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High Holy Day Appeal 2019/5780

If you missed Sally’s passionate appeal on Kol Nidre, here is the video and text:


You can give by cheque made out to 'Sinai Synagogue', cash or BACS transfer to the Sinai accountsort code: 40-27-14 , account no. 61504606.

Please contact the office if you want further details on 0113 266 5256 or leave a message and your call will be returned.

Whatever you feel able to give, please make it a priority for these HHD’s.

Giving should not just be about money, however important financial support is. We can all make more of an effort to reach out to someone and discover their story. You may be surprised, intrigued and inspired. Take a deep breath, speak to someone you wouldn’t normally say more than “Hello” or “Shabbat shalom” to.
Let us make 5780 a year of being a Community that Cares about each other.

For more information on both charities please click on the links below:

Communities that Care (RJ)

Leeds Jewish Welfare Board

I am honoured to be asked to give the HHD appeal this year.


I am aware that we all give to charities that are close to our hearts. What we need to keep in mind is that the HHD appeal is a communal donation. A community effort to give generously to our chosen charities. You may feel that you give enough on a personal level to your favourite charities, but a communal donation is a gesture from the Sinai Community as a whole and the amount we raise reflects on all us, whether we give or not. The two charities we are supporting will have some meaning to everyone here and are making a tangible difference to the quality of life of people in all sectors of our community.

I would like us to think about what being part of a community means to each of us. What we give to our immediate and extended community and what we get back from it.


The two charities chosen this year are both about community involvement and enabling people to be a part of a community, improving access to care, support and well-being, something we may take for granted, but which can be out of reach to many people.
Our Sinai community has been through many ups and downs over the years and particularly in the recent past, but we have made efforts to come together and help each other in many ways.


Strengthening our own immediate community is essential and enriching. Offering help and support to others in the wider community and allowing them to thrive and feel valued, is just as or even more essential.


Which brings me to one of the charities we are donating to this year - Leeds Jewish Welfare Board.


LJWB offers services to the Leeds community, which any of us may already have needed, are needing or will need at some time in our lives. The scope of LJWB is wide. They offer care of the elderly, social services, support with housing, help for young families, for people living with learning or physical disabilities and for those with mental health problems.


Every person should have the right to live with dignity and in safety, be enabled to have a purpose and fulfil their potential. Those who find themselves struggling to survive socially, financially, physically or mentally in our increasingly complex society, need somewhere to turn. LJWB is that “somewhere”.
Those of us who can count ourselves lucky to feel safe and secure within a family, in stable accommodation with a regular income, may find it hard to imagine living alone, seeing no one, with no money for heating or choosing between eating and paying fuel bills. Physical discomfort may be outweighed by the feeling of isolation which disability and low income contributes to.


The problem is growing, but before we begin to feel overwhelmed, we should acknowledge the work that Leeds JewishJeweish Welfare Board are doing to tackle these increasing needs There are numerous volunteers providing support by befriending, offering practical skills to engage people, transporting the isolated to activities and community meals, entertaining, cooking, offering advice or just a listening ear. LJWB needs our donation to help keep all these services running. Increasing costs make the size of our communal donation even more important.


Our second charity is supporting an initiative called “Communities that Care” I am struck by how important that title is.


It is the chosen HHD Charity for Reform Judaism (our umbrella organisation) which in previous years has tackled loneliness and isolation, but last year and this, has focussed on mental health. Increasing understanding of mental health problems and offering education is central to this initiative. This is not just an understanding of those affected by severe and enduring mental health problems, but also realising that we are all affected by poor mental health at some time in our lives and need to recognise when we, ourselves, need help, or when others around us may be struggling.


Teaching our young people about mental health and resilience is vital for their future mental health. Reform Judaism has made it one of their priorities to inform and engage young people in dealing with poor mental health and the stresses they encounter in their complex world of social media, unrealistic expectations and uncertainty for their future.


Look around you. We are a community, we meet and talk, but we probably don’t realise what individuals in our immediate community are going through at any one time. Who is struggling and may be unable to ask for help? Asking someone how they REALLY feel is hard. We may risk rejection or hostility, but we may possibly allow them to share a problem and enable them to seek the right sort of help.


You may have heard the term It is having some knowledge of where to signpost them for help and support; or offering to find out. It may be the beginning of helping someone get the right support to recover their equilibrium and move on with their life.


Reform Judaism through the Communities that Care initiative is providing:
Mental Health First Aid training to communities and youth, as well as training for Youth Advocates, to deliver peer-led workshops in Reform communities to raise awareness, reduce stigma and promote good self-care. “Mental Health First Aid”is not about offering therapy, but is about recognising the signs of stress, sadness and low mood and feeling able to start a conversation with someone.


They are also providing:
Safeguarding training and networking meetings for community members and Rabbis as well as a subsidised conference.
The initiative is about improving everyone’s understanding of mental health, reaching out and supporting each other within our communities and gaining skills to recognise when and how to help ourselves and others.


There is more information available on the website about this initiative and the conference which took place in May this year.


As a community it would be amazing to be able to offer a combined donation which exceeds previous years. As a community let’s all make the decision to give more than we did last year and raise an amount that truly reflects us as the Sinai community.


We can make a significant difference to the important work both charities are doing for our community and many others.


You can give by cheque, cash or BACS transfer to the Sinai account. Whatever you feel able to give, please make it a priority for these HHD’s.
Giving should not just be about money, however important financial support is. We can all make more of an effort to reach out to someone and discover their story. You may be surprised, intrigued and inspired. Take a deep breath, speak to someone you wouldn’t normally say more than “Hello” or “Shabbat shalom” to.
Let us make 5780 a year of being a Community that Cares about each other.

For more information on both charities please click on the links below:

Communities that Care (RJ)

Leeds Jewish Welfare Board


Shana Tova and Chatima Tova

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