Chanukah 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 invites you to enhance your holiday this year by GIVING BACK to our community and BRINGING LIGHT to our world. Each day, an email will appear in your inbox providing opportunities to give tzedakah, drop off a donation, or join with others to do a hands-on activity. Our hope is that by practicing #8NightsOfGiving, we can help our greater community on Long Island and beyond. May we bring light and joy to the world around us!
First Candle – Tuesday, December 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)
Hands on Activity: Donation of New and Gently Used Children’s Books
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 lobby. Donations will be accepted until Sunday, December 17.
Community Donation: Long Island Coalition for the Homeless
The mission of the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. is to eliminate homelessness on Long Island and improve the lives of Long Islanders who are facing homelessness. Make a donation.
Temple Donation: Hand-in-Hand Teen Program
Hand-in-Hand is one of Temple Sinai’s outstanding Teen Programs. Teens from our Temple lead social and educational activities for children currently living in homeless shelters. Our partner, NYC Department of Homeless Services, busses children to Temple Sinai for this program. To donate to Hand-in-Hand, please click here
Second Candle - Wednesday, December 13: Supporting Israel
On this night of Chanukah, our thoughts turn towards 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.
Community Donation: AIPAC
Community Donation: ARZA/IRAC
ARZA is the single largest supporter of the Israel Movement for Reform & 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 Eretz Yisrael is a fundamental part of that identity. Make a donation.
Temple Donation: Israel Trip Scholarship Fund
This February Tempe Sinai is sending teens to Israel to explore the sights, connect with Israelis, and do Tikkun Olam. No teen is being turned away due to financial hardship. To support the Israel Trip Scholarship Fund, please click here
Third Candle - Thursday, December 14: LGBTQ Inclusion
Temple Sinai is committed to being a safe and welcoming space to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. May our work together continue 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).
Community Donation: Keshet
Keshet is the only organization in the U.S. that works for LGBTQ inclusion in all facets of Jewish life – synagogues, Hebrew schools, day schools, youth groups, summer camps, social service organizations, and other communal agencies. They partner with clergy & educators to equip them with the tools and knowledge they need to be effective agents of change. Make a donation.
Temple Donation: Kulanu
Kulanu, 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. To donate to Temple Sinai’s Kulanu group, please click here.
Fourth Candle - Friday, December 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)
Community Donation: Dorot
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. Make a donation.
Temple Donation: Sinai Social Club
The Sinai Social Club offers opportunities for our senior members to get together each month to learn, be entertained, connect with one another, and meet new people. please click here.
Fifth Candle - Saturday, December 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. On this night of Chanukah, we reflect upon the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Is not this the fast I desire… to share your bread with the hungry?” (Isaiah 58:7).
Community Donation: HUC Soup Kitchen
For over 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. Make a donation.
Temple Donation: Social Action Fund
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. To donate to the Social Action Fund, please click here.
Sixth Candle - Sunday, December 17: Creating Jewish Community
Our Jewish tradition teaches that each and every Jew has a responsibility to help the community. For we learn in the Talmud, “All Israel is responsible for one another” (Shevuot 39a). On this night of Chanukah, join us in helping build our Jewish present and our Jewish future. Today, we will gather at the Temple for Chanukah Happenings – a day of learning, celebrating, and doing mitzvot. Activities for all age groups!
Hands on Activity: Wrap Gifts
Chanukah Happenings is a Temple-wide event scheduled for 10am-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.
Community Donation: UJA-Federation of New York
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. Make a donation.
Temple Donation: Temple Sinai
For seventy years, Temple Sinai has carried out the vision of its founders; to be a warm and caring Jewish community dedicated to perpetuating Reform Judaism and meaningful Jewish expression. Throughout the years, thousands of individuals and families have entered the doors of our synagogue to pray together, learn together, and share both happy and sad occasions with their Temple Family. To donate to Temple Sinai, please click here.
Seventh Candle - Monday, December 18: Welcoming Children with Special Needs
On this night of Chanukah, 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 their families.
Community Donation: North Shore Autism Circle
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. Make a donation.
Temple Donation: Chazak Program for Children with Special Needs
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. To donate to the Temple Sinai Chazak Program, please click here.
Eighth Candle - Tuesday, December 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.
Hands on Activity: Chanukah at the Hospital
Join us tonight, Tuesday, December 19, 4:00–5:00pm, at St. Francis Hospital, 100 Port Washington Blvd, Roslyn, NY 11576. We will meet in the lobby. Volunteers will deliver homemade Chanukah packages to Jewish patients at the hospital. Help bring a little bit of Chanukah joy to patients who are in the hospital! RSVP Rabbi Alex Kress.
Donation: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
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. Make a donation.
Temple Donation: Caring Committee
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. To donate to the Temple Sinai Caring Committee, please click here.