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We Are Being Called

03/25/2020 12:09:30 PM

Mar25

Beth Schafer

This week begins a new book of Torah, Leviticus, or in Hebrew, Vayikra, meaning “God called out.” God calls to Moses to relay to the people the kinds of sacrifices they should be offering in the Tabernacle. There are five types of offerings mentioned, each of which can have meaning to us in these extraordinary times of pandemic:

Olah – an offering of ascension. Let us rise to meet the needs of family, community and humanity both...Read more...

How to Share Shabbat Virtually with Temple Sinai

03/20/2020 02:54:34 PM

Mar20

SHARE SHABBAT VIRTUALLY WITH TEMPLE SINAI
Here's everything you need to know to join us for Shabbat services, Torah study and more.

SHABBAT EVENING

5:45 pm Tot Shabbat Join Rabbi Ron Segal & Rabbi Sam Trief via livestream for songs, prayers & dancing. Access our...Read more...

In a World that Feels Dark, We Look for the Light

03/19/2020 08:56:37 AM

Mar19

Rabbi Sam Trief

It has been a groundbreaking and monumental week, and not in the way we would have liked. Six days have passed since last Shabbat...that day in which we settled into the idea of what COVID-19 might mean for our Temple Sinai family. And, well, somehow, we survived the week and even braced ourselves for more weeks to come. We have made it here. As each day passed, I found myself thanking God for things that I ordinarily would never even think...Read more...

Caring for Our Sinai Community and Beyond

03/18/2020 11:41:11 AM

Mar18

Samantha Berinsky, Jaimee Boettcher and Rabbi Sam Trief

During this unsettling time, we have been blessed to receive so many inquiries from members about how they can help others. Here are ways we care for our neighbors and for the stranger from a distance.

“Ring My Bell” – Reaching out to our Sinai Family
We are checking on our Temple Sinai Family via telephone to see how we might best support each other. We would like to contact each and every family at Temple Sinai and many...Read more...

Temporary Changes to Ritual Life at Sinai

03/17/2020 07:12:17 AM

Mar17

Clergy & Staff

As the evolving health situation now dictates further physical distancing with stricter limitations on gatherings recommended, please note the following important changes to ritual experiences that impact the Temple Sinai community:

All Shabbat Services (Friday night, Tot Shabbat, Shabbat morning) will be closed to the public and guests. We will livestream these worship opportunities on our website here.

B’nei Mitzvah...Read more...

Temple Sinai COVID-19 Update

03/13/2020 12:58:23 PM

Mar13

A cascading series of announcements in the past 24 hours has made it clear that we are at another turning point in the coronavirus crisis. We recently sent out a message outlining our first in a series of protocols on how to manage the COVID-19 virus; we were not expecting to be moving to this second protocol so quickly.
 
As we try to balance our daily lives and obligations with the realities of an uncertain environment, the...Read more...

Our Artist in Residence, Billy Jonas & The Billy Jonas Band Trio

03/11/2020 11:25:07 AM

Mar11

Beth Schafer

Whether we go to an amazing concert, take in a magnificent vista or see the wonder in a child’s eyes, we can all think of an encounter that we would deem a spiritual experience. Often, we describe spiritual experiences as moving or inspirational. In addition to those descriptions, I would invite you to look at a spiritual experience as having an opportunity to take a glimpse of yourself, your light, your potential. To have a spiritual...Read more...

An Important Announcement from Temple Sinai Regarding the Coronavirus

03/05/2020 04:04:56 PM

Mar5

Jack Feldman

With the recent news of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases discovered in Fulton County, we know that many of you are concerned about the virus and how it may affect our community. We want to reassure you that the safety, health and well-being of our members, students, staff and guests is our top priority. As COVID-19 continues to spread, Temple Sinai is closely monitoring the situation through the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) and the...Read more...

The Presence of the Eternal Light

03/05/2020 11:48:18 AM

Mar5

Beth Schafer

We are in the middle of a series of Torah portions that describe the construction and adornment of the Tabernacle, our portable temple used by the Israelites while making their way to the Promised Land. Many of the specifications still can be seen in a modern temple. In this week’s Torah portion in particular, we learn of the Eternal Light. What does it mean to be in the presence of light all the time? What does this important feature in...Read more...

A Prayer for the Teachers that Inspire Us

02/27/2020 08:10:48 AM

Feb27

Rabbi Sam Trief

As a child, my favorite book was My Teacher Sleeps at School. Mrs. Marsh, the main character in the story, is always in her classroom before the students arrive and always remains after they leave. Understandably, one of the students, Mollie, grows convinced that her teacher has no home other than the school. It is a sweet story that humanizes our teachers, and those larger-than-life figures in our world, who are so passionate, so dedicated,...Read more...

The Angel that Guides Us

02/19/2020 09:59:02 AM

Feb19

Rabbi Brad Levenberg

The people of Israel are standing at Sinai. They are in an unknown desert that is slowly becoming their temporary home; they have been given manna and learned how to gather and eat it; they have found water to drink; they have fasted and prepared to come to the mountain to meet God. In last week’s Torah portion, in a flurry of awesome noise and light, God gave them the 10 Commandments.

Under these circumstances, the Israelites are...Read more...

With Freedom Comes Responsibility

02/12/2020 12:17:06 PM

Feb12

Beth Schafer

In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Yitro, we read the Ten Commandments. The very first one states “I am Adonai Your God who led you out of Egypt.” Egypt is not just a part of our story, it is a part of our very identity. Every Passover Seder asks us to feel, in fact, to live, as if we had personally been freed from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzrayim, means, “from the narrow place.” Not unlike a constricting...Read more...

Lasting Impressions

02/05/2020 12:41:57 PM

Feb5

Temme Barkin-Leeds

There is no way to begin to tell this story in a way that is not putting me in the role of a privileged outsider. Yet I am telling it in the best way I can.

Last week, a group of interested folks from Temple Sinai, headed by Rabbi Sam Trief, visited the Camp Stewart Detention Center near Lumpkin, Read more...

How Will You Use Your Freedom?

02/05/2020 08:23:15 AM

Feb5

Rabbi Brad Levenberg

In our Torah portion this week, the Israelites cross the Sea of Reeds after it parts, enabling them to cross on dry land. Once it collapses behind them, the people taste freedom for the first time, as our tradition states, in 400 years. It must have been an awesome experience, and it is a story that launched thousands of questions: what does God want of us? Why do we have freedom while others remained enslaved? Why did it take so long for God...Read more...

The Shortest Name but the Strongest Action

01/29/2020 08:41:35 AM

Jan29

Rabbi Sam Trief

Monday marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Though 75 years since this tragedy does not feel so distant, I am struck by the notion that, soon, no survivors will remain. I grew up at a time when we heard from Holocaust survivors in religious school, at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, and at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Hearing their stories shaped me in profound ways, teaching me resilience, and instilling in me...Read more...

Part of Our Story

01/22/2020 09:37:37 AM

Jan22

Beth Schafer

In this week’s Torah portion, parshat Va’era, we begin hearing about the plagues that befell Egypt while Moses tried to get Pharaoh to free the Israelites from bondage. I always found it humorous that while the props my Christian friends’ kids played with on Easter were a bunny and painted eggs, the Jewish children very often played with a bag of plush plague “toys.” As adults, however, we recall the plagues at the Passover...Read more...

How Can We Realize the Dream of Martin Luther King

01/16/2020 08:17:20 AM

Jan16

Beth Schafer

When I considered relocating to Atlanta, one of the things that most excited me was the city’s history regarding the civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s voice echoes loudest and his light shines brightest here in Atlanta. From the Civil Rights Museum to the King Center and Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr. King’s presence still shapes the Atlanta experience.

As the ripples from a rock thrown in the water are strongest...Read more...

What Do We Do With Our Freedom?

01/06/2020 08:56:57 AM

Jan6

Rabbi Brad Levenberg

On January 1, I was invited to speak at the NAACP’s Jubilee Day gathering. Held each year, the event commemorates the day – January 1, 1863 – that the Emancipation Proclamation took effect, abolishing slavery in the United States of America. While very much a spirited function, I was taken by the number of people, both from the dais and in individual conversation, who expressed outrage at the rise of anti-Semitism and offered to help...Read more...

A Lifetime of Meaning in One Word

12/30/2019 08:43:17 AM

Dec30

Rabbi Brad Levenberg

Sometimes the Torah packs a lifetime of meaning into one word. 

Vayigash alav Yehuda—and Judah drew near to Joseph…” (Genesis 44).  

Judah still does not know that the Egyptian ruler who has been supplying him with rations during the famine and who now threatens the youngest of his father Jacob’s children, Benjamin, with enslavement is his brother Joseph whom he sold into slavery. Fearful for Benjamin’s...Read more...

YOU Are the Greatest Gift

12/19/2019 11:13:44 AM

Dec19

Beth Schafer

In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Vayeshev, we are introduced to Joseph, son of Jacob. Joseph is one of the great archetypal characters of the Torah. Born with the gift of being a prophetic dreamer, and dreaming that his brothers would one day bow down to him, he drives a wedge between himself and his brothers and is cast off by them. Later in his life, the same gift finds him favor with Pharaoh and eventually helps him save the Jewish...Read more...

Business as Unusual

12/12/2019 08:21:08 AM

Dec12

Jack Feldman, Executive Director

As you read this, I will be with the Temple Sinai delegation at the URJ Biennial Conference in windy Chicago. What you may not know is that the Biennial is preceded by the annual conference of the National Association for Temple Administration (NATA). Founded in 1941, NATA is the professional organization for those who serve synagogues as executives, administrators, or managers. The organization has more than 400 members from North America...Read more...

Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial Convention

12/05/2019 03:14:56 PM

Dec5

Beth Schafer

Next week, Reform Jews from all over the world will converge in Chicago for the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial Convention. This gathering of over 6,000 people is an electrifying experience of learning, worship, collegiality, music and celebration of our movement. What is most energizing for me personally is the confluence of old and new and the innovations shared in areas of technology, education, programming, musical repertoire,...Read more...

Thanksgiving & Gratitude

11/26/2019 07:56:27 AM

Nov26

Temple Sinai Clergy

On behalf of Temple Sinai’s Spirituality Committee, we are delighted to share this brief video featuring the four members of the clergy team discussing a favorite prayer related to expressing gratitude. Below the video you will find the texts that we reference – feel free to print them out and use them throughout this holiday weekend.

Read more...

Simple Gifts

11/20/2019 10:57:03 AM

Nov20

Beth Schafer

It is the season of Thanksgiving. This American tradition that began with the coming together of two nations on this soil, reminds us of a sacred message we should reflect on each and every day - to be thankful. Many believe that Thanksgiving was inspired by Sukkot, our fall harvest holiday, because the Puritans, while living in Holland before coming to the New World, lived among Sephardic Jews who observed the festival and were influenced by...Read more...

Shabbat with Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish

11/14/2019 11:05:45 AM

Nov14

Rabbi Brad Levenberg

What a delight it is to write this message. This Shabbat will be truly remarkable at Sinai for we are welcoming to our congregation noted scholar and author Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish.

Ron is the Founding Director of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI). Now retired, he is a noted rabbi, author, and speaker, blogger and consultant. He has lived in Jerusalem for the past 38 years. Educated at Brandeis University...Read more...

What it Means to Be American AND Jewish

11/07/2019 10:40:01 AM

Nov7

Rabbi Sam Trief

Vietnam, 1967. Rosh Hashanah 5728. Jewish Marines made camouflage kippot from tent materials, as their way of marking the High Holidays, while simultaneously fighting in the Vietnam War. I heard this story while traveling through Vietnam. This image has stayed with me as a powerful representation of what it means to be both American and Jewish. 

As it has likely become apparent by now, I relate to my Judaism through the...Read more...

Starting the Next Chapter

10/31/2019 08:40:34 AM

Oct31

Rabbi Ron Segal

This past Sunday, October 27, most of the Jewish world was undoubtedly aware that the day marked one year since the massacre of eleven members of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. Throughout this past year, communities have held memorials, worked to strengthen bridges of understanding with neighbors and co-religionists, pursued further security measures within their own synagogues, and learned more about the roots of anti-Semitism....Read more...

Speech by Dr. Heike Fuller, German Consul General in Atlanta at #ShowUpforShabbat

10/30/2019 09:42:38 AM

Oct30

Consul General Dr. Heike Fuller

Ladies and Gentlemen,
“Antisemitism kills”, that is what Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Halle, Saxony-Anhalt two cities over 4.100 miles apart, located on two different continents are forced to share.

On October 27, 2018 while Shabbat morning services were being held in the Tree of Life Synagogue, eleven people were killed and six were injured. It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States.

Not...Read more...

#ShowUpForShabbat

10/24/2019 08:53:42 AM

Oct24

Rabbi Brad Levenberg

The note was passed to me in the middle of a b'nei mitzvah service: there has been a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. My heart sank as I felt for those who were present at the Tree of Life synagogue that morning, those who were injured, those who would soon be preparing for funerals. It did not occur to me during those initial moments that we had crossed a barrier, a threshold, a line that had not been crossed in the story of...Read more...

Revisiting Your Story 

10/17/2019 12:23:52 PM

Oct17

Beth Schafer

“Hafochbah, hafochbah.” “Turn it, turn it again,” Rabbi Ben Bag-Bag wrote referring to the annual cycle of Torah. We are about to revisit the beginning of the Torah once again as we observe Simchat Torah this Sunday evening. I often ask B'nei Mitzvah students if they understand the basic concepts of algebra, which leads to a conversation about variables. I then share with them that reading Torah is a lot like algebra, in that the...Read more...

Wed, April 1 2020 7 Nisan 5780