Our History

November 1952

Pre-establishment meeting held at Holy Blossom

May 1954

First meeting to organize a new temple is held at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Grosberg

Summer 1954

Student Rabbi Jordan Pearlson z”l is hired

Fall 1954

Members worship at the Asbury and West United Church and 3450 Bathurst St.Apartment serves as school and offices
Apartment serves as school and offices


Sisterhood is founded; Vera Pollock is first president


Brotherhood is founded; Irving Seigal is first president


Holy Blossom donates a Torah and offers $25,000 loan

May 1955

Land purchased and building fund established

Fall 1955

High Holy Day services held at Earl Haig Collegiate and Glendale Theatre


First cantor, Irv Cramer, volunteers until 1960


198 members are signatories to first mortgage

April 1957

Ground-breaking ceremony is held

June 1957

Rabbi Jordan Pearlson z”l is ordained

August 1957

Cornerstone is laid; Harry Pollock is first President

May 1958

Membership reaches 367 families

October 1958

New building is dedicated

July 1960

Leo Kahane is hired as Director of Education


Alan Blye is hired as Cantor for Shabbat and Holy Days and serves until 1966,
Ray Jessel is Director of Music

February 1962

Tova Diamond becomes Director of Music

March 1962

First Bat Torah, Barbara Skulko

April 1962

Ed Goldfarb appointed Director of Education

October 1963

Temple Sinai section at Dawes Road Cemetery is dedicated

December 1963

Dedication of new school wing

October 1964

Membership at 536 families

July 1966

Nelson Spector is hired as first Executive Director

Spring 1967

Cantor Severin Weingort z”l is hired

May 1968

Holy Blossom loan of $25,000 is repaid

Fall 1969

New Chapel is dedicated

September 1970

Ben Steinberg becomes Director of Music

January 1973

Chevrat Torah begins to meet each Shabbat


Michael Herzbrun is appointed Asistant Rabbi (1975-1978)


Mortgage with Manulife retired


New organ is purchased and installed


Ben Kamin is appointed Assistant Rabbi (1979-1981)

September 1979

Temple Sinai’s 25th Anniversary celebrations

July 1981

Jeff Ablesser becomes Assistant Rabbi (1981-1986)

May 1984

Micki Brudner appointed Executive Director (1984-1994)

July 1986

Ned Soltz becomes Associate Rabbi (1986-1992)


Dedication of new Social Hall and school facilities

July 1989

Dr. Ira Schweitzer hired as Director of Education (1989-2013)

November 1990

Temple ’s 36th Anniversary celebrations

July 1992

Michael Dolgin becomes Assistant Rabbi

March 1994

Rayner Conway is hired as Executive Director

April 1996

Ben Steinberg retires as Director of Music and is named Composer-in-Residence

November 1996

Cantor Severin Weingort z”l retires and is named Cantor Emeritus

August 1995

Commemorative weekend and tribute dinner honouring Rabbi Jordan Pearlson’s z”l forty years of leadership; named Founding Rabbi

August 1995

Rabbi Lawrence Colton appointed Interim Rabbi (1995-1997)

July 1997

Rabbi Michael Dolgin appointed Senior Rabbi

August 1997

Daveen Litwin appointed Assistant Rabbi (1997-2001)

July 1999

Donna Faye Dower appointed Cantor (1999-2000)

July 2001

Lori Cohen appointed Assistant Rabbi (2001-2008)

August 2002

Cheryl Appleby Jackson appointed Director of Development (2002-2003)

April 2003

Jack Kugelmass appointed Director of Programming and Leadership Development (2003-2006)

July 2003

Gershon Silins appointed Cantor and Director of Music (2003-2011)

September 2003

Debby Kassoy appointed Director of Development

July 2004

Erin Polonsky appointed Associate Rabbi (2004-2011)


50th anniversary celebrations begin


Eleanor Steinman appointed Assistant Rabbi (2008-2011)


Katie Oringel appointed Cantor (2009-2019)


Ilan Emanuel appointed Assistant Rabbi (2011-2014)


Daniel Mikelberg appointed Assistant Rabbi (2011-2019)


Tamar Havilio hired as Interim Cantor


Charles Osborne appointed Cantor and Director of Music


Daryl Chiang hired as Interim Director of Education

July 2014

David Cohen hired as Director of Congregational Learning


60th anniversary celebrations begin

2017Carrie Swartz hired as Director of Congregational Learning
April 2017Rabbi Michael Dolgin was honoured with a Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion for 25 outstanding years of commitment, dedication, and service. 
May 2019
Rayner Conway, Executive Director, was honoured for 25 years of service.
2019Jordan Shaner appointed Assistant Rabbi
2019Sharon Brown-Levy appointed Cantor
December 2019UJA Volunteer Excellence Awards
A Newly Built Temple Sinai

Our History

“It started as a dream in the hearts of a few, and few were strong enough and dedicated enough to implement that dream so that it would be a reality for their children and their children’s children.” — Saul Wolfe z”l and Geri Wolfe

For over 60 years, Temple Sinai has been a dynamic Jewish centre located in mid-town Toronto. In October 1954, Temple received its first Torah and as membership started to grow, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) recommended a promising student rabbi, Jordan Pearslon z”l. Temple meetings were held in a second floor apartment over a hardware store on Avenue Road. It was there that members started actively talking about the need for a building. The building was completed in 1958.

Today Rabbi Michael Dolgin and Cantor Charles Osborne head up our team of skilled clergy, inspiring educators, and dedicated administrators. Temple Sinai has approximately 1,600 member families — from single households to large families. It is considered one of the leading Reform congregations in the country, not for its size, but for its moving worship services, challenging educational opportunities, pioneering music program, and above all, its warmth.