you do not want your information to be submitted, please notify Linda Katz, as soon as possible.

Lost and found

We have accumulated an assortment of coats, jackets, hats, bags, etc. which we have placed on top of the blue file cabinet in the front office. If you think that you or your child may have left something at Temple Sinai, please come to the Temple office to see if it is here. We will be donating unclaimed items to charity this week

BottaAdult Learning “Early Christianity and Judaism”- continues  tomorrow night, November 20, 7:00 p.m.

We will study the emergence of Christianity as a Jewish sect covering roughly the period from the time of Jesus of Nazareth (30 CE) to the end of the Bar Kochba revolt (135 CE). The course, taught by BU Associate Professor and member of Temple Sinai Alejandro Botta, will explore the teachings of the historical Jesus and of Saul of Tarsus (Paul the apostle, around 60 CE) in the context of first and early second century Judaism.  Please join us tomorrow night in Weintraub Auditorium,  7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Cinema@Sinai - Saturday, November 22, 7:00 p.m. 

Join us at Temple Sinai for our own mini-Jewish film festival. Coordinated by Amos Lassen, three films will be shown through the year, and each has been chosen for an evening together with friends. Schmooze, watch a movie and discuss it afterwards. The first film in the series is “My Mexican Shivah.” The passing of Moise, a Mexican Jew whose appetite for life was stronger than his spiritual discipline makes for a difficult set of funeral arrangements. This comedy is in Spanish with English subtitles. The movie will be shown on Saturday evening, November 22, 7:00 p.m. in Weintraub Auditorium.

Sinai U Havdalah & movie - Saturday, November 22 

Sinai U (Grades 7 – 12) is hosting a Havdalah & movie night this Saturday, November 22, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. in Ehrenfried Hall. We will be showing the movie “Now You See Me.” The event is free. Snacks will be provided, but please come to the event having eaten dinner first! Students under the age of 13 must submit a permission slip to attend. To register, contact Youth Advisor, Ben Harris, at or Sunday Evening Director, Jessica Lowenthal, at

Strausberg, AviMidrash Study:  “Where Have All the Women Gone?” – continues  this Sunday,  November 23, 11:00 a.m.

Ever wondered about the missing female voice in the Torah?  What was Sarah thinking as Abraham nearly sacrificed her son?  How did the midwives Shifra and Puah feel when commanded by Pharoah to kill all of the Jewish first-born sons?  In this class, we will dive into several modern midrashim, interpretations of classic texts, written by Israeli women that not only will help us discover that nearly absent female voice in the Torah but will also allow us to engage with serious female scholars in a tradition dominated by male voices for thousands of years.  The class, taught by fifth year rabbinical student Avi Strausberg,  concludes on  December 7.  The tuition is $25 for Temple Sinai members  and $30 for  non-members.

Registration is still open!  Please visit to register.

Come to Tzedek@Sinai‘s “Fourth Sunday of the Month” Brunch! – this Sunday, November 23, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.

“Staying on Top of Social Justice Now That the Election is Over” — Let’s take a look at what the opportunities will be to address issues such as poverty, hunger and homelessness. Cindy Rowe from JALSA (Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action) and Tzedek Reflection will help us think about how we can take action now. The brunch takes place in Weintraub Auditorium.  Bagels, lox, cream cheese, fruit, veggies, and coffee will be served! Everyone is welcome – bring a friend!  RSVPs are appreciated but not required. All are welcome!

Family Table Holiday Gift Card Drive

This year, Temple Sinai is once again participating in the Family Table Holiday Gift Card Drive! The holiday gift card drive, sponsored by Jewish Family and Children’s Service, provides gift cards to their low-income clients with children (up to age 18), allowing them the pleasure and dignity of giving their children gifts for the holidays. Here’s how you can help – you may donate gift cards in $25 increments from any of the following stores: Target, Toys “R” Us, T.J. Maxx, or Marshalls. Gift cards can be purchased at most Walgreens or CVS stores. If you and your family would like to participate, please make sure you give your gift cards to Heidi Smith Hyde by Sunday, November 23.Kindly put them in a labeled envelope. If you would like to participate, please contact Education Director, Heidi Smith Hyde, at . It’s a mitzvah!

gourds-corn.jpg Brookline Interfaith Thanksgiving Worship Service - Sunday, November 23rd, 7:00 p.m.

Temple Sinai joins with many other churches and synagogues in the area for an Interfaith Thanksgiving service on Sunday, November 23 at Temple Beth Zion in Brookline. Please bring goods or money for donation to the Brookline Emergency Food Bank such as sample sizes of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, toothpaste and brushes, mouthwash, combs, hairbrushes, paper towels, deodorant, shaving cream, razors, instant or ground coffee, tea, brown rice, lentils, salt and pepper, spices for cooking, flour, sugar, condiments and cooking oil. Organized by the Brookline Clergy Association. All are welcome.

NFTY youth presentation - Sunday, November 23

This Sunday evening at Sinai U, Leah King, Director of NFTY-Northeast, our regional Reform Jewish youth group organization, will be visiting Temple Sinai to talk about the amazing opportunities available for our Jewish youth. NFTY is a great way for Reform Jewish teens across New England to meet each other. The presentation will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Ehrenfried Hall during our weekly Sinai U Dinner. Parents (and teens) are welcome and encouraged to attend. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

Rainbow Shabbat, Friday, December 5 - “What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Inclusion?’”

At Erev Shabbat services on December 5, Temple Sinai will celebrate its 10th annual Rainbow Shabbat. The G’uest D’var Torah will be given by Suzie Schwartz Jacobson, who is a 6th year rabbinical student at Hebrew College. A dedicated Jewish educator, prior to rabbinical school, Suzie received an MA from the University of Chicago Divinity School, a BA from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a BA from Columbia University. Join us on December 5.

Cantor Toubes Singing 75: Liturgy and Music at Temple Sinai – begins Sunday, December 7, 9:30 a.m.

In honor of Temple Sinai’s 75th anniversary, come learn how music has changed with the liturgy of our congregation, with music from Jewish composers such as Sulzer, Lewandowski, Debbie Freidman, Julie Silver, and Rick Recht. Cantor Rosalie Toubes will teach this class which begins on December 7and continues on Sunday, December 14 and 219:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Crane Lake logo

URJ Overnight Camp Presentations – Sunday,  December 7

This year we have a wonderful opportunity to learn about the three terrific URJ Camps in the area; Crane Lake Camp, Camp Eisner, and 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy. At 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 7th there will be a parlor meeting at the Brookline home of Michele and Mike Klau. At this meeting you will have an opportunity to meet directors from three URJ camps. The new camp video will be shown and there will be opportunities to ask questions. For more information and to RSVP for the parlor meeting, please contact Mike Klau at

Join the Israel Committee for “Aviya’s Summer” - Sunday, December 14, 2014, 5:00 p.m.

On Sunday, December 14th at 5:00 p.m., Temple Sinai’s Israel Education and Action Committee will screen the classic Israeli film “Aviya’s Summer.” Based on the novel by Gila Almagor, the film tells the story of Holocaust survivor mother and her daughter as they attempt to go about their daily lives in the early 1950s. Living in a small Israeli village, the ten-year old daughter is determined to find her father as her mother struggles to escape the nightmare of the Holocaust. Join us in viewing this prize-winning movie.

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: Please note corrected address: .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…

Mayyim Hayyim sponsors a “sneak peek” at the new “Red Tent” mini-series, which will be aired on the Lifetime TV channel beginning December 7-8. A special screening of Part One will be held by Mayyim Hayyim, the community mikveh, on Tuesday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m., at the Showcase Cinema Deluxe theater at Legacy Place in Dedham. General admission tickets are $36. For more information, click to:

Sinai Update — Week of November 9-15, 2014

November 12th, 2014

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November 6th, 2014

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October 29th, 2014

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October 22nd, 2014

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October 15th, 2014

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October 8th, 2014

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October 1st, 2014

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September 23rd, 2014

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September 10th, 2014

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