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Young Adult Corner Blog

December 2019/January 2020 ChaiLights

As Hanukkah approaches, we are also approaching the end of my first year as the Young Adult Engagement Director and the beginning of my second. I have met so many amazing people, worked on all kinds of unique events, and have tried some creative approaches to communication to make sure our young adult community is up to date. I am so proud of what we have been able to do this year, but none of that would be possible without the help of each and every community member who attended events, volunteered, served on committees, and helped me bring new folks into our young adult community. 

Thank you for one fantastic year! And now in honor of my one year anniversary at Temple Sinai, I need your feedback once again. 

  • How are Temple Sinai and I doing?
  • What cool events would you like to see us do that we haven’t yet tried? 
  • What can we do in this second year to make our Young Adult Program 
  • even better? 

Send me an email or give me a call and let me know. The future of our Young Adult Community is bright! I am so grateful to be a part of that, and I hope each and every one of you is beaming with pride too.

Rebekah Malkin
(412) 421-9715, ext. 121

September 2019 ChaiLights
Join Us for the High Holy Days!
he High Holy Days are just around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited! 

The Young Adult community here at Temple Sinai continues to grow and welcome new members and will continue to do so in the new year. 

And as the Young Adult Community continues to grow, we, as your Temple Sinai staff and lay leadership, will continue to grow to meet the needs of the community. For example, this year we will have our first intergenerational family services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur for kids, parents, and grandparents. This service will be perfect for families with kids from toddler to middle school age. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn and celebrate the holidays together as a family.

Another way we at Temple Sinai are meeting these new needs is by hosting our first Rosh Hashanah in the Park at Schenley Park. On September 22, we will come together for hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, and holiday spirit. 

All young adults are welcome to attend; bring your favorite side to share (vegetarian only please). For dessert we will have a very special Rosh Hashanah apples and honey taste test. Do you know the difference between Gala and Macintosh apples? How about between clover and alfalfa honey? This will be the perfect opportunity to meet some of the other young adults celebrating the High Holy Days at Temple Sinai. Keep an eye out for more details coming soon!

August 2019 ChaiLights
As our Young Adult community continues to grow at Temple Sinai, I want to take a moment to celebrate the spirit of welcoming that suffuses this special group of individuals and young families. Our ever-evolving community is committed to making every newcomer feel welcome in our shared Jewish home. Young Adult-driven programming such as Tot Shabbat, Shabbat After Hours, or special holiday events like this year’s Purim carnival, enlivens our vibrant community of Temple Sinai, and expands our Mishpacha Ruchanit, or spiritual family. I’m so thankful to each and every person who has made 
the effort to make this spirit of welcoming such a fundamental value of our community.

It is very telling that our most popular young adult events—Tot Shabbat and Shabbat After Hours—are both based around Shabbat. The spirit of welcoming has always been associated with Shabbat, whether it be welcoming the Shabbat Dinosaur at Tot Shabbat, or welcoming the Shabbat Bride in our Friday Evening Service before Shabbat After Hours. Shabbat is the time when we welcome one another with open hearts and minds. The connections we make create a strong foundation on which we can continue to build for all of our current young adults and young families, as well as for those who come after us. 

I’m so proud to be a member of Temple Sinai’s Young Adult Community, and I am excited for all of the special gatherings and opportunities to rejoice in our Jewish heritage together over the coming year. 

June/July 2019 ChaiLights

Innovation, inspiration, and inclusion. Those are the values that guide our community. And in the spirit of those high ideals, we are so excited to announce that we will be giving our young adult section on the Temple Sinai website a facelift so our online presence can best reflect our values. 

Innovate. How do you access most websites nowadays? I use my phone and I bet you do too. One way we will be innovating our online presence is by creating a phone app for Temple Sinai. Soon you’ll be able to pay your pledge, sign up for dinners, and check the directory quickly and easily from your mobile device.

Inspire. The theme for the new young adult webpage will be Mishpacha Ruchanit or “spiritual family.” We are so proud of the spiritual family that we have all created at Temple Sinai, and our new online presence will be a reflection of that. We hope to inspire excitement and capture the same infectious energy of a Shabbat After Hours or a Mostly Musical Shabbat online.

Inclusion. Most importantly, this website is about you! What do you think makes a website inclusive or welcoming? What can we do to make you feel like you are heard and your input is valued? Let us know! You can contact me at or (412) 421-9715 ext. 121. 

That’s just a taste of what’s to come. So keep an eye out. Coming to a computer (and a phone) near you soon!

May 2019 ChaiLights

We don’t know everyone’s names (the name tags help), but there are so many familiar faces at Temple Sinai. We treasure the warmth, sincerity, and humor of this community and are honored to be a part of it. Temple Sinai is a haven from the isolation and stress imposed by workaday life. It’s a place for us to see and be seen by others. It’s a space apart—a place to embrace community and engage deeply with the world. 

We particularly love celebrating Shabbat at Temple Sinai as a departure from workweeks full of deadlines and hurried greetings. At services and onegs, we experience moments of rest and joy but also take time to engage with challenging and serious topics. In addition to the regular weekly programming, we’ve enjoyed a wide range of activities at Temple Sinai. From the WoTS cooking classes to the Adult Purim Carnival to the Young Adults Shabbat After Hours events, we have 
found much to enjoy and many new friends. Maybe one day we’ll learn everyone’s names!

December 2018-January 2019 ChaiLights

We are very excited to welcome Rebekah Malkin to be Temple Sinai’s first Young Adult Engagement Director.  

The 2017 Pittsburgh Jewish Community Study indicated that one of the largest and fastest growing segments of Pittsburgh’s Jewish population is young adults. Young adults, broadly defined as between the ages of 22 and 45, primarily live in Squirrel Hill, Oakland, Shadyside, East Liberty, and other East End neighborhoods. The survey also pointed out that the Young 
Adult community is interested in learning about and in being involved Jewishly. In other words, the Young Adult Jewish community lives all around Temple Sinai. To assure Temple Sinai’s future, it is imperative to build relationship bridges with every aspect of the young adult Jewish population. They are the future.

We are proud that Rebekah Malkin is joining the Temple Sinai. Primarily utilizing social media for marketing communications and through one on-one-meetings, Rebekah will create and implement the mission, values, and strategies of a young adult brand. She will design and implement an imaginative and creative outreach to build a young adult community including unaffiliated Jews and their partners and families. 

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining the Temple Sinai community! I’m from North Carolina where I was a member of Beth Meyer synagogue and I’m a graduate of William Peace University in Raleigh, NC. I’ve spent the last three years working for the National MS Society. I love connecting with people and learning more about them. I look forward to bringing that passion to Temple Sinai and Pittsburgh.”
Our sincere gratitude to the Search Committee for their tireless dedication to finding the right person for this very important position. Many thanks to Elizabeth and Michael Collura, Gina Faiola, Josh Lederer, Philip Lehman, Lynn Rubenson, Rebekah Siegel, and Samantha Skobel.

Sun, June 13 2021 3 Tammuz 5781