For thousands of years, Judaism has recognised the birth of a baby as a joyous occasion and welcomed new life into the Jewish covenant with rituals and blessing. 

The Movement for Reform Judaism provides medically trained and qualified mohalim (circumcisers) to officiate at Brit Milah (circumcision) ceremonies. The mohel attached to Sinai Synagogue (and other Northern Reform communities) is Dr Nigel Zoltie. 

Bar/Bat Mitzvah (‘Son/Daughter of the Commandments’) refers to the religious coming-of-age of a young person and the attendant ceremony and celebration held in the synagogue. A bar or bat mitzvah assumes his or her religious obligations and can be counted in the minyan (prayer quorum). Traditionally, girls would come of age at twelve and boys at thirteen but in the Reform Jewish tradition, the age for both genders has been equalised at thirteen. 

Few moments carry as much meaning in an individual’s life than the commitment of marriage. Judaism deeply values the faithful companionship of marriage and our community rejoices in the creation of a ‘bayit ne’eman b’Yisrael’ – a new family among the Jewish people. 

When a member of Sinai passes away, the bereaved family should first call the undertakers (Adrian Benson at Bensons) on 0113 276 0077 to speak with Adrian to make the initial arrangements. The Rabbi, or a member of the Sinai community, will contact you too, or you can call the Sinai office (0113 2665256).

(If the office is closed, you will hear a message providing appropriate phone numbers)

As the UK Government has slowly begun to relax guidelines relating to Covid-19, so too have various organisations begun relaxing the most stringent regulations preventing mourners from being present for cremations or burials. As of this past week (1.6.20) the Movement for Reform Judaism in the UK along with the Joint Jewish Burial Society and the Assembly of Reform Rabbis in the UK have all voted to transition away from a strict “no mourner” policy to a slightly relaxed policy of a small amount of mourners made up of immediately family. In accordance with this and the Leeds City Council number of 10 mourners allowed at funerals, Sinai will as well relax our guidelines, but with strict options and conditions.

Our tradition demands that we mourn together. Indeed, some of our most cherished prayers require a minyan, a group of at least ten adult Jews gathered together. At the same time, the wisdom of our tradition requires that in times of danger to our health, that even our most strict laws are bent or even broken.