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Temple Sinai

50 Sewall Avenue
Brookline, MA 02446
Phone: (617) 277-5888

Sinai Update – Week of April 1 – 7, 2012

Sinai Update – Week of April 1 – 7, 2012


Passover begins this Friday, April 6

At our Passover Seders this Friday night, we’ll read the words that “in every generation, we should each regard ourselves as if each one of us came out of Egypt.”  This is an amazing challenge: to push ourselves and use our imaginations to the extent where we actually think, feel, remember that we were there, leaving the misery of slavery behind, chased by Pharaoh, coming through the awesome moment when the Sea split on either side of us, and came to experience freedom, for the first time.  If we can get to the approximate point where we can at least imagine being there, we will understand the suffering of slavery, and be committed to prevent anyone else from ever bearing that burden.  We will never forget the awesome story of our personal redemption, and we will tell it to our children.  The essence of Passover, after all, is telling our story.  One who elaborates on the story-telling is praiseworthy.

If you look closely at the Hagaddah, the Biblical “proof-texts” which back up this challenge to us to imagine ourselves as in the Exodus itself, you will see that there are two verses – and each verse offers something different.  The Exodus verse, “…because of what God did for me in Egypt” (Exod. 13:8), clearly fits the Midrashic requirements for interpretation.  Why, then, offer a second verse, this one from Deuteronomy, “It was us whom God brought out from there…” (Deut. 6:23).  Because, one possible interpretation suggests, the Deuteronomy verse uses the plural – “us” – reminding us that we came forth from Egypt as a people, and are therefore always deeply connected to our Jews.  We always have others with whom to share this story, even if we imagine it or experience it differently, and that as a people we always have a communal responsibility to live out its values in the wider world.  We are individuals and families as we sit at our different Seder tables this Friday night, but, as Passover demonstrates, our lives are part of a national story, a story that continues to give us hope and inspiration as a people.

My wife Martha and our daughters Rosa and Hallel join me in wishing you and your dear ones a very happy Passover, and a wonderful Festival of Freedom!

       Rabbi Andy Vogel


In our lives…

We wish mazel tov to Michael Maso, who was featured in a wonderful article in Sunday’s Boston Globe arts section, highlighting his 30 years of dedication and leadership at the Huntington Theatre.  To read the article, click here:   Mazel tov, Michael!


Meeting of the Board of Trustees tonight, April 4, 2012 — 8:00 p.m.

We invite members of Temple Sinai to join us for this Thursday’s Board meeting which will take place this evening at 8:00 p.m. in Ehrenfried Hall. Members are welcome at all meetings of the Temple Board.


Pesach Services, 1st & 7th days of Passover

We invite the community to worship with us at Passover.  Our congregation comes together to observe the first and seventh days of Passover in our Sanctuary at these service times:  Saturday, April 7, at 9:30 a.m. for the 1st day of Passover, and on Friday, April 13 at 9:30 a.m. for the 7th day of Pesach including Yizkor prayers.  Both services are held in our Sanctuary, include Torah readings and the singing of Hallel prayers, and are open to all.   There will be regular Erev Shabbat services on Friday evening, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.


Please note that there will not be Erev Shabbat services at Temple Sinai this Friday night, April 6 to enable our members to enjoy seders with family and friends.


Reflections on Mitzvah Day 2012

Here at Temple Sinai, Mitzvah Day is not a one-day occurrence.  Over the years, we have formed lasting relationships with many local organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House, Chestnut Park Assisted Living, the Anna Bissonette House, Birthday Wishes, and more.  Thanks to Mitzvah Day, we continue to forge meaningful partnerships within the community that will last for many years to come.  Let us not forget, however, how much we as a synagogue can accomplish in one day.  On Sunday, April 1, over 100 members of the Temple Sinai community gathered to perform acts of kindness.  IN ONE DAY, we prepared 5 lasagnas and 99 cupcakes for Ronald McDonald House; assembled 15 fleece blankets for needy children; stuffed 15 bags full of homemade blankets, books, stuffed animals and toiletries for homeless children; prepared lasagna, salad, garlic bread and brownies for 20 formerly homeless senior citizens; performed a musical concert for 25 seniors; assembled 120 goody bags for children living in homeless shelters; conducted a chocolate Seder for 40 seniors; raised $156 dollars for Hazon Yeshaya,  an Israeli humanitarian network that includes soup kitchens, dental clinics, and vocational training; produced an anti-bullying video to be used as a public service announcement; and beautified the Temple grounds.  Thank you to Family Educator, Andrea Katz, and the Mitzvah Day Task Force for planning this meaningful multi-generational event.  And, of course, thank you to our fantastic mitzvah doers!

~Heidi Smith Hyde, Director of Education


Purchase wine to benefit Temple Sinai – ends this week!

If you were not able to attend last Saturday evening’s very successful Wine Tasting event, it’s not too late to make a wine purchase!  Please print an order sheet  and bring it The Urban Grape store, located next to Star Market on Route 9 in Chestnut Hill. There is a wide variety of wines from which to select – to enjoy at your Passover table and through the year.  A portion of the sale of purchases made from this wine list will benefit Temple Sinai.  All purchases must be madebefore Passover, April 6.   Attendees at the Wine Tasting can pick up their purchases at the Urban Grape, as well.


No Religious School this Sunday, April 8

Due to the Pesach holiday, there will be no religious school this Sunday, April 8.   Religious school classes will resume this Tuesday, April 10.


“Nosh” sponsors needed – Fridays, April 20 and June 8

We are in need of sponsors for the “nosh” which precedes “Shabbat@Six!” services on Fridays, April 20 and June 8. If you can help with either of these dates, please contact Kathy Arnstein.


Temple Sinai’s Men’s Softball team needs you!

Temple Sinai Men’s Softball team is still looking for members who would like to play softball on Sunday mornings.   Please contact Gary Altman to learn more


Join us for our April Community Shabbat dinner – April 20

You are invited to join us for our monthly community Shabbat dinner in Ehrenfried Hall following “Shabbat@Six!” services on Friday, April 20.  Welcome Shabbat with the traditional blessings, a catered dinner, singing and the warmth of the Temple community.  Because the Israeli food served at a recent Shabbat dinner was so popular, we are serving it again in April!  Please click  to print out a registration form to mail to the Temple office.  We look forward to seeing you!


Yom Ha’Atzma’ut at Temple Sinai — Friday, April 27, 7:30 p.m. services

Temple Sinai will mark Israeli Independence Day at services on Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. Tami Shor,  Senior Deputy Director for Regulation of the Israel Water Authority, will speak on the topic,  “Water in Israel.”  She will talk about this scarce resource and its related issues, such as water development, the environment, desalination, and water agreements with Israel’s neighbors.  Sponsored by Temple Sinai’s Israel Education and Action Committee.


Commemoration Service for Yom HaShoah, April 29, 10:30 a.m.

Once again this year, Temple Sinai is cosponsoring the annual JCRC Holocaust commemoration which takes place at Faneuil Hall on Sunday, April 29, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. Participants this year include Terezin Music Foundation Director and Temple Sinai member Mark Ludwig, the Hatikvah Soldier’s Mission, and the 2012 Israel Arbeiter Holocaust essay contest winners. The commemoration is a family-oriented event which includes Shenani Ganns’ youth choir and a moving procession led by the survivors to the New England Holocaust Memorial for the Mourners’ Kaddish.  All are welcome.


Adult Learning:  “Agadah:  The Free Associations of the Rabbis” –  begins April 29

In the Agadah literature, the rabbis of the Talmudic era dealt playfully, yet seriously, with the Biblical text, extracting from it deep insight.  Using English translations, we will explore the topics of free will, the evil inclination, good manners, and family relationships.  Rabbi Frank Waldorf teachers this three session class, Sundays April 29, May 6 and 13, 9:30 a.m. in the Charles Street Room.


In the community….

Women of the Wall Passover Photo Campaign. Though the seder acknowledges women, women are not accorded a place of honor in many places in modern-day Jewish society, especially in Israel where the Women of the Wall (WOW) are fighting for the basic religious freedoms that Jewish men enjoy. This Passover, Women of the Wall is asking all of us to show our support in their WOW Passover campaign. Take an orange – the symbol of a woman’s place on the bimah and at the center of Jewish public life — and write your name and city on it, along with “WOW”. Have someone take your picture holding your orange and use it as your Facebook photo, and send a copy to WOW.  For more information and inspiration, watch this YouTube video of WOW chair Anat Hoffman

            ~Zippy Ostroy


The 1st annual “Boston Jewish Food Conference”, April 22 Join peers interested in food, cuisine, agriculture, labor, business, health, access, history and religious practice at the FIRST ANNUAL Boston Jewish Food Conference: Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability on April 22nd 2012 at Hebrew College, 160 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459.  For more information, click to: