The First Jewish Reform Temple in Chicago
Sinai is both Chicago’s oldest and newest Reform Jewish temple
Oldest because, being founded in 1861, Sinai was the first Reform temple in Chicago, and one of the first in the nation.
Newest, because from the beginning, Sinai has been on the leading edge of evolution in Judaism. Today, ours is a Judaism that defines Jewishness not by heritage, not by the passage of a test, not by completion of a course of study. If Sinai’s values matter to you, you belong at Sinai. If our search for meaning resonates with yours, you belong at Sinai.
Reform Judaism for the 21st Century means a continuous dedication to progressive social action. Looking back, Sinai was one of the first congregations in America, of any religion, to grant full membership to women. When the NAACP was founded to fight for racial equality, our Rabbi was on its board. Sinai fought for the right of workers to form unions for collective bargaining, and helped make it happen.
If Sinai’s values matter to you, you belong at Sinai. If our search for meaning resonates with yours, you belong at Sinai.
Going forward, our dedication to repairing the world impels us to continue to break down the walls of privilege that separate us from the problems we seek to redress.
Sinai has always made its services accessible in the spoken language of the people. Even compared to many Reform congregations now, you’ll find more English in a Sinai service. As well, you’ll find a passionate devotion to the Jewish Liturgical music of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, presented in the fullness with which it was meant to be performed.
Back in 1982, Sinai was the first Jewish congregation in Chicago to extend full welcome and participation in ritual to interfaith individuals, couples and families. Today, our Reform Judaism for the 21st Century means we extend the same to all members of the LGBT community.
Since its beginnings, Sinai has espoused an evolutionary Judaism, one that works for people in the age in which they live. We believe the core values of Sinai are what 21st Century Jews are seeking. If you agree, then you belong at Sinai.