1) Tell me about services. When are they, what prayer book do you use, do I need to know a lot of Hebrew, how do I dress?
Services at Sinai Temple are at 7:30 pm on Friday evenings with the exception of the first Friday of the month starting at 6pm.
During the winter months of January and February, Services begin at 6:00 pm. Since our services run from one hour to 1 1/4 hours, we hope young families can feel comfortable at any service. Saturday mornings services are in the Oneg Shabbat room at 10:15 am and at 10:30 am in the Sanctuary when there is a Bar or Bat Mitzvah Service. Our prayer book is Mishkan T'Filiah. It contains English, Hebrew and transliterated Hebrew so anyone can participate.
We do not have a dress code except to suggest that "business casual" might work best. Most of all, we hope you'll come as you are to be part of the community.
2) We are an Interfaith family? Are we welcome?:
Our congregation is diverse and many members are interfaith families. We welcome all families and are ready to address any concerns that they might have in fully participating in both the religious and non-religious dimensions of our congregation. Interfaith families find Sinai Temple a supportive and understanding community.
3) How accepting is the congregation for Jews by choice?
Those who have chosen to convert to Judaism will find many others in the congregation who have taken the same path. We fully accept everyone who joins our congregation no matter how they arrived at their Jewish identity.
4) Is Sinai Temple a welcoming and inclusive place for LGBT families?
Sinai Temple is a welcoming, inclusive and affirming congregation for all. We are welcoming to all new members regardless of sexual orientations and gender expression. We have active members who are LGBT and we have reached out to LGBT Jews to consider Sinai Temple a Jewish congregation where they can be included in every aspect of the life of the community.
5) What if I am not from Longmeadow?
Sinai Temple is located in Springfield and welcomes congregants from the entire metropolitan area. Members greet you at services to ensure that initial introductions are made and a friendly hand is available should you need one. Wherever you live, there is sure to be someone else at Sinai from your neighborhood.
6) How Involved do I have to get after I join?
We welcome any level of involvement. Engagement in activities and Services is the best method to feel more familiar, but there is no mandatory level of participation associated with membership.
7) What is the process if I have financial concerns about dues and membership?
Our Try-A-Synagogue Program is an excellent opportunity to experience Sinai Temple at reduced membership dues for those who are unaffiliated with a synagogue in the Pioneer Valley within the last three years. No one will be turned away from Sinai Temple because of financial challenges.
8) What is the curriculum for the Religious School?
Please refer to the website Religious School section. The school runs on Tuesdays and Sundays. The Tuesday Hebrew school focuses on learning through the Mitkadem Program, a self-paced teacher facilitated curriculum. Sunday's curriculum for grades K-7 includes Hebrew, the United Reform Judaism's Chai Curriculum, study of the Jewish holidays, Tzedakah, and various aspects of the arts including music with our Cantor. Weekly T'Filah (prayer) occurs for the entire school on both Tuesday and Sunday. Post B'Nai Mitzvah students in grades 8-10 study such topics as Jewish American Film, Comparative Religion, Sacred Choices, and Confirmation.
If you have additional questions on any area of Sinai life, please contact us using this form.