Cantor Keith Miller
Having grown up at Sinai Temple as a fourth generation member, it is truly an honor for me to return back to my home community.
My great grandfather, Abraham Silverman, Z'L', was Cantor of Sinai Temple in the 1930s and 1940s. My father, Ovvie Miller, was Bar Mitzvah at Sinai Temple when the congregation was located at 4th and New Hampshire, and I myself stood on the Bimah in 1977 as a Bar Mitzvah, leading the Shacharit service, with Cantor Gole beside me, and Aryell Cohen playing the organ. As a senior in high school, throughout college and beyond, I taught B'nai Mitzvah here at Sinai Temple, and eventually became the Director of B'nai Mitzvah Programming, preparing many hundreds of Sinai Temple youth for B'nai Mitzvah. I served in this position here in the congregation until 1992. My wife Laura and I were married here at Sinai Temple in 1989, and our daughter celebrated her naming here, as well.
I joined the Cantors Assembly in 1996, and earned my Cantors Commission in 1999. Over my more than 25 years in the pulpit I have had the good fortune of serving as Cantor and Educational Director of several Los Angeles area congregations and currently serve as visiting Cantor at Congregation Beth Sholom in San Francisco. Sinai Temple, however, has been, and will always be, my home congregation.
The process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is vitally important. I have observed that students who enjoy a positive experience during this holy time have a far greater likelihood in growing to become more deeply devoted to, and involved with, the Jewish community as adults. This is why I strive to remain dedicated to teaching each individual student in a loving, patient, warm and positive manner.
Mazal Tov to all of our B'nai Mitzvah candidates and families.
Cantor Marcus Feldman
How good is our portion, how pleasant our lot, how beautiful our heritage.
I feel honored and privileged to be able to oversee our incredible B'nai Mitzvah program. B'nai Mitzvah, or becoming of age, marks an individual's transition from childhood into adulthood within the Jewish community. It is my hope that through this process, our students begin their lifelong journey exploring our texts, traditions, and values that have been passed down to us L'dor Vador, from generation to generation. I pray that they will cherish their place in the chain of our tradition, and be able to pass along our incredible heritage to yet another generation.
After our B'nai Mitzvah meet with our incredible team of mentors, I have the pleasure of working with each student for their final rehearsals in their individual Shabbat Morning service venue. I hope to be able to instill within them a love of Judaism through our liturgical, spiritual, and musical tradition.
I hope this experience provides light and inspiration to you and your entire family.
Cantor Marcus Feldman
When I first came in to the "new main sanctuary" with my religious school class in the early 1960's, I knew then, that Sinai Temple was and is a special place. As you opened this website, you no doubt viewed all of the photos rotating on the home page. Among those photos, is one of Cantor Urstein and myself, on the day of my Bar Mitzvah, at Sinai Temple. Cantor Urstein was a wonderful man who I came to know, love, and revere. He gave of himself completely to the Sinai community, and especially to the children. It was his passion and the loving way he was, that has continually inspired me. I began teaching Bar and Bat Mitzvah students at Sinai Temple with Cantor Urstein in 1970.
Sinai Temple is about people, and the bonds we make with each other. Teaching your child for a milestone event such as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a responsibility not taken lightly. We strive for each student to achieve to the best of their ability, and to be happy and confident on "the big day". I am grateful for the good fortune of working with children of my former students, with bonds forming long, unbreakable chains. I look forward to the opportunity of working with you and your child, and providing an experience that will be a springboard to a long and productive Jewish life.
Rabbi Zvi Dershowitz
"For my d'var Torah, the rabbi made me say...." are words I never want to hear in the future from any of the wonderful teens whom I have the honor to mentor, teach and smile.
I have no problem challenging their precepts about their future Jewish lives, about how they view their maturing Jewish identity. But the thoughts they verbalize from the Bimah on "their" Shabbat comes from their hearts, their questions, their personal convictions, even if they sound "youthful" to the adult congregation.
Ten years from now and beyond, hopefully they will not only look back with pride, but, with this positive experience, will look forward to continuing to be an active part of the Jewish community.
I have the privilege of working with the parents and the B'nai Mitzvah students. This gives me an opportunity to get to know the families and help them through the exciting Bar and Bat Mitzvah process. Answering questions, reassuring parents and scheduling the weekly appointments with Mr. Cohen, Cantor Miller, and Ms. Schwartz is a pleasure. I also schedule the D'var Torah appointments with Rabbi Dershowitz and during the final few weeks before the simcha, I schedule the appointments with Cantor Feldman. If I am lucky, the parents come back after the Bar or Bat mitzvah and tell me how well every detail went. What a satisfying job!
I began my synagogue career leading Junior Congregation at age 10 and in the Synagogue Choir at age 11. By far, the most satisfying of my temple experiences is the current one; preparing your children for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. It is a privilege that I take seriously. By giving children the tools to succeed, we are living the words of L'Dor V'Dor; from generation to generation.
I am honored to join the B'nai Mitzvah staff at Sinai Temple. I look forward to getting to know your family and your children in their lessons, and helping them to be successful in the journey. My goal is that your child comes away with a positive Judaic experience, and a sense of accomplishment on their Bar/Bat Mitzvah day. Watching the transformation in your child when they master their Torah portion and Haftarah is very gratifying.