Nov. - Dec. 2019 / Vol. XIX No. 6   / 518-584-8730         3 Cheshvan - 3 Tevet 5780
In This Issue
November 3 - 9
5 - 11 Heshvan
Arthur Alfert
Mildred Hirschhorn
Marilyn Burde Reiter
Mollie Stelzer Spindel

November 10 - 16
12 - 18 Heshvan
Sidney M Israel
Solomon Marks
Norman Pearlstein
Mildred Sagan
Max Samuels
Gene Schoen
Eileen Schupp
Saia Sterngass
Maurice Wine

November 17 - 23
19 - 25 Heshvan
Sylvia Gelber
Stanley Gluck
Howard Krantz
Sam Pollack

Nov. 24 - 30
26 Heshvan - 2 Kislev
George Joseph Agris
Fay Satinburg Bell
Harold Bloom
Phyllis Katz
Noel James Smith
Herbert I Sugarman
Jacob Tasher
Jeri Wasserman

December 1 - 7
3 - 9 Kislev
Muriel Beer Ackerman
Murray Bell
Mary Finkelberg
Muriel Glansberg
Nettie Lissak
Milton Ross
Abraham Spindel
Arthur Lee Spingarn
Joyce Spingarn
Stanley Tabakman
Phyllis Trieb

December 8 - 14
10 - 16 Kislev
Rose Alfert
Morris Auster
Harry Behr
Izak Giwerc
Adele Kasper
Ed Marks
Edward Paul
Ethel Samuels
Leonard Sendrowitz
Lester Sternin
Amy Trounstine

December 15 - 21
17 - 23 Kislev
Lilly Bigman
Sandra Goodman
Florence Greenbaum
Hyman Jacknow
Evelyn Rubin
Herbert Smith
Alice Lavitt Sternin
Isidore Paul Strauss

December 22 - 28
24 - 30 Kislev
Barry Gold
Eric Gold
Kathy Gold
Edna Heyman
Sol Pinsley
Rita Irene Pollack
Helene Ruben
Charles Saper
Anna Stoler

Dec. 29 - Jan. 4
1 - 7 Tevet
Isabelle Altstock
Benjamin Bigman
Frances Tucker
Esther Topper Weltman
Richard Weltman

If we are missing a yahrzeit of your loved one, please email the temple ( click here ) with their name, date of passing, before or after sunset, and relationship to you. Also include if you want to remember them on the Gregorian date or the Hebrew date. We will get it added to the database. Thank you.
(Sept. - Oct.)
Elissa & Daniel Fromowitz

In memory of Caroline Seligman's brother,
John Gram
Steven & Cheryl Hoffmann
Lawrence & Ronda Fein

In memory of 
Cecilia Pearlstein
Mark Dailey
Ronnie Silver

In memory of
Victor Finkelberg's yahrzeit
Susan Kipp

In memory of
Rae Engel's yahrzeit
Susan Kipp

Monthly Temple
Pillar Donors
Michael Steven Marx & Catherine Golden
Ari Rubenstein
Alex O'Connor
Carrie Kaufman
Sandy Welter

In honor of Michael Marx
Freda Warrington

In honor of Max Novik singing Kol Nidre
Alvin & Ruth Sabo

In honor of Helaini's wedding and the Murray's daughter's wedding
Art & Terry Lowenthal

Sale of Rabbi Linda's cards & mugs
Bread & Torah

In honor of Phyllis &
Barry Wang and Shelley & Barry Bader
Robert & Debra Cowen

Mark Small (2)
Mirna Jaime
Andrew Shaw
Jack Zuckerman
Francis McGill & Phyllis Spiegel-McGill

In honor of their mother, Amalia Simon's,
91st birthday
Monte & Anna Sugarman

In memory of Dennis Kipp
Sidney Hellman & Lina Kohandoust-Hellman

In memory of Joe Mahay
Ken Schoen
In gratitude of the Rabbis during their baby naming ceremony
Feryaz Ocakli & Yelena Biberman-Ocakli

In gratitude of the Rabbis
Bob Gluck &
Pamela Lerman
Elliot & Ellen Matis

In honor of their granddaughter, 
Hillary Goldstein
Sidney & Elinor Shanbrom

Mark Bauman
Arnie & Dawn Barsky
Eliot & Renee Birnbaum
Randolph &
Bonnie Brooks
Michael Getz & Alison Eidelhoch-Getz
Tom Federlin &
Nancy Sutin
Sid Hellman & Lina Kohandoust-Hellman
Steven &
Cheryl Hoffmann
John Kaczanowicz & Amy Thomas
Susan Kipp
Marilyn Kletter
Joel & Maxine Lautenberg
Johnna & Mike Maiorella
Alan & Caryn Marlin
Roy Meyers & Deborah Goldin Meyers
Barry Pritzker
Uwe Tigor & Devra Cohen-Tigor
Barry & Phyllis Wang
Ralph Willner Giwerc & Gail Willner-Giwerc

Marilyn Kletter
Steven & Briana Soss
Lou & Sandy Schneider
Norman & Natalie Smith
Eugen & Helen Mopsick
Harlene Smalkin
Shelley & Bruce Tabakman
Howard & Jaquelyn Kaplan
Doree Smassanow
Edward & Elizabeth Gabeloff
Julius Barbanel
Alvin & Loretta Fertel
Marjorie Gorelik
Peri, Kevin & Eli Stark
Patti & Steven Veneziano
Joel & Maxine Lautenberg
Shelley Riley
Henry & Wendy Terk
Julie Marks
Art & Peg Ruben
Douglas & Joan Gerhardt
Jerry & Lucille Lucas
Arnold & Diane Redbord
Amira Small
Michael Cohn
Joseph & Judith Cuccolo
Robert Rubenstein
Bruce & Linda Klion
Harry & Sandra Stein
Alyssa Talanker
Bill & Nancy Sidford
Staci Covkin

In honor of her granddaughter, 
Hillary Goldstein
Renee Goldstein

In honor of the new year
Jay Portnoy

To wish the Kantor/Michalofsky family a happy New Year
Robert & Mary Abess

Bernard & Janet Singer
Jerome & Emily Mopsik
Emmet Gabriel
Jess Golden-Marx
Eliot & Renee Birnbaum
Monte & Anna Sugarman
Janice McGinley
Susan Kipp
Marian Lewis

In gratitude of the Rabbis and Temple Community 
Susan Kipp

In memory of Gil
Selma Harwood

In memory of Joe Mahay
Ron & Karyl Maenza
Dec. 6
Over the past year we have been holding a series of presentations we call "This American Jewish Life." So far we have heard from seven people of various ages and backgrounds who have shared their unique Jewish journeys with us at a Shabbat service. On Friday, December 6, we will hear from Kristofer DuBuque, who, with his wife Charlene, have been Temple members for 10 years and have four children  The service begins at 6 pm with an oneg at 5:30.
When David Watsky and his wife Rebecca moved to Saratoga in late 2011, they were searching for a sense of community. "The first weekend we were here, we went to services at Temple Sinai," David remembered with a smile. "We knew immediately we found a home." Rabbi Linda recognized Rebecca from her Skidmore days, and both Rabbi Linda and Rabbi Jonathan were very welcoming.
David grew up in Orlando, Florida, and was educated at Georgetown University. His college degree is in finance, but his favorite academic areas are psychology, theology, and philosophy. "I might be a numbers guy," he comments, "but I am a deep thinker too." David credits his grandfather for his interest in Jewish learning. "My grandfather was not a rabbi, but he often led services," he explained. "I grew up in a Conservative synagogue and have always had a strong Jewish identity."
After college, David learned Hebrew and about life in Israel at the World Union of Jewish Students, spending six months in the Israeli desert and a year in Tel Aviv. He returned to the US and found work in corporate finance. A few years later, being young and idealistic, David made a career change and became an elementary school teacher in both urban and rural schools. His sense of adventure and love of traveling took him to forty countries, but no matter the experience, David was drawn back to Israel as a tourist, a worker, and as a student at the Pardes Institute where he studied the biblical text and commentaries in the original languages. In 2007, he made the life changing decision to make Aliyah and start a new life in Israel. It was there he met Rebecca - they enjoyed hiking together and the Tel Aviv café scene, and were later married in a beautiful Israeli vineyard. Eventually, the couple decided to move home to the states. David switched careers to personal finance and two years ago started his own company, Watsky Financial Planning. "I help clients optimize investments, plan for retirement, and develop tax strategies," David explained. "Working at home is a challenge, but I do get more time with our daughters, Maya and Ella, and I love the flexibility."
Working in Saratoga opened the door for David to get more involved in Temple Sinai. Larry Novik planted the seed about joining the Board, and the desire to take a more active role in the synagogue and be part of a meaningful community helped the idea to grow. "I am interested in building our membership," David commented. "My goal is to work with other board members and current congregants to find a way to reach potential members, especially the millennials in Saratoga. The millennial generation needs to understand the value of community Temple Sinai can provide."
David brings an energetic perspective to the board. He is organized, deadline driven, and gets to the heart of things quickly. David is eager to find his way and make an impact. Temple Sinai is pleased to have David as a member of the Board!
Weekly Torah Study - Thursdays, 1:15-2:15pm
Discussion of the weekly Torah portion, using a variety of translations and commentaries. No advance preparation is required. Beginners are welcome, no Hebrew knowledge is necessary, and there are participants with varying levels of experience in studying texts. Make this a regular part of your week or stop in from time to time whenever you can.

In the West Wing you will find a donation box for warm coats for Jewish War Veterans. It will be there for the month of November and a rep will be picking up the coats every Thursday.
Linda Motzkin
Jonathan Rubenstein
Michael Marx, President
Dana Citron, VP
Cheryl Hoffmann, Treasurer
Terry Lowenthal, Secretary
Shawn Banner
Amos Cutler
Roberta Giffords
Susan Kipp
Matthew Kopans
Mel Patashnick
Art Ruben
Robyn Silverman
David Watsky
Educational Director
Sylvia Bloom
Temple Administrator
Pattie Cornute
Susan Kipp
Bernice (Bracha)

Layout Designer
Pattie Cornute

At Skidmore College where I coordinate the Expository Writing Program (what many of you will fondly remember as "freshman comp"), we label courses that not only assign a great deal of writing but also provide in-depth writing instruction "writing intensive."   Borrowing this language, I think we will all agree that the recently completed month of October has been "Jewish intensive." The New Year began with Rosh Hashanah services, Tashlich ceremonies in Congress Park, ten days for reflection and repentance, and then Yom Kippur--a day of renewal, turning, and returning, a long day of fasting and a full day in our make-shift synagogue at Skidmore's JKB Theatre.   No sooner did our "schleppers" get all our supplies back to the Temple then was it time to build the Sukkah, shake the lulav and etrog, and enjoy the hospitality of Rabbi Linda and Rabbi Jonathan's Sukkot Open House (I hope after all these years, everyone gets the pun in that name: after all, what is a sukkah but an open house?). And Sukkot culminated with yet another joyous Jewish celebration, the holiday of Simchat Torah.   Is there anything more awe-inspiring than seeing the entire scroll of the Torah unwound and held up before us-the entire arc of our Biblical history, the year's reading, laid out before us? This year, though, this very full Jewish month concluded on a somber note, as we remembered the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
What a month. As a congregant unwittingly told me the other day, we need a break from all this Jewishness. The calendar seems to agree. We have now entered a period of nearly two quiet months on the Hebrew calendar.   But really, take a break from all this Jewishness?
Like our High Holy Day prayer book, to answer I turn to Henry David Thoreau writing on his favorite subject of contemplation, nature: "We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor..."   To which I would modify, "We can never have enough of Jewishness. We must be refreshed and invigorated by its vast wisdom and beauty."
Rather than retreating from our Jewishness, let's embrace it. Let us be refreshed by our Jewishness.   Not with additional religious services and traditional ceremonies nor by wrestling with whether to take time off from work or school. Let us use these quiet months in the calendar to nurture and magnify the Jewish spirit that lives within each of us. As Maria Popova recently asked in her Brain Pickings blog, " Who are the people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to them, and visit them often." What is it in your personal background and communal identity that uplifts your Jewish spirit? Is it the wonder of the created natural world whose birth we just celebrated in Bereshit?   Is it the warmth of family members, family gatherings, and family stories? Is it the spell of an unfolding tale in novels like Exodus or The Chosen or the imagery and imagination in a poem by Amos Oz? Do you find it in the melodious embrace of an old familiar Hebrew song, first learned, perhaps, at Jewish overnight camp with friends around the campfire or a niggun, once heard but often remembered that Rabbi Linda and Rabbi Jonathan introduced us to just last Shabbat? Is it in the proud memory of Sandy Koufax refusing to pitch in the first game of the World Series all those years ago because the first game of the Series was Yom Kippur? Is it in the sense of accomplishment the first time your matzoh balls floated in the soup for Passover? The bittersweet moment when your grandmother shared her secret rugelach recipe and passed the tradition on to you?

Whatever magnifies your Jewish spirit during these calm months, "Find them, hold on to them, and visit them often."  And don't be surprised if in doing so, you find yourself at the doorsteps of Temple Sinai.   We'll be waiting for you.

In peace,
Michael Marx
President, Temple Sinai
Photo copyright by Emma Dodge Hanson
We are pleased to welcome Joseph Bruchac, renowned local Abenaki storyteller, musician, and award-winning author as guest speaker at our Shabbat services on Friday evening, December 20 (service at 6 pm; oneg at 5:30). Joe is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Ndakinna Education Center ( ) in Greenfield Center. We have collaborated with Joe on many projects over the years and are excited to welcome Joe's presentation on the Native American presence in our area.
Our part of what is now New York State is the ancient Mohican homeland; the Native American presence in our area goes back approximately 12,500 years. In September, a few days before Rosh Hashanah, we stopped in at the annual Saratoga Native American festival, held this year in Congress Park. According to the festival's education guide, "The river now called Hudson's was to the Mohican people the Mohicanituk, the 'Great Everflowing Waters,' referring to the tidal motion of the river... Prior to European incursion, the Mohican people lived a timeless life of seasonal rounds, moving from one part of their territory to another according to the availability of natural resources."
A few days later we were back in Congress Park with our own tribe for tashlich, symbolically casting our sins into the water and celebrating the birthday of the world, part of our creation story. Jewish practice is built on the ancient story of the Israelite tribes migrating to their homeland, living off the land according to the rhythm of the seasons and the availability of natural resources; then we were exiled from that land, and for 2,000 years have held on to our "indigenous" customs, practices, and beliefs through our daily, weekly, yearly, and life-cycle calendars.
The Jewish and Native American peoples share the experience of connection to the land, to homeland, to exile, and to the importance of maintaining practices based on the transmission of sacred stories. Moreover, as Jews whose story now includes inhabiting and affirming our presence on these lands, we have a responsibility to inform ourselves and acknowledge the contributions of those who came before us. Our region is full of reminders - historical parks, monuments, museums - of the consequences of European settlement and colonization, and subsequent periods of the development of our communities over the last four hundred years or so. But few of us are aware of the more than thousand-year presence of native peoples.
We hope you will join us to welcome Joe Bruchac for this very special service on December 20.

- The Rabbis




Thank you for your continued support; we could not do what we do without all of you!


Click here to make a donation, thanks!


Ari Ronen Kaufman
Ari Ronen Kaufman  will be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Ari is in 7th grade at Maple Avenue Middle School. Ari loves Tae Kwon Do, magic tricks, building stuff, and his dog, Victor. For his Mitzvah project, Ari brought challah to a lovely woman at The Home of the Good Shepherd. We became good friends with her and Ari developed a special relationship with her. It was very difficult for him when she passed away this summer.  Ari is a funny, curious, creative, and thoughtful soul who thinks and feels deeply about many topics and people.  His parents, Carrie and Jeff, and big brother Jonah, are very proud of all of Ari's hard work preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, and know he will make us all proud. 
Robin Solomon is an inspiration, taking the Jewish philosophy of "tikkun olum" - to make a difference in your own corner of the world - very seriously. Robin volunteers in her own community working on projects sponsored by The Giving Ci r cle, Saratoga Soroptomists, mentoring women through the auspices of Wellspring and serving others through programs offered by Temple Sinai...but her corner of the world now includes remote villages in Uganda. This summer, Robin once again traveled back to Africa to change the world.
"I landed in Uganda because of The Giving Circle," Robin commented. "The Giving Circle, founded by Mark Bertrand, is an organization that was formed after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005, and f o cused on alleviating the suffering for communities in the south by helping them rebuild. The Giving Ci r cle brings together people who feel fulfilled by selfless acts of kindness and compassion." 
Besides post-disaster work done in the United States and local assistance to Shelters of Saratoga and Code Blue, the group expanded its scope and travels overseas to help struggling children . In Bugembe, Uganda, the Koi Koi House is more than an orphanage. The house is a home to 15 of our sons and daughters. The Giving Circle partnered with a once struggling primary school and now, the Bus o ga Jr School provides education for children of this very poor district, including hard of hearing and hand i capped children who otherwise would not receive an education. In 2011, The Gi v ing Circle was asked by the Ugandan Government to visit Uganda's poorest village, Kagoma Gate Village, where the village and its people are r e ferred to as "the forgotten people." Since that visit, The Giving Circle has made Kagoma Gate home and its village part of The Giving Circle family. Today, while Kagoma Gate is profoundly poor, the community is no longer Uganda poo r est village and no longer forgotten.
"The work is kid focused and the primary concern is to help the Uganda villages be self-sustaining," Robin explained. "All projects can be, and are, continued by the local residents."
In the beginning, there was no running water, no school, no access to food or sanitation, and the infant mortality rate was 80%. "In 2011, the elders of the village asked The Giving Circle to provide a school," Robin said. "Villagers and volunteers built a three-room school and found teachers. Then we built housing for the elders." Today, the Kagoma Gate Friendship school building has many rooms, staffed with teachers and programs including chess. There is also a health clinic, a birthing center, and solar lights. Work is done by volunteers and funding is through donations and grants.
"This work fills my soul," Robin confesses. "Doing so little can make a huge difference." What can others do? "Besides volunteering, The Giving Circle collects shoes, clothing, and craft supplies," Robin said. "We always need financial support for books, uniforms, and medical supplies. The list of what the people need is endless."
The lesson to be learned is simple. "Doing the right thing matters," Robin said. "This work is like a ripple in a pond. Fill your heart with whatever you can do and share the feeling. Kindness is free."
For information about THE GIVING CIRCLE or sponsoring a child in Uganda, contact Robin Solomon.

Thank you to those who have donated items to enhance the Temple and religious school.  The following list of needs are not  glamorous  or exciting, but they will contribute to the overall appearance and productivity of the Temple. If you are inspired to help, click here to touch base with Pattie.

We need the following:
  • Professional window cleaning
  • Hardwood floors sanded & refinished
  • Interior painting
  • New upholstery for the furniture in the sanctuary parlor
6th ANNUAL BOOKFAIR (11/3 - 11/5)
Join us at the Northshire Bookstore (424 Broadway) on Sunday, Nov. 3 - Tuesday, Nov. 5 (Election Day) from 10am - 7pm, where 20% of all purchases made will benefit the Temple Sinai Library. Please make sure to identify yourself as a member of Temple Sinai when you check out on those dates. Support our community-minded neighbor, help our Temple library, and take care of your holiday shopping, all at the same time!

Deanie Yasner writes stories that children love to read - over, and over, and over.

A children's author of extraordinary depth and sensitivity, she draws inspiration from her early years as a member of the only Jewish family in a small Mississippi town in the Jim Crow South.

After a successful career as a special education teacher and behavior consultant, Deanie began pouring the insights she gained into stories for children.

You can meet the author, Deanie Yasner, on November 24 when she stops in to talk with the Religious school and signs copies of her book.
Looking back on our 5780 High Holy Day observances and celebrations, we see that many Temple Sinai members took to heart a teaching from the Book of Jonah:  each of us has a role to play in the human drama and each of us matters.  On behalf of the congregation and the families, friends, and visitors who attended services, we express our thanks to the following people who recognized that their individual contributions to our High Holy Days matter, allowing us, once again, to have prayerful, reflective, joyous, and welcoming holiday season.  Todah Rabbah!  We thank you very much!
Torah and Haftarah Readers:  Rachel Alderman, James Bellanca, Jacob Bernd, Masie Bernstein, Jonah Brenner, Alexander Fooy, Hillary Goldstein, Lena Rose Gordon, Susan Kipp, Sophia Long,  Ron Maenza, Sarah Marlin, Michael Marx, Roy Meyers, Bernice Moeller-Bloom, Beth Novik, Sydney Penn, Jonathan Segol, Caroline Seligman, Zoe Shapiro, Anna Sheinkin, Rabbi Anna Sugarman, Seth Tremper, Phyllis Wang, Owen Yonkin and Martina Zobel
Yom Kippur afternoon readers: David Solovy, Rabbi Anna Sugarman, Maxine Lautenberg and Ari Rubenstein
Children's Services: Chris Bernd, Sue Lehman Bernd, Dana Citron, Hannah Graifer, Leslie Hurst, Rebecca Watsky, and Sylvia Bloom
Music:  Rabbi Anna Sugarman, Sylvia Bloom, Max Novik, Roy Rotheim and Soren Barnett 
Shofar Blower:   Soren Barnett and Mark Bauman
Ushers:  Shawn and Rosalie Banner, Elliot Birnbaum, Ellie deVries, Ben Gordon, Art Ruben, Jack Schoen, Melissa Strauss, Martina Zobel, Toren Zobel, Jack Zuckerman, Dan Chernoff, Carol Schupp-Star, Wendy Zeh, Ron and Karyl Maenza, Lori and Arlo Zwicker, Melissa Woods, Keith & Zach Fuchs, Ken and Cai Mossman , Shelley Riley, and Barry Pritzker and Olivia Batker-Pritzker
Schleppers:   Chris Bernd, Shawn Banner, Andy Brachfeld, Tom Federlin, Ben Gordon, Art Ruben, Jack Schoen, Martina Zobel, and Toren Zobel
Rosh Hashanah Oneg & Yom Kippur Break-Fast:  Barry & Shelley Bader, Shawn Banner, Sylvia Bloom, Caroline Bobick, Matt & Lauren Cohen, Rhonda Cooper, Jim & Susan Corwin, Amos Cutler, Cowit family, Ellie deVries, Larry & Ronda Fein, Micah & Sue Gabelman, Douglas & Joan Gerhardt, Linda Glansberg, Catherine Golden, Richard Goldenberg, Ben Gordon, Carla Gordon, Erica Grant, Danielle Grassi, Sid & Lina Hellman, Cheryl Hoffmann, Carrie Kaufman, Susan Kipp, Ruth Andrea Levinson, Terry Lowenthal, Ron & Karyl Maenza, Michael Marx, Deborah & Roy Meyers, Beth & Larry Novik, Eric Olefson, Benita Pittinger, Shelley Riley, Susan Rivers, Amy Rosoff, Rebecca Rovner, Rabbi Jonathan Rubenstein, Amy Salzman, Jack Schoen, Joe Seeman, Nancy Sidford, Ronnie Silver, Robyn & Jerry Silverman, Robin Solomon, Michael Weinfeld, Renee Wheelock, Barry & Phyllis Wang, Martina Zobel, and Lori Zwicker
High Holy Days Committee:  Ben Gordon & Jack Schoen, Co-Chairs; Roberta Giffords, Terry Lowenthal, Michael Marx, Art Ruben, Robyn Silverman, Phyllis Wang, and Martina Zobel 

**Special thanks to Jack Schoen, who sets up before each service
Sukkah Team:  Chris Bernd, Tom Federlin, Ben Gordon, and Art Ruben
Miryahn Jaime for the Nashuvah banner
Pattie Cornute for heroic efforts!!!
We apologize for any omissions, and wholeheartedly apologize and thank you on behalf of Temple Sinai.
We are  looking for volunteers at Temple Sinai on December 5 (from 5:30-10pm) to help out with the 33rd Annual Saratoga Victorian Street Walk. We need individuals to make hot drinks (mulled cider & hot chocolate) the night of, and work the table inside; to make soup & baked goods (to be dropped off earlier in the day), and to work the outside tables; to provide synagogue tours; oversee the gift shop; setup and clean up. Please sign up for convenient shifts throughout the evening of 1-2 hours. It is a lot of fun and reminds everyone that we are truly a piece of Saratoga culture. Please click here to sign up!
Each year Temple Sinai prepares and serves Christmas Day Dinner for the EOC Soup Kitchen at The Presbyterian New England Congregational Church on Circular Street.  Also included in our Christmas Day mitzvah is a dinner for twelve and other items that are given to Wellspring. Members can participate in the Christmas Day mitzvah by donating women's slippers, gloves and socks, standard bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion or umbrellas to be distributed at the Wellspring Safe House. Victims of domestic violence often have to leave their homes without even the basic necessities.
When we hold this holiday event each year, we fondly remember our good friend, Glenn Star, who devoted endless time and energy to Saratoga's EOC Soup Kitchen. For more info about cooking and serving Christmas Day, please contact Shawn Banner at Or click here to sign up.
GOT SOCKS!!!  Did you know that socks are the most needed, but least donated article of clothing in homeless shelters?
The Torah Study Group has set up a wool sock drive (collection box will be in the parlor) to collect wool socks to give out during the Annual Christmas Day Dinner.
The Saratoga Springs Jewish Burial Society is looking for volunteers who might be willing to participate in Shmira (guarding the body).
Volunteers are asked to sit with the deceased (usually for 2 -3 hours) until the funeral. Traditionally the person who is "guarding" reads psalms.
Questions can be directed to Tom Federlin at (518) 744-3330 or

Several years ago, at the recommendation of one of our synagogue members, I was asked to edit an author's manuscript. I did so with a surprising outcome. I fell in love with the story of Essie Rose Ginsberg, a lone Jewish child growing up in a small Mississippi town in the 1950s, whose love and loyalty for her one and only best friend, Pearlie Mae, the family Housekeeper, inspires her to challenge the segregated rules of the south while challenging the limits of her personal courage. I fell in love with her coming-of-age struggles, and her perseverance as she finds her voice amongst love, loss, grief, and resilience.
The story never left my heart. It resonated with me and left a lasting impression. I am looking forward to meeting author Deanie Yasner in person when she comes to Temple Sinai on November 24 to speak with the Religious School and to sign personal copies of this book.
Essie Rose's Revelation Summer can be purchased at the Northshire Book Store during the Temple Sinai Book Fair on November 3-5, 2019. It is also available on Amazon. This would be a special book to honor NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK MONTH.
HAVURAH VATIK Nov & Dec Programs
I hope everyone reading about our November and December events is comfortably familiar with this very special organization, the only one of its kind in the area.  Havurah Vatik, now 15 years old, going on sweet 16, presents two hours monthly of mind-stretching, funny-bone tickling, socially stimulating, mouth watering, and belly satisfying free programs plus lunch aimed at Jewish Seniors, affiliated and non-affiliated, young-old and old-old (55 to 90+, but we'll be happy to see you, whoever you are, and whatever your age).
In November we will welcome David deVries, Temple Sinai member, documentarian and film-maker.  He will present for us his program on Theodore Roosevelt, with tall tales, insider information, and local connections.  This should be quite rip-roaring!  Make your plans to join us on November 19.
Come December, our Chanukah event will feature The Adirondack Klezmer Band, back by popular demand, for their fourth appearance.  They always delight.  Put on your dancing shoes.  Then be rewarded for your appetite build-up by our annual latke luncheon.  What could be a more delightful way to spend December 17?
After that, we will catch our breath and take a winter break, back again with a fresh season of programs as of March 2020.

For more information and to be added to our contact list to receive monthly flyers, call or email Co-Chair Caroline Seligman, at 518-587-8097, or email

December 20
Joseph Bruchac will be our guest speaker at our Shabbat services on Friday evening, December 20. The service is at 6 pm, with an oneg at 5:30. Joe is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Ndakinna Education Center in Greenfield Center, and a renowned Abenaki storyteller, musician, and award-winning author. (See Rabbis' Message for more information.)

This American Jewish Life December 6 - Kris DuBuque
Over the past year we have been holding a series of presentations we call "This American Jewish Life." So far we have heard from seven people of various ages and backgrounds who have shared their unique Jewish journeys with us at a Shabbat service. On Friday, December 6, we will hear from Kristofer DuBuque, who, with his wife Charlene, have been Temple members for 10 years and have four children  The service begins at 6pm with an oneg at 5:30.

Sunday, December 8
Women of Temple Sinai have been invited once again to work with women from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Center to create gift baskets for the December holidays. This time we will gather to assemble the baskets at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Center (941 River Road in Schenectady, NY) from 2-4 pm on Sunday, December 8. For more information,  email  Rabbi Linda.

Adult Hebrew classes at various levels (from absolute beginner on up through Hebrew text study) and Torah trope class are held concurrently with our Wednesday evening Hebrew school program, following the same school calendar. If you are interested in joining the trope class, contact Rabbi Jonathan at

Once a month, Temple Sinai's Saturday morning service is held from 10:30 to 11:30 am in the Activities Room of the Wesley Nursing Home, 131 Lawrence St, Saratoga Springs, providing an opportunity for Jewish residents to experience Jewish community. We encourage Temple members to come to these Wesley services to help bring that sense of community there. The next Wesley services will be on November 16 and December 14.

Adult members of the community who never had the opportunity to celebrate Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and/or are interested in developing or deepening their understanding of the Jewish prayer service, are invited to work with either rabbi toward these goals. If you would like to lead
or co-lead a Friday or Saturday morning service, prepare to chant a few verses of Torah or Haftarah, or present a d'var Torah, contact the rabbis.

Caring Community Coordinators

Please remember Temple Sinai and the Jewish community with a gift in your will, retirement plan, life insurance policy, or trust.

509 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866