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Staying Connected with Men’s Club


By Rachel Polansky, Programming Manager For many, it has been over two months of sheltering in place and remaining socially distant. During this time, it can be a challenge to remain connected to one another and to Judaism. Sinai Temple Men’s Club, led by president Farshad Rafii, has risen to the occasion during these challenging times, providing a plethora of resources and engagement for their community.   Cary Lerman muses, “There is no substitute for one-on-one contacts and conversations, even if done remotely.  At the Men’s Club, we pick up the phone to talk with one another, email and send messages…

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Preserving the Community During the Pandemic


By Farshad Rafii, Men’s Club President For me, “the community” has always been one of the most valuable dimensions of life at Sinai Temple. With the quarantine keeping us away from each other, my immediate concern was how we preserve the sense of camaraderie that we all value so much and how we prevent irreversible damage to this beautiful community that has taken decades of time and immeasurable effort to build. We at the Men’s Club were inspired by how the temple clergy, staff, and school rose to meet the challenge. From the very beginning of the emergency, they started…

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Sinai Temple Religious School Car Parade


By Danielle Kassin, Religious School Director We miss our students and families. We are lucky to see them in Zoom classes or on Facetime, to read their notes and comments through Facebook Live and e-mails, and to hear their voices via phone, but there is just nothing that replaces seeing our students in-person and being with our Religious School community. So this is how it began… Our vision to actually see and be with our families! At Sinai Temple Religious School, our mission is always for students to bring Judaism “home.” We ask students to go beyond the classroom and…

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How Do We Learn Online Together?


By Rachel Polansky, Programming Manager Right before Pesach, Rabbi Guzik hosted an interactive online Women’s Learning class, Taking Back Passover. Participants including Jennifer Malkin were nervous about how their Seders would work this year, “But Rabbi Guzik let me off the hook to do it any way we can, even if it’s in PJs! A “shlecht” Seder this year is OKAY. So relieved!”   Others like Marilyn Stern commended the efforts of Sinai Temple. She has enjoyed all of the virtual learning and community opportunities. She reiterated Rabbi Guzik’s advice, “However we choose to celebrate Passover is okay – there’s…

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The New Normal


By Rachel Polansky, Programming Manager “A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness.” – Jewish Proverb Passover seders are being held over Zoom. Picking up food is now “contact-free” and the only time many people leave the house. The world may look different, but Judaism is still an ever-present part of our lives. We asked various members of the Sinai Temple community, “How are you staying connected to Judaism during this uncertain time?” Below are some responses from one small segment of our community. Members Carole and Richard Greenberg are diligently watching all of the services available…

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Holocaust Survivors Brunch


In December, the Sinai Temple Teen Center partnered with Religious School to host the annual Holocaust Survivors Brunch.  It was a privilege to host over 40 survivors and their spouses and partners for an intimate brunch in their honor.  The Sinai Temple teens had the opportunity to hear firsthand stories of the Shoah from the men and women who experienced it, and to see what true resilience and bravery look like.  The brunch featured beautiful words from Rabbi David Wolpe and amazing songs, led by Cantor Marcus Feldman, Rabbi Erez Sherman, and Religious School students.   A special thank you to…

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2019 Abner & Roslyn Goldstine Scholar-In-Residence


The weekend of November 15-17, Sinai Temple’s 2019 Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Scholar-In-Residence, Dr. Matthew Levitt, lectured and discussed a variety of timely and important topics. Dr. Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler Fellow at The Washington Institute and Director of its Jeanette and Eli Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. High school student Vida Keyvanfar, Co-President of Sinai Temple’s Teen Center, discussed and interviewed Dr. Levitt prior to his visit. To read her interview with him, please click HERE. The weekend kicked off on Friday with a well attended Lunch & Learn on the Go in Century City, followed by an…

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Teen Center Leadership Retreat


On Friday, September 6, Sinai Temple’s Teen Center traveled to Camp Ramah in Ojai, CA for the annual Teen Leadership Retreat. The theme of this year’s retreat was Self-Care and Wellness, through a Jewish lens. The teens focused on three main pillars of self-care: spiritual, physical, and communal. The group learned about spiritual origins of self-care through concepts like Shmirat Haguf, guarding the body, and they found their places in the universe through stargazing and Heschel text on the importance of awe and wonder. The teens engaged in the physical aspect of self-care, including Salsa lessons, highlighting the joys of…

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Packing With Purpose: GO Campaign


On Saturday, April 13, directly following Shabbat morning services, our Social Action Committee (and friends!) packed bags of supplies for GO Campaign, an organization that improves the lives of orphans and vulnerable children around the world by partnering with local heroes to deliver local solutions. GO Campaign aims to change lives and transform communities, one child at a time. Below are accounts from leaders of the organization regarding how these bags of essential items ended up benefitting communities in great need: “The very first bag went to Javi yesterday. He is a 15 year old Honduran refugee with Down Syndrome.   He…

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2019 Burning Bush Gala


On Sunday, April 7 Sinai Temple Men’s Club held its 32nd Annual Burning Bush Gala, honoring Sinai Temple members Sharona & Daniel Nazarian and Julie & Michael Silberstein. The Burning Bush Awards are presented annually to deserving men and women of the Sinai community who represent strong Jewish values, unwavering support of Israel and a deep commitment to giving back and tikkun olam. This year’s recipients are pillars of Sinai Temple, represent strength in community, and are deeply defined by their Jewish identities. Both awards were presented by Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple, Rabbi David Wolpe, who spoke of the Nazarians’ incredible commitment to family…

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