Community at Sinai
Working in community to bring justice, caring, and healing to our world
The Temple Sinai community works in the spirit of Judaism’s prophetic tradition of seeking justice, healing and peace to bring about Tikkun Olam (repair of the world). Our congregation pursues social justice work that helps the Jewish people and the wider world community. As we perform acts that better the world in which we live, we also seek to transform ourselves as individuals and as a community.
Temple Sinai’s Rainbow Committee is dedicated to developing and preserving the temple’s warm and welcoming atmosphere for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. Our highest priorities are ensuring a supportive queer-friendly culture, educating the community on queer issues, and working to ensure that Temple Sinai’s school provides a safe and nurturing environment for queer youth. Each year the committee sponsors two Rainbow Shabbats focusing on issues that affect the LGBTQ and Jewish communities.
Recent speakers have included Jonathan Krasner, Associate Professor of Jewish Education Research at Brandeis, who spoke on changes in the gay Jewish family; Michael Ward, who, on World AIDS Day, read from his account of the illness and death of his Jewish partner in the early days of AIDS; and the writer, editor, and educator Amy Hoffman, who read from her memoir Lies About My Family.
In 2018-2019, the Rainbow Committee focused on the Massachusetts ballot question aimed at rescinding transgender rights. We provided a Trans 101 session for the congregation, to educate everyone on transgender issues, and the speaker for the fall Rainbow Shabbat was Mimi Micner, Keshet’s Advocacy and Campaign Specialist, talking about the upcoming ballot issue. We also created our own button reminding people how to vote, which we distributed at Rosh HaShana services.
Noted author Leslea Newman spoke at the spring 2019 Rainbow Shabbat. She has written Heather Has Two Mommies, A Letter to Harvey Milk, and some 70 other books for readers of all ages. In addition to participating in Shabbat services, she did a poetry writing session for the religious school, and for adults, she talked about her evolution as a Jewish lesbian writer.
We welcome other members to join us.
Members of Temple Sinai worship, celebrate, and learn together, but we also do more: we support one another in times of illness, injury, loss, isolation, and other life-challenging situations. Whether the occasion is one of joy or sorrow, the Caring Network makes sure that no member of the congregation feels alone.
With direction from the Rabbis and the Caring Network Chairs, the Caring Network coordinators facilitate outreach activities by our membership to help or comfort those in need. These mitzvot include:
- providing meals of comfort
- doing errands or shopping
- making a friendly or shiva visit
- sending/delivering a plant or flowers
- writing notes of condolence, congratulations or encouragement, and
- providing rides to religious services.
The Caring Network also provides general educational and spiritual support through prayer cards and pamphlets.
We are always looking for new ideas to expand our work. Please contact the Caring Network for more information or to add your name to our volunteer list.
The Temple Sinai Committee for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities supports accessibility and universal inclusion and is dedicated to developing a culture where the needs of people with disabilities are understood and addressed. It will help the community meet those needs in order to seek to create an environment without barriers to inclusion where everyone is welcomed, respected, and valued.
The Inclusion Committee serves as an active and engaged resource for the Temple Sinai community, to build awareness within the congregation of people with disabilities and promote an inclusive, capability-focused environment for all members, that supports and is supported by Jewish teaching and values.
The committee will advocate for accessibility as a requirement for all resources, buildings, and events that are available to the Temple Sinai community.
Tzedek@Sinai is Temple Sinai’s social justice organizing initiative that engages all members in social justice. It enables members to come together and build Temple Sinai’s power to make an impact on issues we care about. Currently, there is a central Strategy Team, as well as teams that lead the way on Criminal Justice Reform and Immigration Justice. Tzedek@Sinai is a verb: we can all do Tzedek work at Temple Sinai.
Through Tzedek@Sinai, we work closely with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), a major player in social justice campaigns in Boston and Massachusetts. Sinai members are encouraged to get involved by meeting in person with a Tzedek@Sinai leader, joining a team, attending an action or event, or taking action to help with specific campaigns. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yom Kippur Food Drive
For over 20 years, Temple Sinai has participated in the nationwide effort to collect food for people in need during the High Holy Days by holding our Yom Kippur Food Drive. All donations will go to the Grow Clinic food pantry at Boston Medical Center. This unique and successful program serves over 5,000 malnourished people a year. When you come to Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur services this year, please bring your donated grocery bags (for a list of items that can be donated visit the Grow Clinic). A greeter will direct you to leave your bag in the small room off the vestibule of the temple. Your donations are greatly appreciated. Download 2022 list here