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Introducing Cantor David Reinwald

Dear Temple Sinai Family,

It is my pleasure to announce that Cantor David Reinwald will be joining Temple Sinai in July. Cantor Reinwald comes to us from Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, CA where he has been their cantor for over a decade.

The search committee was led by Elizabeth Collura and Rick Kalson and included 17 other congregants who reflected a broad spectrum of our Temple Sinai community. The search for Temple Sinai’s first fully-ordained Reform cantor was not without its challenges, including many more open positions than candidates and a pandemic which necessitated conducting visits and interviews during rapidly changing circumstances. Despite these challenges, I am confident in the fact that the committee did an excellent job and that Cantor Reinwald is the right cantor for Temple Sinai.

Cantor Reinwald formerly served as the cantor at Temple Anshe Sholom in Olympia Fields, IL and Congregation Beth Israel in Austin, TX. He comes to Temple Sinai with a wealth of experience that goes far beyond leading congregational musical programs and services. In addition to b’nei mitzvah preparation classes, he has taught classes in trope to both children and adults and created and taught a Jewish music production course to teens. Cantor Reinwald is also the host of a podcast, Tropeful, that explores how trope interprets the text, bringing new insights and understanding.

Cantor Reinwald graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN in 2001 with a BS in Voice Performance and a Jewish Studies Certificate before going on to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City for his Cantorial Ordination and Master of Sacred Music. Cantor Reinwald also completed a 400 hour unit of training as an interfaith chaplain at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City.

“I am so excited to join the Temple Sinai family, to build upon your rich history in the Pittsburgh Jewish community and to partner with Rabbi Fellman and all of the temple staff and lay leadership in creating many new moments and memories to come,” Reinwald said.

A sincere thank you to everyone who participated in the process that helped us bring Cantor Reinwald to Temple Sinai. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and all of Temple Sinai, we look forward to Cantor Reinwald joining our Temple Sinai family in July.

L’shalom,

Alison R. Yazer

President


 

An Important Message from Our President Alison R. Yazer & Associate Rabbi Keren Gorban

October 7, 2021

Dear Temple Sinai Family, 

It is with mixed emotions that we write to you. After more than six years at Temple Sinai, it has come time for Rabbi Keren Gorban to seek a new opportunity elsewhere. We are incredibly thankful for her time with us and the numerous contributions she has made to Temple Sinai. Rabbi Gorban has touched most of our lives in a special way through worship, lifecycle celebrations, counseling in troubled times, religious school, and adult education. We wish her the best and will support her in her search for new opportunities for personal and career growth in any way we can. We anticipate that Rabbi Gorban will remain with us through the end of her contract in June 2022.

During my six—soon to be seven—years of service to Temple Sinai, I have been blessed by your warmth, your generosity, and your trust. This community has embraced me and strengthened me and helped me grow as a person and as a rabbi. In Jewish tradition, seven is a number of completion and wholeness. While this chapter will soon be complete, I know that the connections, friendships, and gifts from my time here will continue to bring me blessings in the future.

Rabbi Gorban’s upcoming departure has given us the opportunity to consider Temple Sinai’s needs and future clergy configuration. Based on the considerable feedback we have received from congregants, we have made the decision to begin a search for a fully-ordained, Reform Cantor. A search committee, led by Elizabeth Collura and Rick Kalson, will be assembled in the upcoming days.

Please refer to the attached FAQs for more information. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly.

L’ Shalom,

Alison R. Yazer, President

Rabbi Keren Gorban, Associate Rabbi

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Rabbi Gorban oversees our religious school – when she leaves, what will be the future of our children’s religious education? Rabbi Gorban will continue to oversee Next DOR through this school year. Our future steps will be determined, in part, by the skills and background of the new Cantor and the evolving needs of our students. Rest assured, we realize how critical religious education is to our youth and we will continue to provide high-quality educational programming moving forward. 

How are you conducting the search for a Reform Cantor? The search committee will be co-chaired by Elizabeth Collura, Temple Sinai Second Vice President, and Rick Kalson, a Past President of the congregation. They are assembling a committee that will include diverse representation from our congregation, including members of the band and choir. Fortunately, we have several resources that will aid in our search, including the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and the American Conference of Cantors (ACC). 

What is the process and timing for a Cantor search? The position will be posted with the American Conference of Cantors on October 8. Once the search committee is finalized and applications received, the committee will conduct virtual first-round interviews. After the committee has narrowed the candidate pool, candidates will be invited to Sinai for in-person interviews, COVID conditions permitting. Based on the feedback they receive, the committee will make a recommendation to the Personnel Practices Committee, who will in turn present the candidate to the Board of Trustees for approval. This process can take several months, depending on the number of candidates participating in this search cycle. 

How will the congregation be involved? The finalists will meet with various cohorts from the congregation, similar to when we hired our Executive Director, Drew Barkley, and our Interim Rabbi, Darryl Crystal. Our Bylaws do not call for the full congregation to vote to hire a Cantor. This is handled by the Personnel Practices Committee and the Board. However, congregational input is important in the process, and we welcome input from everyone who wishes to participate. 


 

Mon, July 4 2022 5 Tammuz 5782