Post-Annual Meeting Message from Temple Sinai President Nancy E. Gale

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your involvement with and support of Temple Sinai.  We hope you will take a few minutes to review this report to you, our valued member.  It highlights some of the significant accomplishments and events at Temple Sinai this past year.

Consistent with our mission to be a place where Jews live and grow as Jews by creating and sustaining a welcoming, relationship based community rooted in our deepest Jewish values, we take pride in our growth and accomplishments, while continuing, in this, our 70th year, to strive for increased engagement in all aspects of temple life.  

  • Our most significant accomplishment this past year was to welcome two new clergy to our Family of Families.  It was important for them to become acclimated and integrated into the congregation quickly, and they have done a terrific job.  
  • Our pastoral care is central to all that we do at Temple Sinai.  We are here for our members when they need us, and importantly, when they need us most.
  • Mostly Musical Shabbat continues to attract hundreds of worshippers monthly.  We are grateful to all who help enhance these lively services and commend Cantor Laura Berman for her rapport with the Band and with our Intergenerational Choir.
  • Jewish learning is actively taking place at all levels.  Rabbi Gorban has spent this school year taking stock of the Nathan and Hilda Katzen Religious School to evaluate what was going well, and what needed to be expanded or re-focused.  She will continue this work with the newly formed Nathan and Hilda Katzen Religious School Committee.  Cantor Berman recently completed a new, very successful adult education program (Bereisheet), which highlighted the broad variety of adult learners in our community. We are incredibly fortunate to have in Rabbi Gibson an outstanding teacher of all age groups.
  • Our membership is substantial and attracts congregants from every demographic, with 800 families making up our Family of Families.
  • We take pride in the ruach and fellowship created here at Temple Sinai, be it through WoTS, Brotherhood, PARTY or numerous other affinity groups that are active at Temple Sinai.  
  • This fellowship includes promoting increased awareness and inclusion of the LGBTQ community and those with disabilities.  We have conducted both a Pride Shabbat and a Disability Awareness Shabbat this year.  In conjunction with Jewish Disability Awareness Month, the Disability Task Force organized several outstanding educational activities for staff, leadership and the Religious School.
  • Our endowment is well managed and critical to the operating budget.  This support (the result of generous contributions from donors like you) allows us to run excellent programs, support our clergy and maintain our beautiful building.  The annual campaign, SINAI AT 70, is off to a fantastic start, and as always, we remain committed to tactful, coordinated, and sensitive fundraising efforts.
  • Our Board takes its fiduciary responsibility very seriously, so long term planning is occupying more and more of our attention these days.  For example, we have convened a building committee to review the required maintenance and repairs and to develop a multi-year plan for doing the necessary work.  We are also in the process of forming a long range planning committee to ensure that we are responding proactively to current trends, whether they relate to how we are using our physical plant or to how we might collaborate with other congregations and Jewish institutions to fulfill our mission and benefit the larger Jewish community.  We endeavor to invest in relationships, embrace thoughtful change, and act as a leader and innovator in the Pittsburgh community.

In the Fall of 1946 a small group of Jewish community leaders gathered to organize a new Reform Temple in Squirrel Hill.  The group pledged itself to create a Reform Temple dedicated to fulfilling the highest ideals of Judaism through leadership and service, acting as a vital influence on the life of the community.  A guiding principle was to create an intimate, caring environment with a close-knit membership.

We are celebrating Temple Sinai's 70th Anniversary.  This special milestone, SINAI AT 70, gives us a wonderful opportunity to look back and commemorate our history, celebrate our present and dream together about our vision for the future.  We will celebrate the actual anniversary of Temple Sinai's founding on Friday, September 9, 2016 with a special Shabbat service and oneg, followed by an outstanding Scholar-in-Residence weekend with Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman (Dec. 2-4, 2016).  Please hold the dates, and watch the website, Doorways, and our weekly e-mails for more information.


Please feel free to contact me with questions, or concerns at [email protected].  Your opinions are important to me.

We are so grateful for the difference that you make through your generous care of our sacred community.  Thank you and best wishes for an enjoyable summer.



Nancy E. Gale

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