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Our History

Brief History of Temple Sinai:

The post war period brought Jewish families from the Newark/Elizabeth area to Union County. Local merchants who preferred to worship in the Reform tradition joined forces and with 40 families, formed a congregation. Temple Sinai was incorporated in February of 1952.  Temple Sinai's Religious School was founded in 1952 as well.

The congregation moved to 208 Summit Avenue in 1957, acquiring the Todd estate for $55,000. A large addition; worship space and school was added in 1965. In 2004 a major renovation added what is now the sanctuary, Social Hall, the school wing and the modernization of the kitchen, plumbing and heating systems.

Temple Sinai has been blessed with long serving clergy. Rabbi Stuart Gershon, our beloved spiritual leader of 25 years, has infused the temple with meaningful worship, learning, and warmth. He will be retiring next June. A search is underway for Rabbi Gershon’s successor. Cantor Marina Shemesh joined us in 2012 and brings sweet melody, teaching and arts to our community. Religious School and adult learning are ongoing and the Early Childhood program was instituted in 2012.

In August of 2017, Temple Sinai and Temple Emanu-El of Livingston merged to form one strong Temple community.

Brief History of Temple Emanu-El:

The congregation was founded by 11 families seeking a Reform Jewish service in the growing suburb of Livingston, New Jersey. By the fall of 1955, 56 families had been recruited and High Holy Days services were led by student Rabbi Milton Rosenfeld from the Hebrew Union College. In 1956, the congregation purchased a hot dog stand off Northfield Road as their permanent home. By 1961, ground had been broken on that very spot to build their own sanctuary.  The new building, with its soaring peaked roof, was and still is a landmark in Livingston and evokes the Israelites' Tent of Meeting in the desert wilderness.

A major expansion of the building including a new main entrance, office space, the library, and the Holocaust Remembrance Center was completed in 2004. This campaign also included a new Early Childhood Center. During the Summer of 2011, the sanctuary was renovated, making it both more modern, and more comfortable. Some changes included a new sound system, bimah, Ner Tamid, and many new features.

In August of 2017, Temple Sinai and Temple Emanu-El of Livingston merged to form one strong Temple community. With them, former members of Temple Emanu-El brought Rabbi Emeritus Peter Kasdan, treasured ritual objects, an infusion of energy for prayer and life-long learning, leadership and friendship. The Holocaust Remembrance Center, soon to be named the Temple Emanu-El Holocaust Resource Center, has found a new home at Temple Sinai. A beautiful center is now being constructed for the artifacts and learning materials.  We are now stronger and better together!

Sun, December 9 2018 1 Tevet 5779