Temple Sinai is a living and evolving congregational community. As a Jewish religious institution we are guided by the values and teachings of the Torah. We call the Torah Etz Hayim
– “A Tree of Life” – it is a living document which remains fresh and vital because we continue to engage it and interpret it, and finding meaning in its words for our own generation and our own lives. Like the Torah, Temple Sinai has evolved and changed over time. We recognize that changes in our policies and our worship practices are a natural part of our evolution. Therefore, we will develop processes to ensure that the changes which are introduced are reasonable and appropriate. We are committed to sharing with the members of our congregation both the impetus and the goals of such change, and we will work to insure that our members experience these changes with comfort, dignity and respect for their feelings.
Temple Sinai is part of a world-wide movement of Conservative and Masorti congregations. We adhere to Jewish traditions, laws and practices which are dynamic and engaging. We are guided by the principles of Tikun Olam
(improving the world), Ahavat Yisrael
(love of Israel) and Yirat Hashem
(reverence for God). We welcome people of diverse backgrounds and practices. Every member of our congregation will be encouraged and helped to grow Jewishly. Through education, worship and shared experiences we will create a community which respects the Jewish past and which finds both purpose and meaning in living a Jewish life in the present.
A synagogue is responsible for insuring that its children are learning the principles and the practices of Jewish life. V’sheenantam Livanecha
- “You shall teach them (the lessons of the Torah) to your children” are words which we recite daily as part of the Shema
. L’dor vador
– “from one generation to the next” – is our motto, the fundamentals of Judaism are preserved and maintained by passing them on to another generation; this is how our Judaic heritage has survived for thousands of years. At Temple Sinai we understand that in order for children to learn they must be engaged. Everything we teach –Jewish ethics, Bible, Hebrew language, Shabbat and the festivals, prayer, Israel, and Jewish history – must be presented in a manner which says: “This is important to your life – as a Jew and as a human being.” We value religious education that offers multiple gateways and methodologies, and that constantly insures the relevance of Judaism in the lives of our children.
Every organization requires effective governance. At Temple Sinai, the religious leadership is paralleled by an equally devoted and capable lay leadership. We want to insure that the Board is an efficient and effective governing body. Temple Sinai values and encourages respect for our lay leadership – from professionals and from congregants and certainly amongst the lay leaders. We expect that differing points of view will be presented and received with respect and decorum. We honor our more seasoned leaders while encouraging those who are newer to pursue their hopes for Temple Sinai’s present and future. We feel it is important to support and mentor our leaders. We are committed to leadership development and training.
How we treat each other
At Temple Sinai we recognize that every person has been created B’tselem Elokim
(in God’s image). Therefore, we are each worthy and deserving of being treated with Derech Eretz
(courtesy), respect and tolerance. These values apply mutually to our professional staff, leadership and congregants. We will strive to create an atmosphere that promotes these values.
Diversity and inclusiveness
Temple Sinai values the diversity within our congregation. We recognize that the makeup of the American Jewish community is changing, and we will strive to be an inclusive congregation. To that end, we need to offer options in worship, programming, and education to meet the needs of congregants who vary widely with regard to knowledge, practice and commitment, and to the families and individuals at all stages of the life cycle.