As the sole Jewish congregation in Champaign-Urbana, SInai Temple is pleased to offer the full range of life cycle services for its members. Rabbi Alan looks forward to working with your family to create moving and meaningful spiritual experiences to commemorate these important stages in your family’s life.
Sinai Temple has a well-stocked kitchen and banquet facilities that are used for many special events. If you are planning a simcha, such as a wedding or bar/bat mitzvah, and would like information regarding the use of the kitchen, contact the office. Someone will meet with you and provide orientation and information regarding regulations and requirements for individuals and caterers using the facilities.
Mazal tov on the birth of your child! We are happy to help arrange for ceremonies to welcome your son or daughter into the covenant of our people. Some choose to hold this celebration at Temple; others prefer to do it at home. At present, there are no mohalim residing in Champaign, but several are willing to travel from Chicago or St. Louis. Rabbi Alan is glad to help you make contact with the mohel who might best be suited to your family’s needs. He will also assist in the selection of a Hebrew name to honor or memorialize special people in your family’s past.
Bar & Bat Mitzvahs
Sinai Temple looks forward to celebrating this milestone with your family. Children mark their Bar or Bat Mitzvah on or around their 13th birthday. Students may choose to lead a service in the Reform style, or as part of our Egalitarian Traditional Minyan. It is expected that students be enrolled in our Religious School and Hebrew School program for a minimum of one year prior to the service. Please contact the Religious School office for the complete handbook to B’nai Mitzvah at Sinai Temple. Date selection is generally done in the January preceding the calendar year in which the service is to take place. Students prepare their Torah and Haftarah portions with the assistance of one of our approved tutors.
Congratulations on your engagement! Rabbi Alan looks forward to working with you to plan your special day, and to help you integrate into our congregation as you begin your married life. Because each wedding is so unique, and because Rabbi Alan’s schedule often fills quickly, you are encouraged to contact him as soon as possible so that he may have ample time to work with you in setting a date and preparing for your ceremony.
Both our chapel and sanctuary provide lovely venues for your wedding (as do our outdoor spaces, weather permitting). Please contact the Temple Administrator for information on facility rentals.
If your family has suffered a loss, we offer our sincere condolences.
Following the passing of a community member or the loved one of a community member, the Condolence Committee works together to organize, set up, and clean up the meal of condolence and shiva gatherings. While the committee is generally called on a handful of times during the year, it is an invaluable service. Volunteering as a member of the Condolence Committee is a meaningful way to give back at a time when support and community are needed most.
Sinai Temple has available burial plots in the Jewish portion of Mount Hope Cemetery. In addition, Champaign-Urbana has a Chevra Kadisha (Jewish burial society) that can do the ritual preparation of the body in coordination with the funeral director and Rabbi, if requested. The Cemetery Committee members, if requested, are available to provide unbiased information on funeral arrangements to family members or to provide information on pre-planning. The planning of a funeral, as with all other Temple life-cycle events, must be done in consultation with the Rabbi.
There are no exclusively Jewish funeral homes in C-U. All of the local funeral homes are familiar with Jewish funeral and burial customs and are able to work with your family and the Chevra Kadisha.
A report about the Jewish section of Mount Hope Cemetery is available as a PDF file and be obtained here.
In addition, memorial plaques can be purchased for the Wall of Remembrance in the Temple lobby, and names of departed family members can be placed on the Yarzheit list maintained by the Temple.