Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto


1952Pre-establishment meeting held at Holy Blossom
1954May: First meeting to organize a new temple is held at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Grosberg

Summer: Student Rabbi Jordan Pearlson z”l is hired

Fall: 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
1955May: Land purchased and building fund established

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

First cantor, Irv Cramer, volunteers until 1960
1956-1958198 members are signatories to first mortgage
1957April: Ground-breaking ceremony is held

June: Rabbi Jordan Pearlson z”l is ordained

August: Cornerstone is laid; Harry Pollock is first President
1958May: Membership reaches 367 families

October: New building is dedicated
1960July: 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
1962February: Tova Diamond becomes Director of Music

March: First Bat Torah, Barbara Skulko

April: Ed Goldfarb appointed Director of Education
1963October: Temple Sinai section at Dawes Road Cemetery is dedicated

December: Dedication of new school wing
1964October: Membership at 536 families
1966July: Nelson Spector is hired as first Executive Director
1967Spring: Cantor Severin Weingort z”l is hired
1968May: Holy Blossom loan of $25,000 is repaid
1969Fall: New Chapel is dedicated
1970September: Ben Steinberg becomes Director of Music
1973January: Chevrat Torah begins to meet each Shabbat
1975Michael Herzbrun is appointed Asistant Rabbi (1975-1978)
1977Mortgage with Manulife retired

New organ is purchased and installed
1979Ben Kamin is appointed Assistant Rabbi (1979-1981)

September: Temple Sinai’s 25th Anniversary celebrations
1981July: Jeff Ablesser becomes Assistant Rabbi (1981-1986)
1984May: Micki Brudner appointed Executive Director (1984-1994)
1986July: Ned Soltz becomes Associate Rabbi (1986-1992)
1988Dedication of new Social Hall and school facilities
1989July: Dr. Ira Schweitzer hired as Director of Education (1989-2013)
1990November: Temple ’s 36th Anniversary celebrations
1992July: Michael Dolgin becomes Assistant Rabbi
1994March: Rayner Conway is hired as Executive Director
1995August: Commemorative weekend and tribute dinner honouring Rabbi Jordan Pearlson’s z”l forty years of leadership; named Founding Rabbi

Rabbi Lawrence Colton appointed Interim Rabbi (1995-1997)
1996April: Ben Steinberg retires as Director of Music and is named Composer-in-Residence

November: Cantor Severin Weingort z”l retires and is named Cantor Emeritus
1997July: Rabbi Michael Dolgin appointed Senior Rabbi

August: Daveen Litwin appointed Assistant Rabbi (1997-2001)
1999July: Donna Faye Dower appointed Cantor (1999-2000)
2001July: Lori Cohen appointed Assistant Rabbi (2001-2008)
2002August: Cheryl Appleby Jackson appointed Director of Development (2002-2003)
2003April: Jack Kugelmass appointed Director of Programming and Leadership Development (2003-2006)

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

September: Debby Kassoy appointed Director of Development
2004July: Erin Polonsky appointed Associate Rabbi (2004-2011)

50th anniversary celebrations begin
2008Eleanor Steinman appointed Assistant Rabbi (2008-2011)
2009Katie Oringel appointed Cantor (2009-2019)
2011Ilan Emanuel appointed Assistant Rabbi (2011-2014)

Daniel Mikelberg appointed Assistant Rabbi (2011-2019)

Tamar Havilio hired as Interim Cantor (2011-2012)
2012Charles Osborne appointed Cantor and Director of Music
2013Daryl Chiang hired as Interim Director of Education (2013-2014)
2014July: David Cohen hired as Director of Congregational Learning (2014-2017)

60th anniversary celebrations begin
2017Carrie Swartz hired as Director of Congregational Learning

April: Rabbi 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.
2019May: Rayner Conway, Executive Director, was honoured for 25 years of service.

Jordan Shaner appointed Assistant Rabbi

Sharon Brown-Levy appointed Cantor (2019-2021)

December: UJA Volunteer Excellence Awards
2022February: Cantor Charles Osborne was honoured with an honorary Doctor of Music degree from The Jewish Theological Seminary. The honorary doctorate is awarded for many years of distinguished service and in recognition of outstanding cantorial achievements and dedication to an evolving Jewish musical legacy.

“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.