Temple Sinai continues illuminating Hanukkah program
Hanukkah is a time of miracles and wonder. We light the candles, eat delicious latkes, and look for the perfect gift for loved ones. Temple Sinai of Roslyn invites you to enhance your holiday this year by giving back to our community and BRINGING LIGHT to our world. Temple Sinai is proud to continue its important “8 Nights of Giving” Hanukkah program which offers an opportunity to help “heal the world.” Each day there will be opportunities to give tzedakah (charity), drop off a donation, or join with others to do a hands-on activity.
First Candle: Tuesday, Dec. 12
“Helping the Homeless”
Homelessness continues to be a major problem not only in New York City, but also across Long Island. This first night of the #8NightsOfGiving campaign is dedicated to helping the homeless. As the prophet Isaiah teaches: “Take the homeless poor into your home.” (Isaiah 58:7)
Temple Sinai will be collecting new and gently used children’s books to be donated to children who live in the New York City Department of Homeless Services Shelters. Many of our teens have an ongoing relationship with children who live in these shelters, through our Hand-in-Hand program. All donations can be dropped off in the large bins located in the Temple Sinai lobby at 425 Roslyn Road, Roslyn, and will be accepted until Sunday, Dec. 17.
Second Candle: Wednesday, Dec. 13
On this night of Hanukkah, our thoughts turn toward the State of Israel. As Yehudah HaLevi reminded us in the Middle Ages, “My heart is in the East, even though I am in the West.” Israel is always in our prayers and in our hearts.
Donations can include supporting AIPAC, whose mission is to strengthen, protect and promote the US- Israel relationship to enhance the security of Israel and the United States. Donate at www.aipac.org
Other opportunities include helping ARZA, the single largest supporter of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) and the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC). ARZA strengthens and enriches the Jewish identity of Reform Jews in the United States by ensuring that a connection with Israel is a fundamental part of that identity.
This February, Temple Sinai will be sending teens to Israel to explore the sights, connect with Israelis, and do Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World). No teen will be turned away due to financial hardship.
Third Candle: Thursday, Dec. 14
Temple Sinai is committed to being a safe and welcoming space to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. We strive to create a safe space for all LGBTQ adults and teens and their families. As the Torah teaches, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).
Donation suggestions include helping Keshet, a national grassroots organization that works for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Jews in Jewish life. Keshet partners with clergy & educators to equip them with the tools and knowledge they need to be effective agents of change. Support Keshet at www.keshetonline.org/about/supportkeshet
Kulanu, which is Temple Sinai’s LGBTQ and Allies Club, works to make Temple Sinai an inclusive and welcoming space for all members of our congregation. Help support them in their work around LGBTQ Advocacy, social events, and educational programming at mysinai.org/8NightsOfGiving
Fourth Candle: Friday, Dec. 15
“Honoring the Elderly”
Jewish tradition teaches of the importance of honoring the elderly members of our community. We are reminded of the ideal treatment of the seniors in our community: showing deference and respect and learning the stories of their lives. “You shall rise up before the aged and show deference to the old.” (Leviticus 19:32)
For four decades, DOROT has been an innovative leader in the fields of aging services and volunteerism. DOROT alleviates social isolation among the elderly and provides services to help them live independently as valued members of the community. To donate, go to www.dorotusa.org
Sinai Social Sundays, Temple Sinai’s senior programming division, offers opportunities for our senior members and our surrounding community to get together each month to learn, be entertained, connect with one another, and meet new people. Donate at mysinai.org/8NightsOfGiving
Fifth Candle: Saturday, Dec. 16
“Feeding the Hungry”
Jewish tradition reminds us of the importance of feeding all those who are in need of sustenance. There are too many people on Long Island who are searching for their next meal.
For more than 20 years, the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen has guaranteed a weekly meal for homeless and hungry neighbors in the Washington Square area. The student-run Soup Kitchen is a tangible way that Isaiah’s prophetic call to share our bread with the hungry and bring the homeless into our house is fulfilled. Donation suggestions include helping the HUC soup kitchen at donate.huc.edu/soupkitchen.
Temple Sinai’s Social Action Committee provides hands-on community service projects to help those in need, as well as providing financial support to local service organizations. Whether it’s our annual Mitzvah Day, Be a Mensch food delivery, or our “Mitzvah of the Month,” the Social Action Committee is dedicated to making a difference.
Sixth Candle: Sunday, Dec. 17
“Creating Jewish Community”
Our Jewish tradition teaches that each and every Jew has a responsibility to help the community. “All Israel is responsible for one another” (Shevuot 39a).
UJA-Federation is a central force for communal planning and philanthropy in the New York Jewish community. The UJA-Federation, pools their resources to help people in need, inspire a passion for Jewish life and learning, and strengthen Jewish communities around the world.
Hanukkah Happenings is a Temple-wide event scheduled for 10 a.m.-12 noon. All participants are asked to bring a new Lego set, or new/gently used children’s books. Children & adults of all ages will create holiday cards, wrap the Lego sets to be given to children in need, and insert book plates into the books to be given to NYC Homeless Services.
Seventh Candle: Monday, Dec. 18
“Welcoming Children with Special Needs”
On this night of Hanukkah, we think about all children with special needs. We reflect upon the words of the Creation story, “God created Human Beings in God’s image.” (Genesis 1:27) Today and all days, we join together to welcome children with special needs and to be a supportive community to them and their families.
The North Shore Autism Circle is a non-profit organization that was created to provide the funding to develop after-school and weekend programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders who live on the North Shore of Long Island.
Chazak is Temple Sinai’s outreach program for children (age 6-14) with developmental differences/special needs and their families. Through this program, families within our congregation and in neighboring communities have the opportunity to provide their children with meaningful Jewish learning. Chazak continues to advance the Temple’s efforts to include all families and children in the Jewish learning process.
Eighth Candle: Tuesday, Dec. 19
“Visiting the Sick”
At Temple Sinai, we not only pray for healing, but we work together to bring a sense of comfort and wholeness to the members of our broader community. As our tradition teaches, “Whoever visits the sick helps that person to recover.” (Nedarim 40a). May our visits help bring healing to all those who are searching for comfort.
Join us on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 4–5 p.m., in the lobby of St. Francis Hospital, 100 Port Washington Blvd., Roslyn, NY 11576. Volunteers will deliver homemade Hanukkah packages to Jewish patients at the hospital. Help bring a little bit of Hanukkah joy to patients who are in the hospital. Contact RabbiKress@mysinai.org.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a multifaceted organization made up of esteemed scientists, dedicated survivors of suicide loss, people with mental disorders and their families, and an expansive network of business and community leaders. The AFSP funds research, offers educational programs, advocates for public policy, and supports those affected by suicide.
Temple Sinai’s Caring Committee provides comfort and support to all of our Temple members. Whether it’s a call to a homebound member, visiting congregants in the hospital, giving a lift to those who need a ride, or having seasonal parties for our senior members, Temple Sinai looks to support all in our community.
For more information about Temple Sinai’s Hanukkah “8 Nights of Giving” please call 516-621-6800 or go online to mysinai.org/8NightsOfGiving.
Temple Sinai of Roslyn is located at 425 Roslyn Rd., Roslyn Heights. For more information about Temple Sinai or its programs, contact Alison Stamm, Executive Director at 516-621-6800 or visit www.mysinai.org.
—Submitted by Temple Sinai of Roslyn