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Our Mission & Philosophy

We shall create a vibrant house of worship, study and assembly, a place where we reaffirm our people’s ancient covenant with God.

We shall nourish a temple family, affirming and embracing the full diversity of our world Jewish community, a temple for all generations.

We shall foster Reform Judaism and provide education for all ages in Jewish history, culture and practice. We shall establish merkaz ruchani, the festivals are celebrated through prayer and learning, a place where the cycles of life are celebrated according to the Jewish tradition.

We shall create an institution and setting in which we work to fulfill the promise of the Jewish prophets, a Judaism that is the exemplar of justice, human rights, righteousness and morality.

We shall encourage the living of lives characterized by Torah, Mitzvot, and gemilut chasidim, acts of loving kindness, actively doing the work of tikkun olam the healing of the world and humankind.

‘If I am not for myself, who will be for me?’
‘If I am only for myself, who am I?’
‘If not now, when?’
Hillel

Our History

In early 1991, five Jewish families with a common dream came together to establish a new congregation in Sarasota. That March, over 180 people attended the new congregation’s first function, a community Seder. The following month, with a Sefer Torah graciously on loan from Temple Beth Sholom, 55 families attended Temple Sinai’s “Service of Beginning” at the Jewish Community Center. Membership quickly grew and the temple hired Rabbi Aaron Koplin to serve as its first rabbi.

Without a permanent home, the growing congregation held services at various locations around town. A dedicated group, nicknamed the “Sinai Shleppers,” transported an ark, Torah and prayer books each week from place to place. By 1992, with over 300 families, Temple Sinai acquired a former church complex on Kenilworth Street and that became the temple’s first permanent home.

In December of 1993, Temple Sinai welcomed our second Rabbi, Geoffrey Huntting, and his family to Sarasota and in 1995 we officially joined the Reform movement. The congregation continued to grow and expand its programming. In September of 2005 we moved into our current home on South Lockwood Ridge Road.

The year 2006 was particularly exciting as we hired our first cantor, Chazzan Cliff Abramson, and opened our early childhood school, The Gan at Temple Sinai. In our new space we were able to develop our programming even further, including varied adult learning opportunities, an annual film series, and music concerts. Our youth group strengthened and we celebrated several “firsts”: hosting our first NFTY regional youth event and having our youth group president elected to be the NFTY regional president. At the other end of the age range, The Gan filled to capacity, requiring rezoning to meet the growing interest in its well-regarded program. In 2010, we instituted our monthly Rhythm & Jews Shabbat Service that has become a community favorite.

We celebrated our 25th anniversary year with a series of concerts that culminated in a weekend honoring Rabbi Huntting upon his retirement and becoming Rabbi Emeritus. To have had his consistent guidance for 23 years was truly a blessing.

Rabbi Samantha Kahn started as our Senior Rabbi in July, 2019.

Fri, August 14 2020 24 Av 5780