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Getting involved

We are a highly participatory congregation, where work and decision making are shared widely, and where there is a place for everyone. If you are a do-er who enjoys working with a great group of people, join a committee—we run on volunteers. If you are looking for fellowship around a particular hobby or interest, you can join—or start—a club or affinity group at Sinai to explore that interest Jewishly. Some of the groups below have their own webpage, where you can find information on meetings or upcoming events.  

Accessibility and Inclusion Committee
Contacts: Lauren Lieberman and Susan Rizzo

The Accessibility and Inclusion Committee works to ensure temple life is fully accessible, on the same terms, to all participants, regardless of disability. They are the modern heirs of the Special Needs Committee that was formed at Sinai more than 30 years ago, and they have helped Temple Sinai to achieve the distinction of Exemplar Congregation designation from the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center, a partnership of the Union for Reform Judaism and the Ruderman Family Foundation. You can see some of the fruits of their work on our Accessible Judaism page.

Adult Education Committee
Contact: Susan Rizzo

The Adult Education Committee envisions and plans opportunities for learners at all stages, from novice to "seasoned," to forge connections through group explorations of Jewish texts and topics. To learn more, visit Adult Education

Book Club
Contacts: Jill Orbach (daytime club) or Diane Shrager (evening club)

Join in on friendly and lively discussions about books by Jewish authors or that explore Jewish themes. Readings for each month are selected by group consensus. 

Congregant Connections Committee
Contact: Joyce Schachter

The Congregant Connections Committee welcomes new congregants and fosters the spirit of our diverse temple community by creating activities and events that build relationships and promote engagement. They assemble and deliver welcome baskets and host a welcome brunch for new congregants; plan and organize our annual Get S'More Shabbat outdoor services with dinner; and develop and sponsor events such as the popular Sinai Café evening. The group meets monthly and welcomes anyone interested in participating to email Joyce or call her at the Temple office, (585) 381-6890.

Garden Team
Contact: Sally Constine and Lori Conway

The Temple Sinai Garden Team was established in 2013 with the goal of maintaining and improving the Temple’s garden beds. We aim to have plantings that will give all season interest, be low maintenance, and deer resistant.

We have designated 12 areas to care for and have assigned volunteers to each area, and there are also some general helpers. Volunteers with all levels of gardening experience are welcome. We work as a team, helping each other and sharing ideas. Volunteers give varying amounts of time, depending on their schedules, from April - November. Some enjoy doing the garden work together and others enjoy the serenity of gardening alone.

Hiking Club
Contact: Ron Newman

Spring, summer, fall, AND winter!

Literacy Team
Contacts: Peggy Cherkasky and Sally Constine 

The Rochester Jewish Coalition for Literacy, managed by the Jewish Family Service, has been placing volunteers in Rochester City Elementary Schools since 1999. In 2009, Temple Sinai's Literacy Team was formed and partnered with School 45.     

Our goal is to fill every teacher's request for a volunteer, focusing on grades K-4. Our volunteers offer reading tutoring for a minimum of 1 hour a week and typically work one-on-one with students for approximately 30 minutes each. Volunteers may choose their days and hours, and if you leave Rochester for part of the year, you can still participate! While School No. 45 is Temple Sinai's designated school, members who volunteer at other city schools are part of our literacy initiative.

In addition, we hold book, clothing, and backpack collections. To learn more or get involved, email Peggy or Sally.

Men's Club
Contacts: Herb Feinstein and Ron Newman

The Men’s Club hosts an annual Super Bowl party at the Temple, organizes dinner and movie-viewing events and other programs of interest, and collaborates on programs with the Women’s Chavurah.

Mitzvah Connection
Contact: Janet Irwin

Sinai’s Mitzvah Connection Committee offers a wide range of Mitzvah acknowledgement and/or needed assistance to our congregation. We acknowledge congregant Mitzvahs’ with contributions to Sinai funds for new grandbabies and family marriages. We provide gifts for recent converts, newly married couples, and families with a new baby. Since the onset of the pandemic, Mitzvah Connection is reaching out to members who are socially isolated, by make calls (often building relationships), and delivering surprise holiday treats which has generated much positive response.

In times of need Mitzvah Connection is a supportive link between Sinai and our members. When death occurs, Mitzvah volunteers deliver condolence baskets to the family, as well as provide bake goods when needed for shiva. During times of illness or surgical recovery, we converse with family in order to pinpoint needs our volunteers can provide such as: the preparation and delivery of meals, help with grocery shopping and errands, provide transportation to medical appointments and more.

If you’d like to share just a few hours of your time by helping members in need, Mitzvah Connection is an ideal way to help serve our temple community. Please join our list of Sinai volunteers, even if you have a limited amount of time. We are always open for new committee members as well – we meet once or twice each year.

For more information, questions or sign-up, email Janet.

Religious Practices Committee
Contact: Lindsey Hagan

The Religious Practices Committee takes on the role of planning High Holiday services and much more.

Safety and Security Committee
Contacts: Carla Greenfield and RJ Ruble

We assess and make recommendations for improvements to the security of our building and grounds. The task is ongoing.  

Social Action Committee
Contact: Abby Urban-Rifkin

Tikkun Olam, or repairing the world, is integral to everything we do. Learn more at Social Action.

Temple Life
Contacts: Lorri Diggory and Carol Greer

The Temple Life committee organizes many of the social events that are held at Temple Sinai. Often they are tied to Jewish holidays such as the Chanukah dinner celebration; Sundaes, Suds and Sodas – a dinner in the Sukkah; and Purim Pizza dinner held in conjunction with the youth group carnival and preceding the Purim Shpiel. Other events are designed to build community connection such as the annual Sinai outing to a Red Wings game and the annual Winterfest held in February at a local park with outdoor activities and an indoor chili dinner and Havdallah service.

There are opportunities for those who want to become active members of the committee to help with the planning and carrying out of events. Working on this committee is a wonderful way to get to know others who are actively involved in making our congregation the friendly and lively organization that it is. Please email Lorri or Carol to get involved.

Women’s Chavurah
Contacts: Carol Yunker and Carole Teegarden

The Temple Sinai Women's Chavurah attracts a large number of people to our varied programs and activities offered throughout the year. Our events are open to all Temple members, and as space permits, also to guests. All programs are NOT FOR WOMEN ONLY!

Programs include speakers on topics of current interest, author book talks, on-site experiential instruction, art studio visits, tours of community locales, celebrity chef events, an annual social event in the Sukkah, and every other year, a Women’s Seder. We sell the Temple Sinai cookbook “Temple Sinai Cooks”, and the Women’s Chavurah supports other Temple programs and participates in an array of community initiatives.

Each summer, the committee meets to solicit and consider program suggestions for the upcoming year. Committee members then plan and organize each event. Suggestions for future programs are welcome, and if you would like to become involved, please let us know! Email Carol or Carole.

Thu, May 19 2022 18 Iyar 5782