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Life & Legacy

Be remembered forever by Temple Sinai with a gift in your will, retirement account, or life insurance policy. Click to complete a Declaration of Intent.



Barbara Allen • Anonymous (8) • Marc Adelsheimer and Jamie Stern • George and Laura Arnold • Jan and Drew Barkley • Stewart Barmen and Laurie Moser • Cantor Laura Berman • Ellie and Bob Bernstein • Jennifer H. Bett • Eva Blum • Gloria Bodek • Miriam Botkin • Arlene and Bill Brandeis • Joshua Breslau • Elizabeth and Michael Collura • Richard and Rhoda Dorfzaun • Sally Katzen Dyk • Julian* and Rhoda Eligator • James R. and Morgan Faeder • Mark* and Anne Faigen • Gina Faiola • Leslie H. Fleisher • Nancy E. Gale • Rabbi James A. and Ms. Barbara S. Gibson • Arthur Goldberg • Ruth Goldman • Shirley Goldstein • Edward Goldston • Joe & Jen Goldston • Rabbi Keren Gorban • David Hauptman and Family • Suzan Hauptman and Family • Stephen Holstein • Stephen Jurman and Jeanette Trauth • Richard D. Kalson • Richard & Kristin Kalson • The Kander Family • Mara and Richard Kaplan • Carole and Jerry Katz • Robert and Ellen Katzen • Robert Kraut and Aya Betensky • Susan Berman Kress and Douglas Kress • Rachel M. Kudrick • Bernard Latterman* • Dale Lazar & Lynn Magid Lazar • Philip L. Lehman and Jill Fain Lehman • Louise Malakoff • David and Carole Maretsky • Stuart and Linda Miller • Marcia and Thomas Morton • Elliott Oshry • Rosalyn Carol Richman • Richard and Carol Rosenthal • Mayda and Barry Roth • Lynn Rubenson • Selma P. Ryave• John and Denise Schiller • Carolyn Schwarz • Frank Schwarz • Jay Silberblatt • Edgar Snyder • The Solomon Family • Saul Straussman • Joseph and Phyllis G. Weinkle • Women of Temple Sinai • Ed and Lynda Wrenn • H. J. Zoffer • Ronnie Cook Zuhlke

*Of blessed memory


By The Kander Family
November 2019

“Please don’t forget me.” That was my Elly’s admonition to me as she knew the end was approaching. My immediate response was, “Please take that off of your worry list.” Ellen is a Hebrew name meaning “shining light,” and she was that and so much more. She lit up a room and a community, she welcomed the stranger and those who otherwise may have felt unwelcomed. She was funny, smart, beautiful, compassionate, loving, kind and pure of heart. She was an activist, doer, volunteer, and change maker, who stood up for any injustice crossing her path. She left legacies of non-profits she both created and volunteered for, that have literally transformed lives.

She was the perfect mother, always encouraging, worrying, teaching, yet finding for her children the perfect balance of support and independence. She was the most loving wife, partner, friend, aunt, and daughter. She loved our community and the Jewish agencies, including Temple Sinai, Hebrew Free Loan, Community Day School, the Jewish Community Center, and the Friendship Circle. All were made better by her involvement.

Temple Sinai was always there for our family during the best and worst of times. Elly and I were married at Temple Sinai, and all of our children’s B’nei Mitzvah were there. And during the entire year that Elly was battling cancer, Temple Sinai clergy provided comfort, guidance, spirituality, support, and a tremendous amount of love. They were there when we needed them most, and I’ll never forget their compassionate and loving hearts.

Elly constantly came to visit me through butterflies during the year after she passed. I am leaving this butterfly garden knowing she will continue to visit her children and grandchildren and continue to be our guardian angel.

My Elly had an absolute “glow” about her and although it has been seven years since her passing, her light still shines bright. May this garden serve as an eternal reflection of Elly’s life, beauty, and splendor, and may you all be touched by her shining light.

With Love and Appreciation,
The Kander Family


By Gina Faiola
October 2019

The beautiful season of fall is upon us and with it comes the communal exhale as we pause and reflect on the year we just traveled together. Personally speaking, this time of year is one I cherish as the days hold a sense of importance and weightiness inextricably bound to our High Holy Days calendar. The rush of summer plans behind me, the cool air, waning sun, and the taste of Jane Kahn’s Rosh Hashanah matzah ball soup always signals to me “t’shuva time!” In other words, a time to reflect on my actions and the happenings of the last year. 

It was a year ago, as I sat under a tree on Yom Kippur, praying, fasting, and waiting by my cellphone for updates on my ailing father’s broken hip surgery, that I thought, this year could be the one in which the book of life has one less “Faiola” name written, his. It was a hard truth to bear when his passing came only weeks later. He made it to the new year, but barely made it through the first chapter! The rush of support and love I felt from the Temple Sinai community at the time I needed it most cannot be overstated. I was bolstered by prayers, calls, tissues, sympathetic hand squeezes, and SO many hugs.

The kindness and mitzvot of the community then was especially bountiful, but as a member of Temple Sinai for the last several years, I’ve born witness to this generosity of spirit over and over again. Through its people, Temple Sinai has become my home. This despite the fact that I now call another Pennsylvania city home, one which is multiple hours and a long, boring stretch of turnpike away!

In seeking to kindle the flame of our community, I have chosen to pledge my support for the Life and Legacy fund, and include Temple Sinai in my estate plan. As a thirty-something, creating an estate plan has never been at the top of my to-do list. However, in honor of that special Faiola name that will no longer be written in that big, beautiful Book of Life, for me, this particular tzedekah is an indelible way to express my gratitude for this ever-evolving family of families.


By Leslie Fleisher
August 2019

In May, I had the privilege of attending the Life & Legacy conference in Springfield, Mass. Hosted by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, this three-day conference offered numerous opportunities to connect with and learn what other synagogues and various Jewish organizations across the US and Canada are doing to ensure a sustainable future for their respective communities. I was truly proud to represent Temple Sinai and share stories of our congregation’s inspiring and inclusive environment and innovative programing with fellow colleagues working to advance Jewish philanthropy.

Attending the Life & Legacy conference was personally meaningful for me as well as professionally enriching. When my life was altered by a shocking diagnosis of stage IV cancer in January of 2015 (from which I have thankfully been in remission since fall of 2016), I never imagined that only four years later I would be working in my dream job, dedicating my time and efforts towards advancing Temple Sinai’s sacred and deeply humane mission, which resonates so very much with my own values. Although it was not required to participate in the conference, it felt important to sign my own declaration of intent to support Temple Sinai before attending; it was an invaluable experience to learn and connect with the broader Jewish community as both a synagogue staff member and as a stakeholder in Pittsburgh’s Jewish future.

Considering my recent life experience, pledging a future gift to Temple Sinai by signing a Life & Legacy declaration of intent to remember — and be remembered by — this warm, inclusive, all-embracing organization was a surprisingly easy decision for me. While it can certainly be overwhelming, daunting, and emotional to think about the future when we are so busy trying to keep up with present 
concerns and the pressures of our daily lives, taking the first small step in defining our personal values can inspire important conversations with our loved ones about our shared Jewish heritage, hopes for the future, and how we would like to be remembered by our families, friends, and community.

I’m proud to know I’m helping to assure a Jewish tomorrow for Temple Sinai’s Family of Families. As a Legacy Circle member and staff member, thank you all for welcoming me so warmly into this wonderful community.


By Carol Rosenthal
May 2019

One Sunday morning I walked into Temple Sinai to drop my son off at Religious School. We were pretty new members and didn’t know many people. A woman approached me, introduced herself as Estelle Mann, and asked me if I would like to join the Steering Committee. I had no idea what the Steering Committee was at that time, but for some reason I said, “Yes.” It turned out that the Steering Committee was Women of Temple Sinai’s board, and that was the beginning of my involvement at Temple Sinai.

I began to meet people by volunteering for the Food Festival, the Gift Shop, and singing in the Intergenerational Choir. In fact I was at the Temple so often I was offered a job. After retiring, I began my volunteer career at the Temple. Many of my closest friendships were formed from my interactions with Temple members, which continue to this day.

Temple Sinai provided me with a community—my community—which has rallied around me in times of sorrow and loss and celebrated with me in times of joy. Besides my family, the Temple clergy have been my strongest support system.

But Temple Sinai is not only there for me. Temple Sinai is there for all those who need and want a place to belong. They do wonderful outreach so that we can learn about other communities and develop ongoing relationships. They provide a voice for those that need to be heard.

So I care deeply about Temple Sinai and its future. I feel a responsibility to help in any way I can to make sure future generations have the same opportunities that I have had and so the Temple can continue the great work they are doing. My husband and I have chosen to leave a legacy gift to Temple Sinai in our will. I hope you will, too.


By Louise Malakoff
April 2019

Our then mixed married family joined Temple Sinai in 1984, at a time when Sinai alone was known in the Jewish community for its warm welcome of mixed married families. Within days of becoming members and enrolling our children in the Religious School, I (the non-Jewish spouse) received a call from the chair of the Religious School Committee inviting me to join, and another call from a leader in the “Mixed Doubles” group, who welcomed me and also sent me recipes and transliterated blessings to help us celebrate our first High Holidays. 

Over the years, my sense of Temple Sinai as a family has only grown. I was supported and encouraged when I chose to convert to Judaism. I was entrusted with the responsibilities of congregational leadership. And, most importantly, like a true family, Temple clergy, staff, and members have been there for me through the sad and challenging times and have rejoiced with and for me in the happy times. I will never forget the celebration that my Temple family created for our adult B’nei Mitzvah and the sight of my seven-year-old granddaughter dancing with anyone who she could commandeer at the party.

I am also so proud of Temple Sinai’s commitment not only to its members, but to the greater good of the Pittsburgh community. Temple’s clergy and members are leaders on problems ranging from gun violence to religious tolerance to income and racial inequality. Temple is vocal in support of LGBTQ acceptance and the full societal incorporation of the disabled.

For all that Temple Sinai means to me and to the future of Judaism in Pittsburgh, I have included Temple in my estate plan, and I encourage others to help us plan for a long and influential future.



On Tuesday, April 30, the Jewish Federation of Great Pittsburgh’s Jewish Community Foundation hosted a donor-appreciation celebration to honor the more than 350 people who have made a legacy gift with the Grinspoon LIFE & LEGACY™ program. In the program’s first year, all participants raised more than $18 million for Jewish community organizations in Greater Pittsburgh.

Temple Sinai was awarded a total of $7,000 in grant funding from the Grinspoon Foundation—$5,000 for meeting our first year goal of 18 Legacy gifts and an additional $2,000 for exceeding that goal and reaching a total of 25 gifts. We are very proud to welcome nearly 70 individuals, couples, and families 
into Temple Sinai’s Legacy Circle! 

The greater goal of the Life & Legacy program is assuring Jewish tomorrows by taking the future in our hands today. We hope you will join this important initiative and help us reach our 2019–2020 goal of expanding our Legacy Circle by 18 new Legacy gifts, of which we already have four.

You, too, can be remembered forever by Temple Sinai through a gift in your will, retirement account, or life insurance policy. Contact Drew Barkley, Executive Director, at (412) 421-9715 ext. 111 or to learn more.

Front row (left to right): Denise Schiller, Philip Lehman, Drew Barkley, Laura Arnold, Cantor Laura Berman, Nancy Gale; Back row (left to right): Rabbi Jamie Gibson, Barbara Gibson, John Schiller, Joe Weinkle, Morgan Faeder, James Faeder, Leslie Fleisher, George Arnold, Laura Fehl, Lynn Rubenson, Carolyn Schwarz, Louise Malakoff, and Frank Schwarz 
(Photo: Joshua Franzos)


Sun, June 13 2021 3 Tammuz 5781