I am delighted to join Temple Sinai, which is known as a welcoming and affirming congregation. I’m especially pleased that this is a “singing congregation”. My love of music is diverse. I have always had a passion for singing and performing a variety of musical styles. I also find teaching b’nai mitzvah and voice students tremendously rewarding. My biggest spiritual fulfillment, however, comes from the marriage of prayer and song. I consider it to be an extreme privilege to be a part of people’s life cycle events.
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Our Temple Administrator, Joyce Sturm, is retiring after 15 years. To celebrate all of her dedication and hard work over the years, the Temple will be holding a luncheon in her honor on June 12. Please see the flyer for more information.
Joyce says she will be spending more time with her family, doing a bit of traveling, and working on her photography. Read her entire farewell letter, I’ll Be Retiring.
As part of the Temple’s mission to end hunger, we are collecting canned goods throughout the months of March and April.
Bring your donations to the Temple coatroom. All donations will go to Foodshare.
We are also collecting old T-shirts. Our religious school students will be turning these old T-shirts into reusable bags.
Notice of Annual Meeting
The 60th Annual Meeting of Temple Sinai of Newington, CT will be held on Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. to conduct the business set forth in the agenda below, and any other matters that may properly come before the meeting.
- Call to order
- D’var Torah
- Acceptance of the minutes of the 2015 annual meeting
- Rabbi’s report
- President’s report
- Adoption of the 2016–2017 budget
- Nominating Committee report
- Department reports
Please join us at 9:00 a.m. for a continental breakfast.
Dear Temple Sinai Members,
It wasn’t so many months ago that Rabbi Bennett reminded us – with a wink and a nod — during High Holy Day services how happy he would be to see all of us at Friday evening services. As the rhythm of the Jewish holiday calendar takes hold, let’s remember that some of the most amazing moments at Temple Sinai take place every Friday night.
Last week, for example, Rabbi Bennett delivered a d’var message that resonated as profoundly as any High Holy Day sermon. Cantor Lipton keeps us engaged by introducing beautiful new melodies, and from time to time she provides a “sermon in song” that encapsulates in one breathtaking moment the essence of Shabbat through music. Cantor Lipton livens up Shabbat by inviting talented instrumentalists among us to accompany her and Nina Miller, herself an accomplished pianist.
The spirit and beauty of Shabbat services brings the sacred separation from the “weekly grind.” Friday evenings at Temple Sinai serve as much more than mere punctuation marks separating the major (and minor) Jewish holidays. The weekly ritual brings comfort as much as awareness. Coming together as a community each week in our peaceful synagogue to engage spiritually is a blessing. We should all rejoice in it!
~Andrew Wizner, Temple President
Spring has arrived and Sisterhood is busy. It is so busy that we are cancelling the April 15 Shabbat dinner.
April will bring us the Passover Seder and the Temple’s 60th Birthday Gala. After much discussion, the Sisterhood Board felt that three dinners in three weeks would be too many. We hope that everyone will attend services on Friday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m. when we honor past Presidents of Temple Sinai and of The Sisterhood of Temple Sinai.
We hope to reschedule the Fourth Annual Shabbat Dinner when we are all a bit less busy.
We wish everyone a wonderful, meaningful Passover and we wish Temple Sinai Mazel Tov on it’s 60th Anniversary!
Cantor Lipton, of Katonah, NY, has a wealth of cantorial experience in the Reform Jewish movement. She served the Greenwich Reform Synagogue from 2009–2016. She began her cantorial career with Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners, NY from 1991–2005. She worked briefly at the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY, then served at Temple Sinai in Tenafly, NJ from 2008–2009.
In addition to serving on the bima during services, she assists Rabbi Bennett in life cycle events, teaches music in the Religious School, teaches the B’nai Mitzvah class, and expands our musical programming.
Cantor Lipton graduated from a pre-college program at The Julliard School, attended Carnegie Mellon University, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the State University of New York at Purchase. She attended the Academy of Jewish Religion for two years in its Cantorial Program.
Growing up in Westchester, NY, she benefited from the musical talent of her father, who played in college as a jazz pianist, and the instruction of her grandmother, who taught piano. Early on, she gravitated to opera. She began her vocal studies at the age of twelve.
In high school, she sang in the Tanglewood Young Artist Vocal Program. She studied classical music at the Conservatoire National à Rayonnement Régional de Nice, France, which is a regional music and dance conservatory founded in 1916.
Soon after her graduation from SUNY, Cantor Lipton sang for acclaimed soprano Dame Joan Sutherland in England, at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced musical Studies, in a master class. She was accompanied by Richard Bonynge, the Australian conductor and pianist.
She has been teaching voice for the last 20 years with a classical technique.
“I am delighted to join Temple Sinai, which is known as a welcoming and affirming congregation I’m especially pleased that this is a ‘singing congregation’.
“My love of music is diverse. I have always had a passion for singing and performing a variety of musical styles. I also find teaching b’nai mitzvah and voice students tremendously rewarding. My biggest spiritual fulfillment however, comes from the marriage of prayer and song. I consider it to be an extreme privilege to be a part of people’s life cycle events.”
You can send Cantor Lipton an email and read more about her on her personal website.
As the winter finally gives way to spring, there are reminders all around us of this seasonal transition: the temperature rises, the days start to get a little longer, the flowers and the trees begin to bloom, and of course, the baseball season begins.
The Jewish calendar also provides us with a potent reminder of spring’s arrival, and that is the festival of Pesach, also known as Hag Ha-Aviv, the Spring Festival. The message of Passover is consistent with the spring season. Just as in nature spring marks a rebirth, so too does Passover recount the birth of the Jewish people. Our redemption from Egyptian bondage was the requisite for the formation of our ancestors into a nation.
Passover is also the holiday of freedom, Z’man Cheruteinu. While it is the story of our freedom from slavery, it is also a story about persecution and slavery to any people in any age. Passover is our constant reminder of our obligation to struggle for the freedom of all people.
And yes, we were slaves in Egypt. Yes, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, we felt the presence of God in our midst. But beneath the Haggadah’s tale of deliverance is a Passover lesson for all to hear. It is a lesson about family, gathered again around a festive table. It is a lesson about faith in goodness, faith in each other. What an important lesson this is, especially this year during the primary campaign with the toxic speech, vilifying others because of religion and/or background, and the incitement to violence. We need to stand up and express our outrage at the unprecedented vitriol that is being spewed. We need to deepen our faith in each other and embrace humankind to help bring about a world of understanding and peace.
Let us look forward to spring, not backward on the winter which has past. Thus Passover is a time for us to contemplate the miracle of birth, of human life, of our struggle for freedom, of our deep faith and of familial ties to all of humanity. It is the holiday which emphasizes “the can-do spirit”. It teaches us that even in the most trying of times, we all have the ability to forge forward through rough terrain and look forward to days of hope and blessing.
Come and hear Temple Sinai member Jill Gelfenbien Laufer discuss her experience as a member of the
1995 UCONN Women’s First Championship Team
Temple Sinai is proud to host the Jewish Genealogical Society of Connecticut. The Society meets at the temple on the third Sunday of the month. Meetings are open to all Temple Sinai members, and your participation is welcome.
Their library is housed with the temple’s own library in the multi-purpose room.
For more information about JGSCT and their many programs, please visit the Society’s own website.