Director Judy’s Ma Nishma Blog

Ma Nishma? It’s Hebrew for What’s new? What’s going on? What’s happening?

You’ll find all the latest Temple Sinai goings-on right here.

-Morah Judy

Read the full blog (with archives) at Blogspot

It's Purim!!


Since Purim is during school vacation, we'll be celebrating at school on February 18.

Join us at 3:45 to make graggers then stay for the Purim Spiel, another original production by our own Saragail Benjamin, Director of Young Families Programming.

EVERYBODY:  Come in costume. 

That includes parents lurking in the background!


January 18, 2021 - Upcoming Events


Jan. 28 we are planning an in-person Tu Bishvat hike with Melanie Kessler of Living Tree Alliance for students in grades 2-6. This will take place in the woods behind Farrell Street Park. We will be masked and socially distanced.

Saragail Benjamin is writing and producing a Purim Spiel for her Young Families program, which will also be performed at our school on  Feb. 18. Prior to the spiel we will have a gragger and/or a mask making workshop led by our teachers.

On March 4  we have a virtual visit with Lisa Rose, the author of A Zombie Vacation. Lisa calls herself a recovering first grade teacher. She is a hoot. It's a delightful children's book about a Zombie who vacations at the Dead Sea. She is encouraging the kids to dress up like zombies and in addition to her reading the book, she will be doing a STEM science experiment with the kids.

Pen-Pal Program: Hannah Weiss and I have been working on the intergenerational Pen-Pal program. We're almost ready to launch.

Tuesday, January 26: Temple is co-sponsoring a PJ Library Tu BiShvat Concert for young children


“Let all who are hungry come and eat.” Isaiah 55:1

Education Committee & Social Action Committee

Passover begins March 27. Many folks have the custom to clear their homes of “hametz,” proscribed foods for the holiday.  We’re combining the holiday cleaning with food-shelf giving. Here are the days and times you can drop off items with a list of items that are always needed. Of course you may include other items as well:

Thursday, March 25 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm 

Friday, March 26 from 8 am to 10 am

Saturday, March 27 from 8 am to 10 am

Earlier this month Lisa, Julie and I reached out to all the Religious School families with phone calls, to ask how things are doing and to get feedback. We spoke with most parents, left messages with others. The parents overall are very happy with the school, the teachers, the program, and were most appreciative of our calling. If we haven't had a chance to speak, call us. We'd love to hear from you.

School News

Shalom Horim/Dear Parents:

With the holidays now behind us (not counting Halloween*), we can get into a somewhat normal routine without major distractions.

In case you haven't already received it at the beginning of the school year, check out Temple's website under "Learning" for the school calendar. Please note when your child's class service is (class services begin in January and are usually the first Friday night of the month to coincide with Folk Services).  They begin with a Pot Luck dinner at 5:30 sponsored by the host class.

In addition to the class services, there are two Whole School Shabbats: the first on Nov. 9 and the next one of Feb. 15. This is a great way for your family to experience a Saturday morning service at Temple and for our students to practice the prayers they are learning.

This past week our Letter of the Week was Lamed, as in Lulav, which we shook on Sukkot. 
ל as in:
Lulav, Night (Lailah), Lemon (Limon), Bread (Lechem)

Starting tomorrow, our Letter of the Week is Aleph.

Lastly, with all the events we've had at Temple involving food, A LOT of plates, containers, bags, baking pans, etc. have gotten left behind in the kitchen. Next time you're here, please check to see if maybe some are yours. Additionally, we've got quite a collection of water bottles piling up. Maybe one of those is yours too?

Best wishes for a sweet and Happy New Year,

Morah Judy

PS - if you know folks with young children, or you yourself have a child too young for school, please know that we have a monthly Tot Shabbat on the third Friday of the month and Story Hour on the first Sunday of the month. Next Story Hour is Nov. 3 at 10 am and Tot Shabbat is Nov. 15 at 5:30 pm.

*we do NOT have school Oct. 31 

This week is brought to you by the letter Dalet

 Dvash - Honey דְבַֹש            

Delet - Door    דֶלֶת

Degel - Flag דֶגֶל

                              Dahg - Fish דָג

Busy, busy October

Shalom Mishpachot/Dear Families:

I hope you had a wonderful Rosh Hashanah. It was great seeing so many of the school children here, singing and blowing shofar, or attending services and/or child care.

The new month of October brings with it our new Value of the Month: Welcoming the Stranger (Hachnasat Orchim) הַכְנָסַת אוֹרְחִים

I know you're already a pretty hospitable bunch, so think of even more ways you can incorporate this Mitzvah into your family practices. Ask your children for ideas. Maybe invite a new family over for the meal before Yom Kippur on the 8th or to break fast after services on the 9th. Have a few families over for an early Shabbat dinner and then come to services together (this Friday night is a Folk Service and the 25th is a Rock Shabbat). Or maybe make a play-date with your child and another student from their Religious School class.

Last week's Letter of the Week was Tav, as in Torah, Tmunah (Picture), Todah ( Thank you ), and Tapuach (Apple). Did your family come up with any new Tav words?

This week's Letter of the Week is Mem - מ
The Mem words posted on our bulletin board include: Moreh/Morah (Teacher), Mezzuzah, Machberet (Notebook), and Menorah (Lamp, more often associated with the lamp from The Temple or with Chanukah).

This Sunday is our first Story Hour of the Month, at 10:00. All children and families are welcome. Saragail is leading it and I believe she'll be exploring the story of Jonah and the Whale, which is read on Yom Kippur. Also for the younger set is a Tot Shabbat service on the 18th at 5:30 (regular service follows at 6:30).

On the 10th Eliza Weissberger is coming to work with the children on decorating the sukkah! And speaking of sukkah, on Oct. 13th our 7-8 Grade program is taking a field trip to the Living Tree Alliance Farm to help build sukkahs and learn what makes a sukkah Kosher. The following weekend, LTA (19 & 20) is having multiple Sukkot activities for the entire family:

On Sunday, Oct. 20th Temple is holding Simchat Torah services, joined by Ruach HaMaqom, at 5:30. We also use this opportunity to Consecrate our newest members of Religious School. The youngest members receive a mini-Torah and our older students (grade 4+) receive their siddurim/prayer books.

On Oct. 17 Torah Chanting class begins for our 6th graders. This brief, 20 minute class is from 6:15-6:35 immediately after class on Thursdays. Adults are welcome to join too.

Also on the 17th, from 7:00-8:30 is a beginning Hebrew reading class. So if you've never had Hebrew before, or it's been so long you can't tell an Aleph from a Bet, this class is for you. Let me know if you'd like to register.

On the 19th we are thrilled to have the Bat Mitzvah of Ariel Toohey, which will take place during Shabbat/Sukkot services that morning at 10:00 a.m.

Finally, on the 25th we will have a special Rock Shabbat service in honor of the 90th birthday of our beloved member, Beverley Bettmann, with a special oneg following services.

Whew! I'm getting tired just reading all the things going on, not to mention the Rabbi's Adult Bnai Mitzvah class and Intro to Judaism.

Morah Judy