Temple Sinai's Weekly Email
January 10, 2013
Rabbi Mates-Muchin & family in the Jerusalem snow!
Rabbi Mates-Muchin & family in snowy Jerusalem!
Click here to read her  first blog post from her Sabbatical in Israel.
If you have a "Photo of the Week" please email it to Lisa
Schedule of Services
Friday, January 11 at 7:30pm:
 Erev Shabbat; Chain of  
Tradition Service in the Sanctuary led by Rabbi Straus and Cantor Keys.  

Saturday, January 12 at 10:30am:  

Shabbat Minyan Service in the Chapel. 

Tuesday, January 15 at 7:30am:

Tuesday Morning Minyan in the Chapel led by Rabbi Adar.  

Rabbi Straus  

Byte of Torah - Vaera

by Rabbi Straus January 10, 2013    

I remember as a kid going with my mom to the post office. This was in the day before e-mail and on-line banking.  Often we had to wait in a long line, and naturally as a kid, I got bored. So I did what many kids did and looked at the walls.  Always posted on one of the walls was the FBI's Most Wanted ListThe photos always depicted motley-looking charactersBut what I was fascinated by was the AKA:  Also Known As. The names were often just as colorful.


I sometimes think God has aliases.  Last week when God reveled God's self to Moses God said my name is Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh . We are not really sure how to translate this.  It could be "I am what I am", or "I will be what I will be ". And then this week God says to Moses "I appeared to Abraham Isaac and Jacob as El Shaddai, but I did not make known to them My name "Yud Hey Vav Hey" (pronounced Adonai)."  What is going on here?  How many names does God have?


Click here to continue reading... 


Mazel Tov

Twin girls Morgan Reese Alderberg and Sadie Brynn Alderberg were born December 21, 2012. Proud Parents

: David Adelberg & Michelle Meyers  


We are sad to inform you of the death of Meyer Berkelhammer, father of Izzy Berkelhammer, on November 1, 2012. Izzy is one of our preschool teachers.

We are sad to inform you of the death of Dr. Victor 'Vic' Garfinkle, congregant and husband of Henrietta 'Henri' Garfinkle, on January 6, 2012.


 We are sad to inform you of the death of Brian Tarner, father of Jeanie Keppel, on January 8, 2013. Jeanie is one of our preschool teachers. 

Temple Sinai Preschool  Prospective Parent Night

Monday, January 14th  7:30pm

Temple Sinai Preschool is recipient of Oakland Magazine's Best Preschool in Oakland award for 2012!   Join us for this informative evening with our wonderful faculty, meet other preschool parents and visit our beautiful classrooms. 


Temple Sinai Preschool accepting applications for 2013-2014!  If you are interested in learning more about Temple Sinai Preschool, please contact preschool director Ellen Lefkowitz for a tour at ellen@oaklandsinai.org or 510-832-6800. Click here  to apply online.   
Chain of Tradition Confirmation Dinner
January 11 
dinner at 6pm for Confirmation student families, service at 7:30pm 

A beautiful tradition here at  Temple Sinai in which parents pass the Torah to their children and share with them (privately) what Torah and Judaism means to them and why they are passing it on to their children.  It is a great opportunity for the congregation to see and encourage our confirmands who have embraced Judaism and Jewish study and learning.

Shabbat Minyan Services and Community Potluck Kiddush
January 12 at 10:30am
On the second Shabbat of each month, Temple Sinai holds a morning service, in the Albers Chapel, as an alternative to the traditional service in the Sanctuary that often includes a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Services include drums, violin, guitar, and flute, as well as vocal music.  These services are organized and conducted by members of the Temple Ritual Committee, using the new Reform movement prayerbook, Mishkan T'filah.  Service is followed by a Potluck Kiddush.
Exploring the World of Judaism Series
Co-sponsored by Temple Sinai and the Jewish Learning Works (formerly the Bureau of Jewish Education) with support from the Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust.  At Temple Sinai in the Fischer Library.

Sunday, January 13, 9:30-11:30am 

Encountering the New Testament: Jewish Origins of Christianity

 The message of Jesus was similar to the teachings of Hillel and Hanina ben Dosa, and his healings (and other miracles) were similar to those of Gamliel and Honi, among others.  Was Jesus a rebel?  Was he an innovator?  Or was he one of the great charismatic sages of his time with an equally great publicist?  Join Rabbi Manhoff  as he argues the latter and explain how Hebrew and Aramaic idioms translated into Greek gave birth to a new religion.  

With Rabbi Harry Manhoff, of Temple Beth Sholom, San Leandro


Sunday, January 27th, 2013

"Quran, Mohammad and Islamic Law"

Getting to know American Muslims and their faith

Join Maha ElGenaidi, who, in the interest of peaceful coexistence, will introduce us to the basics of Islamic law and practice so that we may better understand Islam and our Muslim neighbors.

With Ameena Jandali, from the Islamic Networks Group

(also part of our Children of Abraham: Islam Through a Jewish Lens Series)



LGBT Rights and Community in Israel - 37 Years of Progress  

January 15, 7:30 PM 

The Aguda - the National Israeli LGBT Task Force - was founded in 1975, at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in Israel. Today, LGBT people in Israel enjoy rights equivalent to or better than those in the U.S.  Pride parades in Tel Aviv draw tens of thousands, and there is an out gay member of the Knesset. Aguda Chairperson, Shai Doitsh, and Executive Director, Natalie Sade, will speak about the remarkable trajectory of this community and the ways that they are pushing forward today in politics, social services and community building. Event location is Temple Sinai.  Co-sponsored by Temple Sinai's Out and About and Israel ed committees and presented in partnership with A Wider Bridge.  


Israeli Author Book Group Series

January 16:  The Pigeon and the Boy by Meir Shalev

February 20: To the End of the Land by David Grossman

March 27: Between Friends by Amos Oz

Join Rabbi Chester on Wednesdays at 7:30pm to discuss novels by three acclaimed Israeli authors.  In partnership with the Jewish Federation of the East Bay.

A Briefing with Israel's Consul General, Andy David: "Israel: The Complex Road Ahead"
January 17,  
7:30-9:00 p.m.
Free of charge. RSVP REQUIRED to Jessica Sterling: jessica@jfed.org or (510) 318-6403. Co-sponsored by Temple Sinai but event takes place at Temple Beth Abraham (327 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland)

Sing-Along and Concert

January 19 at 7:30pm

How George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Their (Mostly Jewish) Friends Got Us Through Hard Times.  Enjoy songs of the Golden Age of Tin Pan Alley and explore how popular culture reflected and helped us endure the worst economic crisis of the 20th Century.  $12.50 at the door ($6 if you're under 30 or over 80). 

Temple Sinai Seniors Tu B'Shvat Seder
January 22 at schmoozing starts at 11:30am, program at 12 noon
Please join Rabbi Straus in Stern Hall for a catered lunch.
$5 donation is asked to cover the food. We look forward to seeing you!

MYSTERIES OF THE MIKVAH, with Rabbi Judah Dardik

Thursday, January 24 7:30pm - 9:00pm
What does it mean to "go to the mikvah" when someone converts to Judaism? Join Rabbi Dardik and other curious individuals to see a real mikvah and find out what happens there. 
 Location:  Beth Jacob Congregation, 3778 Park Blvd., Oakland  Cost: $7.     



Sunday, February 10, 2013 10 am - 12 pm

Three interfaith couples take three different approaches to religion in their family. Rabbis reflect differing views. Come see a short film, Shifting Traditions, and discuss the concerns and choices that are open to every interfaith couple in today's Jewish community.
Location: Temple Sinai  Cost: FREE 


Thursday, February 28 7:30pm - 9:15pm

With Rabbi Andrew Straus and our local Mohel
Location: Temple Sinai   Cost: FREE

These three programs co-sponsored by Temple Sinai,  Lehrhaus and Building Jewish Bridges

Annual Appeal: Yachad Kulanu 

Thank you to all who have contributed $35,055 toward our goal of $56,000. If you are able to help us make it to goal with an online contribution, click here now! The community will grow with your support and help.

Temple Sinai programs that are cosponsored by Lehrhaus and Building Jewish Bridges


New This Week

Preschool Prospective Parent NIght  

Mysteries of the Mikvah  

Seniors Tu B'shvat Seder 

In This Issue
Ongoing Programs

Torah Study

 Tues. Morning Minyan 


Getting Involved
For More Information

 Monthly Bulletin

We Welcome You to Join Us!

All events and programs listed in this e-mail are

open to non-members and we encourage our members to invite their friends and neighbors to Temple Sinai programs and services.

IsraelTripsEast Bay Community Trip to Israel
April 10-19, 2013

Rabbi Chester is the community -wide chair and Rabbi Straus will be leading the Temple Sinai delegation. Register online and to see our complete itinerary. Questions? Contact Rabbi Straus.  

A Word About Membership
If you are interested in learning more about the wonderful programs, classes and most of all, members, that make our congregation the warm and inclusive place that it is, please contact Lisa Hanauer, our Membership and Communications Director, at (510) 451-3263 x302 or lisa@oaklandsinai.org