Find a Community

Camp George“My husband was the ultimate synagogue skeptic. Under no circumstance did he want to be a part of ‘that hocus pocus’. I was adamant, however, about being married by Rabbi Dolgin and in order to do so, my betrothed would have to set foot in the building. Now, more than ten years later, we have celebrated together two nursery school graduations, two consecrations, been present for countless tot and family Shabbat services, and been actively involved in Temple’s 50th Anniversary celebration. The warmth and support we have felt from being a part of the Temple community has not only ‘converted’ my husband, but has ensured our place in the Temple family for years to come.” — Shari Goldberg

“When my father passed away, I was lost. But my experience coming to Temple Sinai as a new member to say kaddish was a complete surprise to me. I was welcomed. I was embraced. I was blown away by how much people truly cared.” — Zale Hambourg

“Both of us find it difficult to put into words the overwhelming feeling of inclusion we have within Temple Sinai and its warm, generous and welcoming members. Rabbi Michael Dolgin and everyone at Shul have been major inspirations in our lives as a couple and, needless to say, we are so incredibly grateful for the spiritual influence provided for our two sons, Brett and Blake. Whether we attend regularly or infrequently, there is no doubt that we consider this Temple our home.” — Avi Ferdman & Gavin Posner

 

Why should I choose the Temple Sinai community?

What’s so special about Temple Sinai?
What is community life like?
What does membership offer me?
What does Temple offer me other than services?
What are Reform services like at Temple Sinai?
I hear you have good schools at Temple. What makes them so good?
What can you tell me about your professional staff?
How do you calculate membership contributions?
My kids attend Jewish day school. What would Temple provide for them that they don’t already get?
What is Reform Judaism?
Can I attend High Holy Day services, just to try Temple out?

 

Temple Sinai

What’s so special about Temple Sinai?
Our members describe us as a warm and welcoming Jewish community, not just a Reform synagogue.

 For sixty years, Temple Sinai has been recognized as one of the most vibrant and innovative Jewish congregations in the Toronto area. Today, that legacy continues with our welcoming and inclusive approach to building community, firmly rooted in Jewish tradition.

What is community life like?
With 1700 families, we have the resources and opportunities of a large congregation, but we feel smaller and more ‘haymishe’ — you’ll find us easy to get to know.

New members not only feel welcome but are invited to contribute to Temple life and events as soon as they join us.

Our members live all over the GTA, so there are almost certainly other Temple members right in your neighbourhood; a great opportunity to socialize outside of Temple.

What does membership offer me?
Temple offers an excellent range of opportunities for every member — no matter what their age or stage — to build relationships and find their own special place in the Temple community.

For some that means joining in our very participatory Shabbat services, which have many opportunities for lay involvement, including Torah text study brought to life in a way that’s relevant for today.

For others, it means finding enrichment in volunteer committees, social action initiatives, or adult Jewish learning programs.

Families value our excellent schools and child and youth programs that are designed for kids from 18 months to high school and beyond.

I’m not sure I’m very ‘religious’. What does Temple offer me other than services?
Beyond our full slate of worship opportunities, including daily morning and evening services, Temple is home to many social and Jewish cultural activities and events.

In fact, there’s a Temple group for almost every phase of life, including yours. Our seniors’ groups are very active, participating in excursions and creating at-Temple events year round. Every year we hold a Jewish Film festival featuring great movies from Israel and beyond. And our families with kids enjoy events geared for nursery school, bar/bat mitzvah years, and the teen years.

We also take pride in a very rich musical tradition that continues today with excellent member participation in our youth and adult choirs. Temple holds a number of concerts each year as part of our Sounds of Sinai program. We also provide strong support to members pursuing musical education and excellence.

What are Reform services like at Temple Sinai?
Standing at the Ark at Temple SinaiYou’ll find our services enjoy strong lay participation, with members active in reading Torah. On Shabbat and holidays, you’ll also hear a vibrant musical component, created by both our cantors’ and members’ voices.

We also hold all bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies in the presence of the whole congregation during regular Shabbat service times, further creating connections between members in our inclusive community atmosphere.

I hear you have good schools at Temple. What makes them so good?
It really comes down to involvement: involved teachers, involved students, and involved parents. We foster that involvement at every stage and school level.

Our Parent and Child Education program allows Jewish learning, and the joy of it, to be felt between the generations.

As children enter their teens, their learning and independence as Jewish adults is encouraged and strengthened by our clergy- and educator-led trips to Israel and other destinations.

Our members find our schools integrated with our synagogue as a whole. The points of involvement in each of our levels make for a more enjoyable and rich Jewish education that builds identity and community — for parents and kids alike.

What can you tell me about your professional staff?
We are very proud of our first-rate senior staff, who are an integral part of our congregational family. Our members appreciate how accessible and helpful they are, not only in times of need but day to day.

Temple Sinai has two rabbis, Rabbi Michael Dolgin and Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg; two cantors, Cantor Charles Osborne and Cantor Katie Oringel, our Director of Congregational Learning, David Cohen, and our Executive Director, Rayner Conway.

How do you calculate membership contributions?
Temple uses a fair-share model for calculating membership contributions that takes into account each congregant or family’s financial resources. The objective of our model is to make joining our community manageable for each household whatever their level of income.

Further, we recognize that tough economic circumstances may affect almost anyone these days. In response, Temple makes a practice of working with members through such difficulties, and of doing everything we can to ensure new members aren’t turned away from becoming a part of our community for financial reasons.

My kids attend Jewish day school. What would Temple provide for them that they don’t already get?
While day school is an excellent way to give your children a Jewish education, they won’t be going there forever. But if they’re also part of a community such as ours, beyond day school, they have a great opportunity to make friends and grow Jewishly for an entire lifetime past graduation. Temple life is another part of “Jewish education”. Not just for your kids, but for you as well.

Perhaps that’s why Temple Sinai numbers many day school families among its members. They find membership provides them a spiritual home for celebrating holidays and enjoying Jewish cultural events as a family, as well as a place where their kids can make new friends and put into action the lessons learned in day school.

Belonging at Temple also provides a warm and meaningful setting for bar or bat mitzvah. We are committed to helping you build a positive Jewish identity for your child, both before and after the bar mitzvah. Naturally, this commitment extends to all children, including those with special needs.

Welcome to Temple Sinai

What is Reform Judaism?
Throughout history, Jews and Judaism have been changing. In that regard, Reform Judaism is no different from Judaism as a whole, or any other mainstream Jewish denomination such as Conservative, Orthodox, or Reconstructionist, consistently evolving.

Where Reform differs from some other branches of Judaism is in our commitment to the equality of men and women in worship, clergy, and synagogue life as a whole. Our belief in the power of inclusiveness also informs our welcoming attitude toward Jews-by-choice (converts to Judaism), interfaith families, and gay and lesbian Jews.

You’ll find Temple Sinai a warm community that embodies these Reform Jewish characteristics, and does so within an active practice of Jewish tradition and support for the State of Israel.

Can I attend High Holy Day services, just to try Temple out?
While High Holy Day tickets only come with Temple membership, we would be delighted to have you join us at no cost for our popular second day Rosh Hashanah services, a dynamic day of prayers and celebration that’s open to all.

You are also welcome to join us on the afternoon of Yom Kippur, as we bring the High Holy Days to closure as a community, and emerge renewed for another year.
But why wait for the High Holy Days? Join us on any Shabbat, at daily minyan, or for one of our many community and cultural events. You’ll find it easy to get a feeling for what our members are like, and feel right at home among them.