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Posts by Emily Shefer

When A Rabbi And A Mega-Church Pastor Learned To Pray Together


The below article was featured in The Forward. Do you know your neighbor? I live in the crowded city of Los Angeles. I see my neighbors who live in the adjacent buildings to my home, just feet from my own front door. I could not tell you their names. We wave to each other on our way to work, but that is the extent of our relationship in our hectic lives. In rabbinical school, you are required to find a chevruta, a study partner; a person to sharpen our mind with new ideas; a person to challenge us in our…

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Chloe Levian


License plate RUACH:) Shalom! My name is Chloe Levian and I’m a teacher’s assistant for 2nd grade. My favorite part of Sinai Temple is the ruach. It is truly incomparable! Sunday morning Tefillah services were my favorite part of religious school when I went to Sinai, and I am grateful to be able to experience it again with the future generation. I am looking forward to a great year ahead full of learning, kindness, fun, prayers, and ruach!

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Avishai Shamtoub


License Plate: Thanks Hi! My name is Avishai Shamtoub and I am a teacher’s assistant for the 6th grade. I love coming into religious school on Sunday mornings and seeing all the students speak about what they are thankful for. It makes me so happy to see everyone think hard about the amazing things in life. I am looking forward to an ever more thankful year!

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Ainat Kiewe


License Plate: Choco(n)BG Shalom! My name is Ainat and I am so excited to begin teaching at Sinai. Do you have a favorite Israeli food? Mine is chocolate milk in a bag – yes, it’s in a bag! I spent part of the summer in Israel and drank many bags! I hope to teach my students lots of Hebrew vocabulary and share delicious Israeli foods this year.

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Chris Friedman


License Plate: LV2PRAY One of my favorite parts of religious school are the prayers. There is something so spiritual, so beautiful when everyone’s voice comes together in prayer. I LOVE watching the kids pray and sing.

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Rachel Lipman


License Plate: FTRISRE Shalom! My name is Rachel Lipman, and I am excited to be joining the Sinai Temple Religious School team. Israel has always held a special place in my heart, but after living and working in Tel Aviv for the past two months, Israel finally feels like home. My license plate reads: Future Israeli, as I am thinking of making aliyah after college graduation next year. My Jewish values and love for Israel make me who I am, and I look forward to sharing my experiences and knowledge with the community.

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Elizabeth Dunbar


License Plate: TIFTACH Shalom! My name is Elizabeth Dunbar and I am teaching the Kindergarten class with Morah Diana this year. I am so excited to be joining the Religious School! I have been teaching in the preschool at Sinai Akiba Academy for 2 years now and I love it. I chose the phrase, “Tiftach” because we sing, “Adonai S’fatai tiftach,” when we begin the Amidah. “Tiftach” means “to open” and it reminds me to be open to God’s goodness and mercy in my life every day. I always want to start from a place of openness and gratitude in…

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Mitra Simanian


Dr. Mitra Simanian and her husband Mayer have been members of Sinai Temple for the past 24 Years and their four sons all had their Bar Mitzvahs at Sinai Temple. She got her Bachelors of Science in Microbiology and Immunology and her Doctorate in Dental Surgery from UCLA and is the immediate past president of UCLA School of Dentistry Board of Alumni and a Part time Faculty there. She has been involved and very active in several philanthropic and charitable organizations and believes in giving back to the society and the community that has supported us all. She practices Dentistry along with…

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Sindy Paikal


Sindy Paikal has been a member of Sinai Temple since 2010 and a board member since 2016. She has always been an active member at the Temple and is currently the Chair of the Social Action Committee. In 2015 she was a recipient of the Young Leaders Award. Sindy and her family are proud members of both Sinai Temple and Sinai Akiba Academy.

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