Friday Night Erev Shabbat Services
Every Friday night, we begin the celebration of Shabbat with a warm, heimische, and spiritually uplifting service beginning at 7:00pm. September-May, and 6:00pm during the summer months. The rich mixture of traditional and contemporary music and prayer encourages all to participate. Like all of our services, our Erev Shabbat liturgy honors both Jewish tradition and the modern egalitarian spirit that is the hallmark of Reform Judaism. During the service, Rabbi Rick Rheins or Rabbi Susan Miller Rheins will read from the Torah or provide a thought provoking sermon or story. Music is led by Cantor Nesis. We always conclude our service with a delicious oneg, a time to nosh and meet new and old friends. A member of our Board of Trustees, along with staff, will always be available to meet and greet all visitors and congregants.
Shabbat Morning Minyan
On Shabbat morning, Temple Sinai offers a 9:00am service in the Abrahams Family Chapel. This service is most often led by members who share their spirit and talent. Members also volunteer to read the Torah and provide a short Drash to explain the portion. At least one of our Rabbis attends this service, but their role is to support (and occasionally “fill in”). The Rabbis worship along with everyone else as the honor of leading the prayers and reading Torah is shared with and extended to all who are interested.
This service concludes by 10:15am and is followed by our weekly Torah Study at 10:30am led by our Rabbi Emeritus, Ray Zwerin.
Family Services are held once a month (October through May) and are specifically designed for families with children. The service begins at 7:00pm and includes a Torah reading and a birthday blessing. The Rabbis also share a story. It is a warm, family-friendly, inclusive service. Make sure to check the calendar to see when this month’s Family Service is scheduled.
Tot Shabbat is a fun, engaging, half-hour service for families with children up to age five. We sing songs and prayers, listen to a story told by the Rabbi and share in some juice and challah. During the warm summer, we celebrate Shabbat at Silo Park. During the colder months, we enjoy the cozy warmth of Temple Sinai. Whether indoors or outside, everyone is welcome to bring a picnic dinner to eat after the service. Come celebrate Shabbat with us!
For our Healing Service, we gather together in the sacred space of the Zwerin Sanctuary for prayers, meditations, and the warm embrace of friends to renew our sense of hope, strength and healing.
Led by Rabbi Rick Rheins, Rabbi Susan Miller Rheins and Cantor Nesis, the Healing Service is for those who are struggling with their health or sadness and grief. The Healing Service is also for care givers who seek inspiration as they pray for the welfare of loved ones. All are welcome.
Temple Sinai offers a complete schedule of services in observance of the Festivals. The three pilgrimage Festivals were originally associated with travel (pilgrimage) to the ancient Temple in Jerusalem to offer prayers and sacrifices (Exodus 23:14-16; Deuteronomy 16:16). For thousands of years, Jews have observed these Biblical Holy Days by attending services at Synagogues and by gathering with family for sacred celebrations in their homes.
Note: Reform Judaism follows the schedule of Festival observances in accordance with the Biblical instructions and in keeping with the observance of all Jews in Israel. Orthodox and many Conservative Jews who live outside of Israel add an extra day of observance.
Pesach, or Passover, is the seven day spring Festival that celebrates our liberation from Egypt (Exodus 12:17-27; 34:18.) While the Passover seder on the first night is most appropriately in our homes, Temple Sinai offers a second night seder for hundreds of members and guests. The Festival concludes on the 7th day with a service in the evening and the following morning. Yizkor, memorial prayers, are recited at the 10:00am service the morning of the 7th day.
Shavuot is the “Feast of Weeks.” It comes seven weeks after Passover and marks both the barley harvest and a celebration of the giving of The Ten Commandments. (Exodus 34:22; Deut. 16:9-10). At Temple Sinai we offer a Tikkun Leil program of study and discussion the evening of Shavuot, which is followed by the evening Festival service. The 10:00 AM concluding service includes Yizkor, memorial prayers.
Sukkot is the fall harvest Festival. It lasts for seven days and concludes with the Festival of Shemini Atzeret-Simchat Torah on the eighth day (Leviticus 23:34; Deuteronomy 16:13). Jews eat and many sleep in Sukkot (literally, “booths,” the singular is “Sukkah”) during this Festival. Raise the etrog and wave the lulav under our beautiful sukkah. On Shemini Atzeret-Simchat Torah we will have an evening service at 6:00pm followed by a special program of singing and parading with our Torah scrolls. A Torah scroll will be unrolled to encircle the sanctuary and embrace all those in attendance. The 10:00am concluding service includes Yizkor, memorial prayers.
The Minor Festivals: Chanukah and Purim
Chanukah and Purim are celebrated at Temple Sinai with wonderful, family friendly services and programs that glow with the joy and spirit of our heritage. We hold a dinner during the Shabbat of Chanukah and members bring in their chanukiyot and we kindle them together.
The High Holy Days
The High Holy Days are Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Jews are forbidden to work on the High Holy Days, and the overwhelming majority attends worship services and family gatherings on these days.
Rosh HaShanah: Rosh means “beginning of” and HaShanah means “the year.” The Jewish New Year marks the beginning of a ten-day period of spiritual renewal known as the Jewish High Holy Days. Rosh HaShanah is marked by worship services, prayers for Divine forgiveness for one’s shortcomings, and the sounding of the shofar, or ram’s horn. Rosh HaShanah comes on the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which corresponds to the fall in the secular calendar (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1; and Nehemiah 8:2-3).
Yom Kippur: Yom means “day” and Kippur means “atonement.” Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. The Day of Atonement begins at sundown on the tenth day of the month of Tishrei. The whole day of Yom Kippur is devoted to fasting, prayer, repentance, reconciliation and forgiveness with our family, friends, neighbors and God. The services include a Yizkor (memorial) service to honor our deceased loved ones. While fasting is important, one may not fast if doing so endangers his/her health (Leviticus 16:30-31; 23:27-32).