Hineini for our Spiritual Home

The vision of Temple Sinai’s Hineini Capital Campaign is to complete a full renovation of our building and create an endowment to sustain our community.
Over the past 65 years, life in general and congregational life at Temple Sinai has changed so much, but our facility has changed very little. While we are grateful to have reached this point in the process, our renovation is not yet complete.

Our architect, Mark Levin, has designed a master plan for our entire facility, which includes:

  • Designing two warm and welcoming lobbies (upstairs and downstairs) with lounge furniture that would also function as comfortable meeting spaces
  • Building a Chapel/Learning Center/Library over the Engle Street rooftop garden which would serve as an intimate sacred space and provide us with inspiring meeting space for Torah Study, lecture series and other adult educational programming
  • Creating technologically-advanced classrooms and multipurpose space that is developmentally appropriate for early childhood through high school education and activities
  • Consolidating our offices and administrative spaces to enable more efficient and productive use of space and staff time
  • Landscaping and hardscaping our grounds and parking lot to create a gracious entrance to our synagogue
  • Creating an endowment to sustain our community for generations to come

Our Board of Trustees, in partnership with our clergy and professional staff, is committed to raising $10 million dollars to renovate our building to reflect Temple Sinai’s role as the flagship synagogue for Reform Jews in Northern New Jersey. Just as the five founding families did for us 65 years ago, and just as a committed group of Temple families generously did for us 20 years ago during our past renovation, it’s our turn now to create our legacy. In the same way that you are participating meaningfully in life at Temple Sinai, please participate financially in our Capital Campaign in an amount that is meaningful to you. Every gift is truly appreciated and important.

A Message from Our Chairs

One of the strengths of Temple Sinai is that each member participates in our vibrant congregational community in a way that is meaningful to each individual. We worship, learn, socialize and perform acts of tikkun  olam together—realizing the vision of the five families that founded Temple Sinai 65 years ago. Today we are the largest Reform congregation in Bergen County and are in the process of preparing for future growth.

We are honored and excited to co-chair Temple Sinai’s Hineini Capital Campaign. Inspired by the encouragement and support of Maggie Kaplen and the Taub family, our vision is to renovate our entire building. This renovation will support our current and future initiatives, in order to  better meet the needs of the current community and future generations. In the 65 years since Temple Sinai was founded, the world has changed so much—but our building has changed very little. The time is now to build a synagogue that reflects the flagship congregation that we have become.

We are all fortunate to have Temple Sinai as our spiritual home within our local Jewish community. It is now our turn to create our  legacy for the next generation. In the same way that each one of you participates in life at Temple Sinai in a way that is meaningful to you, we invite you to participate financially in our Capital Campaign in an  amount that is also meaningful to you.

Every gift—in any amount—counts! Please join us: each one of your gifts will be as meaningful to Temple Sinai as you are to our  congregation.

With appreciation,

Rob Goldstein & Ilana Matteson

Rabbi's Message

Dear Friends,

A man walks up to a stonemason who is working on a building and says, “What are you working on? How do you like your job?” The mason replies, “Well, I’m building a wall. It’s hard work. I’ve got to lift heavy stones, chisel them with this hammer and I’m out in the hot sun all day, day after day. But, it’s a job and it pays the bills.” The man then goes over to another stonemason working on the same project and asks the same questions. This second mason replies, “Well, you know, it’s hard work. I’ve got to lift heavy stones, chisel them with this hammer and I’m out in the hot sun all day, day after day. But, I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. After all, I’m building a synagogue, a House of God.”

I am honored to be your rabbi. Over the past ten years it has been my privilege to celebrate, grieve, study, pray, and to engage in acts of chesed and tikkun olam with you, to walk with you along life’s many, varied, often unpredictable, pathways. I love my job and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Together we have built a wonderful, dynamic synagogue community. I could not be prouder of what we have accomplished, nor overstate the value of the bonds that we have built.

But we cannot rest on our laurels. There is so much yet to be done.

This past Rosh HaShanah, when I first shared the story about the two stonemasons with you, I spoke about the “why” of our congregation. I said to you that “Temple Sinai transforms lives. Our ‘why’ is to give us—all of us—this holy place; Temple Sinai, in which to transform our lives, so that our lives are filled with meaning, purpose and love. What could be more important?”

We transform our lives by building community; by creating and nurturing the relationships and bonds between us. We transform our lives by inspiring people through the study of our sacred texts and the experience of Reform Jewish living. And we transform our lives by challenging people to hear God’s call to them and to answer, Hineini: I am here and ready to do what God needs me to do.

I am asking you now to say Hineini with me by joining me in participating in Temple Sinai’s Capital Campaign. Just like the work of the stonemason, building our Temple community is hard work. But when we recognize its sacred purpose, that labor becomes a labor of love, and our work gives our lives meaning. The result is our spiritual home, one that fulfills our community’s highest aspirations and helps ensure a strong future for us, for our children and for generations to come.

L’shalom U’v’reiut—In Peace and Friendship,
Rabbi Jordan Millstein