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The Traditional Egalitarian Minyan At Sinai Temple

by Arthur Robinson

For more than a quarter century we have seen young children of Minyan members grow up, become Bar or Bat Mitzvah in a Traditional Minyan Service, and eventually lead parts of services.  We have seen many stalwarts leave town and we have mourned Minyan members who have passed away. 

From the very beginning of the Traditional High Holy Day Services at Sinai Temple, congregants gave the derashes on the morning of the First Day of Rosh Hashanah and on the morning of Yom Kippur.  Sometimes the derash would be a traditional one, explicating the Torah or Haftarah portion.  Often it would be a personal account of how the speaker came to or came back to Judaism.  The lives of remarkable relatives and moving stories were common themes.  Recollections of growing up in secular or observant homes and neighborhoods reflect the infinite variety of Jewish life in this country and abroad.

There could be no more fitting tribute to those who over the years have worked so hard and so well to make the Traditional Minyan flourish than this collection of derashes, for which this brief recollection serves as an introduction. Full story

100 Years of Sinai Temple

Amid the Alien Corn
100 Years of Sinai Temple in Champaign, IL

Amid the Alien Corn is a lively portrayal of Sinai Temple's long, rich history and its promising future. A colorful patchwork of facts and figures, personal reminiscences and stories by and about leaders and members of the Sinai Temple family - past and present - its pages lovingly depict the congregation's struggles and successes, as well as trends in the evolution of Reform Judaism throughout the last century.

Jewish American Heritage Month Website

By Congressional resolution and Presidential proclamation, MAY is Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM).
A national month of recognition of the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture, JAHM acknowledges the achievements of American Jews in fields ranging from sports and arts and entertainment to medicine, business, science, government, and military service.
The JAHM website is an interactive clearinghouse for events, programs, and activities nationwide and a resource for school and community leaders. Submit your events, sign up for email updates, and find out what’s happening in your neighborhood and across the country.

History Of The Torah Study Group at Sinai Temple

The following is the piece that Alvan Bregman, Pete Siegel, and Barak RosenshineI wrote in honor of David Goodman and to commemorate the Torah Study Group. August 11, 2011.

Magic Happened

The Torah Study Group was initiated by Jean Deichman and Rabbi Brad Bloom in 1993. The group met around a table in a small room off the library and the earliest members were Jean Deichman, Achsah Guibbory, Rob Manester, Robert Ferrer, Esther Steinberg, Sybelle Timberlake, Astrid Berkson, Carol Mizrachi Anita Hamburg, Blanche Sudman Rabbi Neuman.

David Goodman (z”l), Rob Silverman, Rabbi Klein, and Barak Rosenshine joined in 1995, and the group expanded after we moved to a larger room in the new addition. Rob, Robert, and Sybelle are active members to this day, and David was an active member for 16 years. Full Article

May is Jewish American Heritage Month.

What better time to revisit the Jewish heritage of our own community. Over the years during the High Holy Days there have been so many memorable Drashot given at Sinai Temple by members of the Traditional Minyan. In 2004 as part of Sinai’s 100 year celebration many of these stories were collected in a book entitled "Book Of Lives". The book itself is in the Library of Congress but now for the first time the individual drashes are available on line. For more information about the book contact Ray Spooner at


Library Of Congress Page


The month of May was chosen due to the highly successful celebration of the 350th Anniversary of American Jewish History in May 2004, which was organized by the Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History. This coalition was composed of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, the American Jewish Historical Society, the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration.

Leading the way in implementation of the annual celebration is the Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition, formed in March 2007 and convened by United Jewish Communities, the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and the American Jewish Historical Society. Library Of Congress Jewish American Heritage Month home page

David Goodman

David G. Goodman
Rosh Hashanah
September 30, 1989-5751

Elliot Weinberg

Yom Kippur
1989 - 5750 
Elliot Weinberg

Barak Rosenshine

Drash given by Barak Rosenshine at Sinai Temple Rosh Ha'Shanah 1991-5752

Richard Kaplan

Drashah for Traditional Minyan
Richard L. Kaplan
Yom Kippur - 1991-5752

Jerry Kaufman

Rosh Hashanah.
1993-5754 Drash given by 
Jerry Kaufman 

Ira Wachtel

Drash given by Ira Wachtel, Yom Kippur 1993-5754

Kazuko Goodman

Kazuko Fujimoto Goodman
Yom Kippur,
October 3, 1995

Alexander Scheeline

Drash given by Alexander Scheeline at Sinai Temple, Yom Kippur 1996-5757

Jean Deichman

Comments from Rosh Hashanah 1997
By Jean Deichman

Jerry Kaufman

Rosh Hashanah
Jerry Kaufman 

Achsah Guibbory

Drash for Yom Kippur, 1998, Sinai Temple
Achsah Guibbory

Matti Shalev

Rosh Hashanah Sermon at Sinai Temple – by Matti Shalev
1999 - 5760

Tauby Shimkin

Drash given by Tauby Shimkin at Sinai Temple Yom Kippur 2000-5761

Alvan Bregman

By Alvan Bregman

Sybelle Timberlake

Sybelle Timberlake
Rosh HaShanah
Drash 9/18/01

Steve Scher

D’Rash given by Steve Scher
Yom Kippuer 5762
Sept 27, 2001

Bruce Rosenstock

Rosh HaShanah Sermon
Bruce Rosenstock

Jordan Finkin

Jordan Finkin
Yom Kippur Drash

Kate Kuper

Drash given by Kate Kuper, Yom Kippur 2003-5764

Wynne Korr

Wynne Korr
Sinai Temple Drash
Rosh HaShanah 5765 (2004)

Ray Spooner

Ray Spooner
Yom Kippur Drash
10 Tishri 5765 - September 25, 2004

Janis Topolosky

Rosh Hashanah 5765  October 4th ,2005 
MY STORY: Janis Topolosky

Mitchell Harris

Yom Kippur 2005 Drash for Traditional Minyan, Sinai Temple
Mitchell Harris

Hana Inbar

What Am I Doing Here?
Drash for Rosh Hashana Service 2007
Hana Inbar

Sarah Harkins

Sarah Harkins
Rosh Drash
What Rosh Means To Me

Hagit Itzkowitz

Hagit Itzkowitz
Drash Rosh Hashanah 2009
Champaign, Illinois

Reva Egherman

Reva Egherman
Yom Kippur Drosh

Jennifer Hodges

Jennifer Hodges 
 Rosh Hashanah drash 2010

Garth Gersten

Garth Gersten
Yom Kippur Drash
September 18, 2010, 5771

Arthur R. Robinson

Arthur R. Robinson
Derash for Yom Kippur, 5772.
This is the fast that I have chosen.