COVID-19 INFORMATION ~For the most up to date and fastest communication to the congregation we will utilize the e-blast method. In addition, when appropriate, we will use our Facebook page so take a minute and like/follow www.facebook.com/templesinaict.
A Reform Congregation Serving the Greater Hartford Area
וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתֹוכָֽם
And they shall make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.
This verse from the Book of Exodus, found on the plaque of dedication in our Temple lobby, bespeaks the spiritual commitment of our Temple Sinai family.
First and foremost, our synagogue is our spiritual center, grounding us in our tradition and values. Temple Sinai is a flourishing, vibrant force within both the Jewish Community and the general community. It is a temple that adheres to the cherished values, beliefs and practices of Reform Judaism. Its members are dedicated and active, displaying a true commitment to our heritage. There is a warmth in this congregation that is felt by everyone who enters its doors, There is an abiding sense of the value of each of God’s creations and a deep desire and willingness to enable every person to feel dignity and self-worth.
Ours is truly a קהילה קדושה, a sacred and caring community. Temple Sinai continues to be a force in the community because of its serious religious standards, its excellent religious school, and its diversified adult programming. Temple Sinai was built on a foundation of devotion and love for Judaism. It has gone from strength to strength and will surely do so in the years to come. – Rabbi Bennett
UDPATE: May 28, 2020
I hope this note finds you safe and well. Thank you for your continued support of our community. We hope you are finding our virtual Shabbat services meaningful. As mentioned in the annual meeting, a task force is being put together to plan for multiple scenarios through the summer and going into the fall. Until then, we have enacted a few policies below.
We want to share this statement from the Union for Reform Judaism, “we have known for millennia that houses of worship are essential institutions. While we long to gather in person, we believe that there is no higher value than pikuach nefesh, saving a life. We are entrusted with the holy responsibility of being God’s partners in that work. The Reform Jewish Movement will continue to look to the wisdom of medical professionals to guide us on when reopening our synagogues can be done safely in keeping with our values.”
The Board of Trustees at Temple Sinai, along with Rabbi Bennett and Cantor Lipton, agree wholeheartedly in this statement.
The Board of Trustees currently has put the following policies in place:
B’nai Mitzvah, weddings, baby namings and other joyous occasions unfortunately cannot take place in the synagogue building but can take place via Zoom. The Rabbi and Cantor are happy to work with anyone who would like to do that.
Funerals can take place graveside with up to ten people present.
If you have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah that was cancelled or is scheduled to happen before the fall, Jessica will start reaching out to reschedule. We are rescheduling in order of date of the Mitzvah. We don’t know what will happen in the fall at this point and time. If you have a Mitzvah scheduled in the fall and don’t want to take the risk, reach out to Rabbi Bennett or the Temple office and we can discuss.
Thank you for your support. We continue to look for ways to expand our online offerings. This is an incredibly fluid situation and we’ll continue to use all our resources, including the Federation of Greater Hartford, the Union of Reform Judaism, the CDC, and the medical community to make sound decisions. If you have any questions, or need any support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will update you as soon as we have more information.
Jill Dulitsky, on behalf of the Board of Trustees
UPDATE: March 25, 2020
We thank you for your support during these trying times. We’re proud of how we are coming together as a community to weather the storm. We want to continue to be a source of strength of you. If you need anything at all during this time period, please don’t hesitate to call us. Our weekly virtual Shabbat services have been wonderfully “attended” and are an important way to keep us together during this pandemic.
In accordance with the Governor’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” Policy we have closed the building. Our primary goal is to keep everyone safe, including our beloved staff, and do our part to flatten the curve.
We wanted to update you the current policies the Board has put in place:
- All services and programming will be held virtually until further notice.
- All upcoming Bar and Bat Mitzvahs have been postponed and Rabbi has talked with all affected families.
- All funerals will be held graveside and will follow the policy and procedures set forth by the United States Cemetery Services.
Please reach out to us with any concerns. Thank you.
The Temple Sinai Board of Trustees
UPDATE: March 12, 2020
Greetings Congregants & Community,
Our Jewish tradition places the value pikuach nefesh – the caring for each human life – as primary. With that in mind, and in light of the rapidly changing news related to COVID-19, we want to update you on Temple Sinai’s plans. We have been in touch with area Jewish agencies and synagogues and coordinating efforts. And as we were writing this, we found out West Hartford has closed schools for two weeks. As the situation and recommendations change in the days ahead, our plans and policies will be updated and communicated as often as necessary.
At this time, our plans include:
Shabbat services (evening and morning) will be canceled for the next two weeks beginning tomorrow, March 12th. For congregants observing a yahrzeit during this time, the Kaddish lists will be read at a later date. We will be sending frequent updates to inform you when services will resume, and any new policies that are put into place to encourage good health practices as we come together as a congregation.
We are cancelling religious school at least for the next two weeks beginning this Sunday, March 15th. Please note, the 6th grade class will not participate in the April 3rd Family service. We will continue to keep you informed as decisions are made based on updated information.
While we have no known cases of the COVID-19 virus in our congregation and very few in our state, we are, per the CDC recommendations, encouraging older people and people with severe chronic medical conditions to stay home as much as possible. So, we have made the tough decision to cancel our Community Passover Seder in order to protect everyone’s health. Torah study and adult choir rehearsals are also cancelled. As well as the Sisterhood dessert social and Spring rummage sale. These decisions are made reluctantly as our events are always wonderfully festive times for the community to gather, but we do not think it would be responsible to have these gatherings at this time. The health, safety, and well-being of all those in our community must always be our first priority and our highest value as Jews.
Our custodial staff is committed to maintaining a level of excellence in sanitizing high traffic areas with the same cleaning solutions used in the public school system as well as a diluted bleach solution in appropriate areas as well as wiping down the chairs in the sanctuary. In addition, hand sanitizer has been placed throughout the building and you are encouraged to utilize it as much as needed. Remember, while sanitizers are effective, handwashing with soap and warm water is always preferred to the use of sanitizers.
Bar & Bat Mitzvahs
We know there are family’s that have Bar and Bat Mitzvahs planned. The Rabbi will reach out to you individually to discuss your options.
Most importantly, we want you to know we are here for you. If you have any concerns, or are feeling uneasy or unsettled in any way, or if you just want to speak with the Rabbi, he wants to hear from you. We are here in service of you. Rabbi Bennett can be reached by email at email@example.com or calling (860) 561-1055 and pressing the number 3 to leave a message for Rabbi Bennett. He gets the messages right on his cell phone.
Rabbi Bennett & Jill Dulitsky, Temple President
Mi Shebeirach: A Prayer for Healing
May the One who blessed our ancestors, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, bless and heal all who are infected and all who are touched by the coronavirus along with all who are ill, Grant insight to those who bring healing, courage and faith to those who are sick, love and strength to us and to all who love them. God, let Your spirit rest upon all who are ill and all who are afraid, and comfort them. May they and we know a time of complete healing, healing of body, healing of mind, healing of spirit, speedily and soon, and let us say: Amen.
Temple Sinai is a Reform congregation, founded in 1956, serving the spiritual needs of the Jewish community in the Greater Hartford area. We continue to be a growing, vibrant congregation offering a responsive environment for religious needs, educational growth, and social interaction. Today, our membership is comprised of over 400 families and individuals from 25 communities: families with young children at home, single-parent families, the newly married, empty nesters, retirees, and single adults. We welcome the membership of interfaith couples, non-traditional families, and those who want to better understand and participate in Jewish life.