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Kindness, Generosity and Hope

11/17/2017 03:31:36 PM


By Rabbi Brad Levenberg

I truly enjoy Thanksgiving. It is so American and so Jewish at the same time. The turkey, the pumpkin pie, the incipient American spirit of self-reliance dressed in Pilgrim costumes are all red, white, and blue images. But the idea of leaving one’s birth place, the land of one’s ancestors, and of going to a new land, bolstered by an irreplaceable optimism about the human potential to build a new and better world, these are ideals straight...Read more...

Our Response to Violence at the Western Wall

11/16/2017 01:01:30 PM


By Temple Sinai Clergy

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  May those who love her prosper.” (Psalm 122:6)

We at Temple Sinai deplore the outbreak of violence that targeted the leaders and supporters of the Reform Movement at the Western Wall in Jerusalem earlier today. Gathering peacefully to read Torah in recognition of the upcoming ordination of four Israeli Reform rabbis, including the ordination of the 100th Israeli Reform rabbi, overly zealous...Read more...

May We Find Peace

11/16/2017 12:58:10 PM


By Rabbi Sam Shabman

A common observation people make when they travel to Israel is...many taxis cabs are made by Mercedes Benz.

The rumor is that the German government provides nice cars to the Israeli government as reparations for the Holocaust and the Israeli government leases them cheaply as taxis.

But what else? What else can be done, other than the gift of Mercedes Benz...Read more...

Living Well on the Road

11/07/2017 09:00:56 AM


I am writing this having made the decision once again to skip the gym this morning. It’s not that I WANT to skip the gym; but sometimes life just gets in the way. I thought I would be able to accomplish more earlier in the week in order to prepare for the weekend but I found myself trading time for time: “I know I need to do X, but today my son needed more help with his homework, so X will have to wait until later this week.” “I know...Read more...

Imagine What is Possible

11/02/2017 09:30:13 AM


By Rabbi Segal

On a day after the Houston Astros won the World Series for the first time in club history, I am proud to shout out my Houston roots! Watching the Astros win the Series last night, though, I wonder if Houstonians could have possibly imagined their city being able to celebrate such a tremendous event just two months after Hurricane Harvey flooding devastated the city and the lives of thousands of residents.

In the...

It's the Mystery That Beckons

10/25/2017 01:13:42 PM


By Rabbi Brad

It’s the mystery that beckons. I thought it was the colors, the stories, the music. I thought it was the culture, the history and what I know about the present. But now I know that it is the mystery that tugs at me.

I don’t know much about India. I know what I have read, what I have seen in the movies, and what I have sampled at restaurants. I know what I have learned when I have spoken with people who have made the...Read more...

The Pet Blessing

10/19/2017 09:12:08 AM


Rabbi Sam Shabman

As you may know, a defining moment of my year was the day I brought home my puppy Huckleberry "Huck" Trief. He has been a bundle of fluff, love and comfort. A true blessing. I think of him particularly this week since he underwent a small surgery...and in our Torah Portion we are reminded of the importance of animals.

In Parashat Noah, God said to Noah, “Because the earth is filled with wrongdoing and corruption and robbery I am...Read more...

The Torah Equation

10/11/2017 09:07:50 AM


Beth Schafer

As our season turns and we bid farewell to our holy days, I look forward to beginning the Torah once again. The juxtaposition of the last words of Torah and the first is quite jarring. In the final words of the Torah we are reminded of the death of Moses and that never again would there be a prophet like him who would lead us through such trials and tribulations from slavery to freedom. And then, we seamlessly return to the very beginning and...Read more...

This is a Season of Paradox

10/04/2017 03:09:29 PM


Ron Segal

On one hand, the Festival of Sukkot is known in Jewish tradition as z’man simchateinu - the season of our rejoicing.  On the heels of Yom Kippur, Sukkot - which begins Wednesday evening - provides us a week during which to gather in our sukkah, to celebrate and enjoy the company of friends and family, to  express gratitude for the many blessings we enjoy (for our ancestors it was a bountiful harvest),...Read more...

Has Much Changed?

09/26/2017 09:38:44 AM


Rabbi Levenberg

Once again we prepare for Yom Kippur and in so doing we ask ourselves this single question: has much changed? Has much changed since last Yom Kippur? Conflicts around the world shift territory and population. Israel is praised or challenged. Grandchildren are born. Loved ones leave us. Our children are older… which means, so are we. Are we any wiser?

Judaism’s role in our lives isn’t to make us feel guilty about what we...Read more...

A Fresh Start: The Berman Center

09/19/2017 02:32:36 PM


Sam Shabman

On the brink of this New Year, I share with you words of Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky:

"It is the beginning of a new year. We have examined our deeds, made amends, and been renewed. But recovery and spiritual renewal do not come quickly or easily...Teshuva is hard work. Thats really why when we finally - after the long hot summer - get to Rosh Hashanah we call it a New Year, because through honest repentance we are given the opportunity to...Read more...

One Thing I ask

09/14/2017 11:10:00 AM


Beth Schafer

Over the past three weeks and into Sukkot, we sing words from Psalm 27, Achat Sha'alti me'et Adonai Otah avakesh, shivti b'veit Adonai kol y'mei chayai, lachazot b'noam Adonai ulvakeir b'heichalo. “One thing have I asked of God, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of God all the days of my life, to behold the graciousn​ess of God, and to visit early in God’s temple.” What does this mean? One interpretation comes from...Read more...

Let's Get Ready

09/07/2017 09:00:51 AM


Rabbi Sam Shabman

At Temple Sinai we are in full High Holy Day mode. Tickets are in the mail, brochures are at the printing press, the clergy are writing their sermons, the choir is in rehearsal, and we are getting ready for it all!

I opened up my Rosh Hashanah Machzor this morning, and flipped to a page. I was struck by the prayer I landed on: "A Prayer for Righteous Anger."

Often, we get the most out of any experience when we are prepared....Read more...

You Must Not Be Indifferent

08/30/2017 09:28:52 PM


54 years ago hundreds of thousands of people assembled in Washington DC to participate in a moment that inspired a movement. Dubbed the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, participants were united in time and place and though they were not monolithic; some were standing together in protest of a society that was divided by race and class and geography and some were standing together searching for societal reforms regarding jobs and...Read more...

A Statement Regarding Anti-semitism at The Lovett School

08/24/2017 04:42:21 PM


Temple Sinai Clergy

The Temple Sinai clergy were informed on August 13 about an incident classified by the ADL as an act of anti-Semitism involving students who attend The Lovett School at an off-site party. We believe that anti-Semitism thrives in a climate of fear and ignorance and, on behalf of the congregation, condemn the action as an expression of bigotry and contempt.

We have been in communication with several parents who have addressed this issue...Read more...

Shabbat to Shabbat: Many Blessings

08/23/2017 03:24:12 PM


Rabbi Brad Levenberg

We have come once again to that sacred time on the Jewish calendar where it is appropriate to take stock of the many blessings in our lives and to offer our thanksgiving to God.

When reflecting upon the blessing for this particular day I realized how apparent it is that we as a congregation have much for...Read more...

Shabbat to Shabbat: Move Past Hate

08/09/2017 11:02:12 AM


Rabbi Brad Levenberg

It is hard to put into words how many of us feel following a weekend in which we witnessed white supremacists and neo-nazis marching openly in America, leaving violence and tragedy in their wake.

Regardless of where we each stand politically, we can ALL agree: hatred, bigotry and violence cannot be tolerated. When our civic and faith values are threatened in this way, we raise our voices and rise up—not just in opposition but...Read more...

One of the Reasons we Chose Temple Sinai

08/02/2017 02:13:29 PM


Brad Levenberg

Ilana Levenberg is one of the main reasons that we chose Temple Sinai 11 years ago. Rebecca and I were considering several congregations to call our synagogue home and one of the prime factors in our decision was that we wanted a place where Ilana would be able to engage with Judaism, create positive Jewish memories, and where we would be comfortable raising her in a congregational setting.

We have been delighted that it worked out...

Senseless Love

07/27/2017 02:53:34 PM


Rabbi Sam Shabman

Monday, July 31st is the commemoration of Tisha B’Av. Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the month of Av, marks the destruction of the Temples which once stood in Jerusalem. It is traditionally a day of sorrow, sadness, and fasting.

Midrash Eicha Rabbah teaches us that the First Temple was destroyed  because of three...Read more...

Minister's Manifesto

07/19/2017 04:13:48 PM


Rabbi Brad Levenberg

In 1957, a collection of eight white ministers publicly endorsed what is known as the Minister’s Manifesto, a document that denounced racial segregation. These eight brave individuals risked their position, their parish and, indeed, their very lives in taking a stand for what they believed.

As a student of civil rights, I know that the journey through the Supreme Court to the halls of Congress to the pen of the President began in...Read more...

Announcing our New Member Portal

07/12/2017 02:48:12 PM


We are excited to announce the launch our new membership database portal! In the new portal, you will be able to easily and conveniently register for events, manage your email preferences, view our online membership directory, pay outstanding balances and much, much more.

We hope you will take advantage of all of the great features that are available. This portal is now available on our website and you can access it anytime through...Read more...

Shabbat to Shabbat: An Opportunity to Serve

07/12/2017 11:30:17 AM


Rabbi Ron Segal

One of the many strengths of our Temple Sinai family is the willingness of so many individuals to volunteer their time and talents for the benefit and betterment of the congregation. Countless events, programs, and celebrations that take place each year could never happen without the support of our Sinai members. I also know, though, that many more of you would gladly give a few hours of time to your synagogue if you knew that it would make a...Read more...

Shabbat to Shabbat: What's in A Year

06/29/2017 05:05:15 PM


What’s in a year?

July 1st. A day that for rabbinical students always stands out...July 1st is the day a new rabbi starts his or her job.

July 1st, 2016. It seems like a lifetime ago, and simultaneously it seems like just yesterday.

I arrived in Atlanta on June 28th, 2016 a bit jet lagged, but totally excited after a 15 hour flight from Asia. In retrospect, it would have been wise to arrive in Atlanta 1 month...Read more...

Temple Sinai in Poland 2017

06/28/2017 05:00:19 PM


Rabbi Ron M. Segal

Temple Sinai members are in Poland with Rabbi Ron Segal.  Follow their experience on this blog and through our Facebook photo album here. 

Temple Sinai in Poland – Thursday, July 6

Dzien Dobry (Good Day) Friends –

Our final day together...

Shabbat to Shabbat: There is a Story

06/21/2017 04:58:45 PM


Rabbi Bradley G. Levenberg

There is a story: A rabbi was once asked to describe the difference between Pardes (Paradise, or TheWorld To Come) and Gehinom (purgatory). The rabbi replied: “Gehinom is a place in which there are thousands of human beings, their arms bound by splints and heavy ropes so that they cannot bend their elbows. They are seated before a large table upon which has been set large quantities of delicious food: a variety of meats; exotic fruits and...Read more...

Shabbat to Shabbat: America's Prophet

06/14/2017 04:57:50 AM


Beth Schafer

America’s Prophet

Did you know that the Puritans viewed their emigration from England as a virtual re-enactment of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt? Or that Thanksgiving ― first celebrated in 1621, a year after the Mayflower landed ― was initially conceived as a day parallel to the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur; it was to be a day of fasting, introspection and prayer? Did you know that many Ivy League schools even adopted...Read more...

Temple Sinai's Summer Israel Trip 2017

06/05/2017 04:52:15 PM


Rabbi Ron Segal

Temple Sinai is in Israel!  Follow along with the trip on our blog and check out our photos on Facebook here 

Final Day by Rabbi Ron Segal

No surprise, the final day of our Sinai Israel journey came far too soon.  However, the farewells did not...Read more...

Happy Summer

06/01/2017 04:51:23 PM


Rabbi Samantha Shabman

Happy Summer!

It seems like summer is truly starting. Schools are letting out, camps are beginning, schedules are winding down a bit. And with the  added heat and humidity, comes the opportunity for excitement and growth. It provides us with time to visit with family and friends, to catch up on good books, to try new things, explore new places. I love how summer gives us the time we need for even the smallest of  blessings...Read more...

Shabbat to Shabbat: We Are Thankful

05/24/2017 04:50:34 PM


Rabbi Bradley G. Levenberg

As a thought to help frame this Shabbat, a Shabbat that for many of us marks the end of a school year, I wanted to share my closing benediction from our most recent Temple Sinai Annual Meeting. A charming and warm session, I was privileged to deliver these words at the meetings close:

We have come once again to that sacred time on the Jewish calendar where it is appropriate to take stock of the many blessings in our lives and to...Read more...

Shabbat to Shabbat: A House of Gathering

05/18/2017 04:46:37 PM


Beth Schafer

A House of Gathering

“Let them build me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them.” (Ex. 25:8) Words that we read from the book of Exodus a few months ago certainly give us a reason to pause and take stock. For 49 years, Temple Sinai has gathered in a sanctuary (or social hall) and reviewed the year, asking and answering questions about the life of the congregation. From day to day, week to week and month to month, we get glimpses...Read more...

Wed, November 22 2017 4 Kislev 5778