An Inclusive Jewish Reform Congregation in Chicago
Today Sinai remains dedicated to our distinctive philosophy and practices of liberal Reform Judaism. Inscribed over the doors of each of our congregation's buildings are these words: "My House Shall Be A House of Prayer For All People." This universal, welcoming approach is the foundation of our worship, programs and service to the community. We are a diverse congregation and currently number more than 850 families, many of them interfaith. Sinai warmly welcomes new members, believing that each new member brings talents, energy and perspectives which enrich us. As a new member, you can opt to be matched with established Sinai members - a Welcome Family - during your first year. The purpose: Get you "up and running" as a part of the congregation's life.
Chicago Sinai Congregration can be found at 15 W Delaware Pl . The following is offered: Churches - In Chicago there are 1176 other Churches. An overview can be found here.
Rabbi Seth M. Limmer entered his career to build, foster and participate in a sacred community founded upon a modern, liberal approach to religion, and to work with a congregation as dedicated to strengthening connections to our Jewish tradition as it is committed to reaching out to help our larger world. Reform Judaism: a Reasonable Religion “Reform Judaism has always believed that every individual contains the dignity to determine their own religious decisions,” Rabbi Limmer teaches. He strives to be the kind of rabbi who doesn’t tell people what Judaism demands of them, but rather opens up the texts and textures of our rich heritage to each person build an authentic life of Jewish meaning. Interfaith Partnerships: how We become Stronger Rabbi Limmer works hard to prove that Judaism is strengthened when we are in close and powerful connection with our non-Jewish neighbors. He works tirelessly to ensure that Chicago Sinai Congregation remains “A House of Prayer for All People”, and especially a place where the non-Jewish family of many of our members can also feel remarkably at home. Likewise Rabbi Limmer constantly works with fellow clergy and other faith institutions to come together in friendship and community on so many of the issues and opportunities that unite human beings, regardless of their religion. Justice: our Jewish Obligation “From our very beginning, the fundamental Jewish project has been to make our world a better place.” This teaching is the core of Rabbi Limmer’s work. Whether taking a summer to build houses with Habitat for Humanity on Chicago’s west side, or helping to build an interfaith organization—Westchester United—to combat a county’s ill, Rabbi Limmer has made the work of Justice central to his rabbinate. Here at Chicago Sinai Congregation, for 155 years already so committed to the work of repairing our world, those opportunities have only deepened. Currently, Rabbi Limmer is honoured to serve in the Reform movement’s highest social justice position: he is Chair of the Justice, Peace and Civil Liberties committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and as Vice-Chair of the Commission on Social Action of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Link: Rabbi Seth M. Limmer
Rabbi Amanda Greene is thrilled to join the Chicago Sinai Congregation community as its Assistant Rabbi. Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Rabbi Greene received a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Afterward, she attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles, where she earned her rabbinic ordination in addition to a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education, a Master of Arts in Jewish Nonprofit Management, and a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, and a graduate certificate in Israel Education from the i-Center located here in Chicago. Before her ordination in May 2015, Rabbi Greene served as the rabbinic intern at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles where she worked to engage young adults in Judaism. She also served as student rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom in China Lake, California, in addition to serving as a student chaplain at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL. Rabbi Greene remains passionate about engaging young adults, Israel, social justice, and community building.
Link: Rabbi Amanda Greene
Susan Solomon was named Executive Director of Chicago Sinai Congregation in early 2006. An 18-year member of Sinai, she previously served on the Temple’s Board of Trustees and as a committee volunteer. Susan brings extensive leadership experience to her position. A licensed attorney, she has held senior management positions in legal and financial organizations. Susan is responsible for all aspects of the Temple’s operation, from fiscal management to staff supervision and support, from community relations and outreach programs to the logistical planning and implementation that assures Sinai members of the many services they depend on -- religious, educational, and social. She brings a spirit of creativity to a job defined by the many roles and responsibilities of Sinai; her success is measured in the achievement of the Temple’s daily goals and long-term vision. She balances her professional role with her duties as a parent and as a tireless volunteer for social and community organizations. Susan's assistant is Dawn Owens. Dawn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link: Susan Solomon
Heidi Kon joined Chicago Sinai in 1997. She was educated at the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. She has worked in Jewish education for more than 30 years, teaching and developing curricula for all age levels. A licensed clinical social worker, Heidi also has major experience in the human service field, particularly as Director of Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence programs. Heidi's approach to Jewish education is to infuse Jewish values into every day life. At Sinai she has worked extensively on religious school curriculum development and teacher training, and has developed a wide array of adult education programs. She instituted Sinai’s successful Madrichim (counselor) program for high school students. She has developed training programs for religious school faculties on working with interfaith families and alternatives in Jewish education. She also works on issues relating to Blacks and Jews. Heidi lives in Oak Park with her husband, Will Jones, and their three sons. Heidi's assistant is Kris Rosen. Kris can be reached at email@example.com
Link: Heidi Kon
Scott Kumer returned to Chicago Sinai Congregation as its Music Director in late 2014. Scott received his B.Mus. summa cum laude from Wittenberg University, and his M.Mus. with highest honors from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he pursued further graduate studies in music history and music theory at the University of Chicago where he served as accompanist to the Rockefeller Chapel Choir, Motet Choir, and University Chorus. He has also been the Assistant Organist at the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle, Chicago, and has performed with the William Ferris Chorale on several occasions. In 1996, Scott and Thomas Weisflog began a two-year project of transcribing great orchestral works for organ four-hands-four-feet. The Symphonic Organ, a compact disc featuring their transcriptions of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, J. Strauss, Mahler, Debussy, and Ravel, was released on the London-based Meridian Records label in 1998, and has enjoyed critical acclaim. Scott is a contributing author to A Primer for the Visiting Organist (edited by Fred Moleck, G.I.A. Publications, Inc., 2007), and had the great privilege to assist in the project to rebuild the historic 1928 E.M. Skinner Organ (Opus 634) at the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Scott's assistant is Dawn Owens. Dawn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Link: Scott Kumer
Fern Rappaport Katz joined Chicago Sinai in 2012. She has an extensive background in early childhood education and special education as both a teacher and an administrator. Fern has a B.S.Ed from Northern Illinois University and an M.Ed from University of Illinois-Chicago, as well as an M.A. in Jewish Professional Studies from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Before becoming Sinai’s Early Childhood Education Director , Fern was an early childhood director for the JCC of Chicago and early childhood education coordinator and instructor at Governors State University. She has also taught children with special needs as well as religious school in Illinois and New Jersey. Fern is an active member of Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism and the Early Childhood Directors Council of the Community Foundation for Jewish Education, and was selected to participate in the Chicago Early Engagement Leadership Initiative. Fern has led two schools through the process of reaching accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Fern’s article “Trust and Separation: God, Abraham, and Early Childhood Educators” was published in the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education journal. Fern finds joy in learning, teaching, and in Judaism, and believes we are all on a journey of exploration, discovery, and lifelong learning. Fern's assistant is Edna Bell. Edna can be reached at email@example.com.
Link: Fern Katz