Phase 1 of our renovations was completed in Fall 2021:
The renovated sanctuary including new comfortable and flexible seating, improved recessed lighting
The renovated bimah includes a lowered and extended bimah and ramps on either side for improved accessibility
The renovated foyer including new flooring and retractable walls to extend the sanctuary when needed
The renovated social hall including new flooring and storage space on either side
Two newly constructed family bathrooms located off the back of the social hall
Interior of the new family bathrooms
Check out videos of our progress:
WE HAVE LAUNCHED A CAPITAL CAMPAIGN TO. . .
…Improve our Facilities
To meet the needs of our members for Shabbat and holiday services, lifecycle events, learning, and community-gathering, we need flexible spaces that match Torah and the Jewish calendar to members’ lives and create a binding sense of community.
…Support our Clergy and Programs
One of Temple Sinai’s core values is that our members experience a personal connection to the clergy and to each other.
Our Challenge and Opportunity
Today, we are a community of over 1,200 member families who worship, study and teach, celebrate life-cycle milestones, comfort the bereaved, meet for community events—and welcome all who wish to join us. We have been committed to living Jewish lives guided by Torah and modernity with dynamic clergy, powerful social action efforts, and outstanding Jewish education programs for nearly 70 years. As a result, Temple Sinai is bursting at the seams! Join us in shaping the future of Temple Sinai so that we can remain a center of Jewish life for years to come.
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
If not now, when?”
-Hillel the Elder in Pirkei Avot 1:14
I grew up in the 1970s, the daughter of a progressive Rabbi who delighted in observing, reclaiming, and creating Jewish traditions. Ordained Conservative at Jewish Theological Seminary, Dad had studied under Rabbi Heschel, and together, they prayed with their feet during the Civil Rights Movement.
My husband Clarke grew up the son of an American Baptist Minister, so we had quite a wedding! We joke that our officiants were a Rabbi, a Minister and a referee. But in the ways that matter most, our families were actually quite similar: faith-based, open-minded and community-oriented.
Temple Sinai has been the ideal synagogue for our family — welcoming, innovative, and forceful in asserting the Reform movement’s place in the Jewish universe. My parents were close friends of Rabbi Brickner’s, so that history has a sentimental pull for us. And Rabbi Goldstein — whose father was the rabbi at a neighboring congregation — attended Clarke’s and my engagement party (when she was 12!).
I’m honored to co-chair, together with my cousin Andrew Engel, the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign so Temple Sinai can lead our community for decades to come. Please join us is supporting Temple Sinai’s future!
When I think of Temple Sinai, I think of the way Temple Sinai is inextricably intertwined with the best parts of my life. Temple Sinai is the place where my wife Karen and I were married. Temple Sinai Nursery School is where my children began to learn and grow. Temple Sinai Religious School is where I watched them learn about the meaning of Judaism in their lives. Temple Sinai is where my children became leaders in the Jewish community as Bat and Bar Mitzvah. This is a community from which we draw our closest friends. We care about the people here and what this community stands for. We cherish the values of social justice and compassion along with the rituals that draw us nearer to our Judaism.
Temple Sinai is not just a building, it is a living organism that needs nourishment and attention. Now is the time to tend to its needs so that Temple Sinai can continue to thrive for years to come. Please join me in supporting the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai and help build our future together.
My family has been part of the Temple Sinai community for the better part of two decades, since I first carried my reluctant eldest son across the threshold of the nursery school. In that time, we have celebrated many joyous and meaningful occasions at the synagogue, and we have joined with the congregation in coming to terms with less happy events. Not the most active of members, we nevertheless know that we can rely on Temple Sinai, its extraordinary clergy, and its warm and welcoming community to share our joys and provide support in times of sadness.
I’m honored to serve on the Executive Committee of the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai, as we now have the opportunity to secure the future of an institution that serves a vital role in the Jewish Community. Please join me in helping to perpetuate a vibrant Reform congregation in the nation’s capital, committed to Jewish education, modern Jewish values, social action, and Tzedakah through this campaign.
Temple Sinai has been my spiritual home since 1953 when my family joined. I was already 13, but I took remedial courses and was confirmed and graduated from the high school program. Since then I have taken and taught courses, joined many programs, served on the Board and committees, and had an adult bar mitzvah at the age of 72.
I have been close with all the rabbis starting with Rabbi Balfour Brickner. They have taken part in family rites for each member of our family for three generations and helped strengthen my commitment to learning Torah, responding to needs of Temple members, and joining social justice movements.
Along with me, this temple has aged. It deserves our respect and support. Please join me by supporting the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai so Temple Sinai can continue to thrive for generations to come.
My wife and I joined Temple Sinai in the mid-1980s primarily to provide an environment for our young daughter and son to learn and nourish their Jewish heritage. Both of our children attended religious school, celebrated their B’nei Mitzvah, and were confirmed at Temple Sinai. The clergy have always been thoughtful, inspiring, and supportive as we have gone through many cycle of life events.
Although we have not been regular temple attendees, we always feel welcome when our family attends services, events, and programs at the synagogue. Participating in the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai gives me a way to give back and ensure the temple will be there for others in years to come.
Please join me in supporting the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign to preserve the legacy of Temple Sinai to ensure it thrives for generations.
Temple Sinai drew me and my husband, Ken, to its doors because of the plentiful and vibrant opportunities for involvement in the temple and broader community. We immediately felt at home with the congregation and clergy. I have made many friendships by participating in the Sinai House Board, Mah Jongg, Sisterhood Retreats, an adult B’nei Mitvah class, Kehillat Shabbat services, and trips to Israel and China organized by the clergy. These connections are gifts I have the honor to enjoy because others before me chose to donate their money and time to develop Temple Sinai as a progressive, inclusive home for Jews in Washington.
Please join me and my husband in supporting the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai so the temple can continue to be a place where future generations of Jews can make meaningful spiritual connections and friendships.
We joined Temple Sinai 40 years ago, and since then we have had the joy to share temple membership with our parents, children, and grandchildren. As a multigenerational family and members of a Kallah since we joined, our engagement in the Temple has been deeply important to us. We’ve watched our grandchildren become committed Jewish women largely as a result of their involvement in the religious school and youth activities. One year Elaine, our son and granddaughter served on the Board simultaneously.
Temple Sinai has provided a special and integral community for us, our son, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, and our parents when they were alive. In that spirit, please join us in supporting the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai to honor the past and build the future of the temple so it is available for families like ours for generations to come.
Our family joined Temple Sinai decades ago to assure my son of a good religious education—and he received one. As an individual, however, I received much more than I bargained for including acceptance into a vibrant community that serves its members and the community at large in many capacities. Since joining the temple, I have learned much in adult education at the synagogue and made many new friends.
Temple Sinai has evolved and grown over the years and I look forward to it developing into an even more dynamic and exciting community. Please join me in support of the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai to ensure our temple will serve others for many years to come. I look forward to seeing all we can accomplish in this quest for new progress.
Eight years ago, a half-hour conversation with the newly arrived rabbi, Jonathan Roos, convinced me to join Temple Sinai. We were coming back from San Diego after almost a decade away from the area, and I knew instantly that a congregation led by Rabbi Roos would help me add more substance to my Jewish identity, culture, and knowledge.
Temple Sinai has given me everything I was looking for and more. Clergy-led torah study is a highlight of my week. Our library is a treasure. The congregation is filled with talented members who share my values and interests.
I volunteered to work on this campaign in a heartbeat because Temple Sinai is an extension of home for me – and I believe in home improvement. Please join me in supporting the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai to ensure that this temple remains a Jewish home in our community for many years to come.
A few years ago, my wife and I were looking for a new synagogue, but we didn’t have to look far. We followed our neighbor and friend, Cantor Laura Croen, to Temple Sinai. Here, we found an open, welcoming environment.
I’ve prayed, sung, and noshed with fellow members at the member-led Kehillat Shabbat services. I’ve joined them on trips to Israel and China led by our committed clergy. I’ve marched with fellow members at rallies to support social justice. And I’ve enjoyed the support and warmth of the Temple Sinai community in times of joy, like my wife’s Bat Mitzvah, and in times of sorrow.
Please join me in supporting the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai so that the temple can continue to provide a progressive, inclusive home for Jews in Washington for generations to come.
My son, Liam and my wife, Laura, each celebrated their b’nei mitzvah in 1998. Impressed by the temple’s rituals and especially enchanted by the music, I chose life as a Jew at a 1999 conversion ceremony. In 2001, our daughter, Eleanor, celebrated her bat mitzvah. I then celebrated my bar mitzvah with 25 other adult learners. Our small family celebrated five mitzvahs in four years!
I am a regular with the temple choir, have served on the Building Committee for years, and my wife, Laura, served as temple president from 2007 to 2009.
I chose to participate in this campaign because I believe in Temple Sinai. This open and inclusive community has been a home for my family for over two decades. Please join me in supporting the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai to help ensure that Temple Sinai can continue to flourish as a Jewish home for years to come.
Our involvement started when each of our boys entered Temple Sinai Nursery School at age 2, in 2002 and 2006. My wife, Lucy, grew up in the community of the Upper West Side of NYC with a strong sense of Jewish identity but no formal Jewish education. In 2013, we were part of the family trip to Israel with Rabbi Roos and his family and we cherish the experiences – the drum circle Shabbat celebration in a small Jerusalem synagogue, the amazing Israeli breakfasts with Mediterranean fish and local fruit, and the casual Bar Mitzvahs the kids did “on location” throughout the trip.
Our connections for many years were mostly through the Nursery School and Religious School, but our interest in the temple community as adults was, and is to this day, sparked by our amazing clergy team. We feel fortunate to be part of a vibrant community that speaks through its actions, that invites all to celebrate, grieve, learn, listen, and face life’s challenges together, with love and compassion. So many say that that they seek this sort of Jewish community – we are fortunate to be part of one, and we would be remiss not to cherish and nurture it.
Please join us in supporting the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai to sustain this community for generations to come.
Lena and I were introduced to Temple Sinai when we attended an open house for the launch of the nursery school. Someone asked if the school would celebrate Halloween, and the answer that it would not as it was not a Jewish holiday, took me by surprise. As we left, we were of two minds on whether a religious or secular nursery school made the most sense for our children. Neither of us had been engaged with a congregation growing up. Lena observed that Temple Sinai might give our children something we could not. That idea carried the day.
A quarter century later, Temple Sinai has added to our family life, not just for our children as intended, but for all of us, in so many ways. As a source of learning – the nursery and religious school, the Bar and Bat Mitzah including an adult Bat Mitzvah and the lectures, concerts and classes. As a center for activism as we have joined in the temple social action mission. And, perhaps most of all, as a source of comfort and community.
Judaism for us has been a journey, and Temple Sinai and its community has been our guide. We could not be more grateful.
So when asked to support the Honor Our Heritage, Build Our Future Campaign, we were delighted to sign on. We have extraordinary clergy, a truly dynamic program and a breathtakingly warm and embracing community. We have the ability to make a meaningful contribution to the lives our congregants, region and reform Judiasm going forward. But, to really deliver on that and ensure that for decades to come others bask in the kind of experience our family enjoyed, together we need to make this campaign a success. Please join us.
For those of you who know me, I’m sure you will think it’s strange to find out that at one point I hardly knew anyone in DC. It’s true! We moved here over 27 years ago from NYC and I didn’t have a lot of professional or personal contacts in DC. Luckily, Temple Sinai came into my life, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Our three boys attended the nursery school and so many of our closest friends are from our nursery school days. Our boys went on to attend the religious school, and all of them had their B’nei Mitzvah and were confirmed at Temple Sinai. I have always felt grateful to Temple Sinai for playing such a pivotal role in our lives. In an effort to give back, I have been active for many years with a variety of groups and committees including the Membership Committee, the Nursery School Committee, Sinai House, and the Board of Trustees. Four years ago, when my oldest son left for college, I decided that I wanted to spend even more time at TS, and I started to teach at our wonderful nursery school. These have all been incredibly fun and fulfilling experiences to me.
Suffice it to say that Temple Sinai has been a huge, important, and significant part of our lives. I am very excited to support the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai as we look ahead to the next exciting chapter for our congregation! Please join me.
Nine years ago, I was hired to teach in the 7th grade NOAR program. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was a decision that changed my life.
Over the past decade, I have had the joy of getting to know students and parents, befriending fellow teachers, and turning to the clergy for guidance and life advice. Temple Sinai has helped me develop what I believe in as a Jew: I believe that ritual practice is not complete without tikkun olam. I believe in the importance of keeping the traditions of Judaism alive for the next generation. I believe in coming together as a community for collective action.
That is why I support the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai. This campaign will allow Temple Sinai to continue to meet the needs of its members and the community for the next 70 years.
I hope you will join me in contributing to the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai to ensure that the temple can continue to be a leader of progressive Reform Judaism for generations to come.
Temple Sinai has enriched our entire family for over twenty years. Each of us has gained so much from what Sinai has offered in terms of educational programs, music, study and the support of a very welcoming Jewish community. Our connection to Temple Sinai began when our younger son entered Temple Sinai Nursery School in 1992. Soon after, we became Sinai members and both our sons went to religious school, prepared for and became Bar Mitzvah, joined the Sinaites and continued with confirmation classes. My wife, Anne, and I separately made even stronger connections and friendships through the adult B’nai Mitzvah classes and attending Kehillat Shabbat services.
During our time at Sinai we have been inspired, educated, celebrated and consoled by the amazing clergy and the entire Sinai community. And almost every day I benefit from the lessons learned in the Mussar course. So it is with much humility and gratitude that I am pleased to encourage your participation in the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai so the temple can continue to be a strong, welcoming and secure place for lifelong learning, spiritual growth, social action and community.
The Popejoy/Speyer family found our way to Temple Sinai 20 years ago, following Linda and my 5-year spiritual journey through Washington’s Reform Jewish communities. Ours starting as an interfaith union, Temple Sinai’s was the community where we found we could forge a path in our commitment to building our own Jewish home – surrounded by support and encouragement, without judgment. Soon after affiliating, Linda began studies with Rabbi Portnoy, converting with the support of family and friends.
Our journey at Temple Sinai has remained a spiritual and communal one. Our children have chosen their own Jewish journey, including religious school, B’nei Mitzvah, URJ Camp Eisner, social action, and youth programs. We participate together in ritual life and pursue educational opportunities. Both Linda and I joined the Adult B’nei Mitzvah program to connect more deeply with Judaism. We are honored to march with our congregation and commit to the social action mission of Temple Sinai, and to be there for congregants in times of need as they have been there for us. We are moved by the breadth of experience and compassion in our current and Emeriti clergy, staff, and volunteers. I found a new level of connection though committee engagement and board service. Our organization evolves in such meaningful ways, through the gift of volunteering, presence, participation, and financial support.
Our family is participating in the “Honor Our Heritage, Build Our Future Campaign” so we can be confident we have done all we can to ensure Temple Sinai is here as a vibrant community not just for our family, but for the families who follow in the seasons ahead. Please join us.
More than 40 years ago, when my husband and I moved to Washington, we looked for a Temple where we could find common ground between my “Conservadox” upbringing and my husband’s more liberal “California Reform” background. Temple Sinai was just the place. In the years since then, we have taken advantage of the wide range of services and activities offered by the Temple from B’nai Mitzvot through to classes with Rabbi Roos.
Our family has happily been part of the years of Temple Sinai’s growth and I have served as an officer and Board President. Now, recognizing the need to meet the continued and growing demands of our vibrant congregation and support our dynamic clergy, we are pleased to support the Honor our Heritage, Build our Future Campaign for Temple Sinai. Please join me.
Rabbi Fred Reiner
Naomi Camper & Andrew Engel
Campaign Executive Committee
Cornerstone Division Co-Chairs
Elaine Binder & Richard Binder
Board Division Co-Chairs
Sue Fratkin, Nancy Golding, & Seth Speyer
Congregation Division Co-Chairs
Matthew Frumin, Deborah Jaffe, Kenneth Jaffe, & Aaron Panner