Temple Sinai

Oakland, California, USA

Areas of Inclusion: Adults in Communal Life, Advocacy & Community Partnerships, Architectural & Physical Accommodations and Transportation, B’nai Mitzvah, Blindness, Religious School, and Worship

About the Congregation

Temple Sinai

2808 Summit Street

Oakland, CA 94609

Number of Congregants: 1700

Contact Information

Neil Jacobson, Access Committee


Temple Sinai is a vibrant community with many exciting opportunities to find meaningful connections.  We are here to help you explore and connect with the people, programs, classes, and diverse opportunities that make our congregation the warm and inclusive place that it is.

With a population that has grown from 550 in 1990 to nearly 1000 member families today, Temple Sinai remains a vibrant contributor to the life of Oakland and a vital part of its members’ lives.

Our clergy lead services, teach classes, provide pastoral counseling, visit the sick and officiate at lifecycle events. Our many social action programs reflect our deep commitment to Tikkun Olam, the “repair of the world”. We are also a caring community that reaches out to each other in times of celebration and sadness.

We invite you to join us. Our members are Jews by birth, Jews by choice, interfaith families, and those wishing to learn more about Judaism. Our congregation includes singles and families of all configurations. We welcome all cultural backgrounds, ethnic heritages and sexual orientations. We strive to be an accessible congregation – welcoming those with physical and learning disabilities. We welcome all people on their Jewish Journey.

Inclusion Programming

Does this congregation have an inclusion committee?


Developing Our Program

A great webinar featuring Temple Sinai's Path to Access and Inclusion is available on this site by clicking on the link below.

Number of people involved in the effort: 100

Involving People with Disabilities

Leaders of the Access Committee have always been people with disabilities. All educational programs regarding disability awareness have always included people with disabilities.

Funding This Effort

The Access Committee Report, which made recommendations on ways to improve both attitudinal and structural access within the congregation, was approved and accepted by the Temple Sinai Board of Trustees on May 19, 2004. Shortly after, our committee successfully lobbied for the adoption of a By-law amendment to secure a permanent seat for the Chairperson of the Access Committee on the temple board, ensuring that issues regarding accessibility and inclusion would always have representation.

Helpful Agencies & Organizations

For our new building, we brought in people from the Center for Independent Living (CIL) in Berkeley as well as the ADA coordinator for the City of Berkeley to review our accessibility plans.

List of Helpful Agencies & Organizations

Spreading Awareness About Our Work

There are people with disabilities who are very active in all aspects of Temple Sinai. We help ensure Temple Sinai and our community continues to strive to be an inclusive environment.

Process & Sharing

Marketing Documents Indicating Our Commitment to Inclusion

History, Materials & Processes that Guided Our Approach

The video Neil Jacobson made for the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center is available by clicking on the link below. The Temple Sinai Access Committee Report, a drash by Rabbi Andi Berlin, and a drash by Denise Jacobson are available as documents below.

Evidence of Successful Inclusion Efforts

We have people with visual disabilities and a person with a developmental disability in the choir. We have a person with a disability on the Board of Trustees. We have a rabbi with disabilities teaching adult education classes. We have people with invisible disabilities making their needs known. People with disabilities have traveled to Israel with Rabbi Chester and other members of our congregation.

Evidence of Changing Attitudes

At Temple Sinai, people with disabilities are now seen as active, vibrant members of the community who are expected to participate in all aspects of Temple life.

How We're Using and Sharing the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center

On February 13th we presented the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center at our annual Disability Awareness Discussion. The clergy, senior staff and the Board are aware of this site and the contributions Rabbi Mates-Muchin, and Neil and Denise Jacobson have made to the site.

Future Inclusion Efforts

We have attached the Access Committee's 2015 goals. We want to see more children with disabilities in Temple Sinai's preschool and religious school. We're starting to have teens read and record books from our library so they can be enjoyed by people with visual disabilities. We want the religious community to partner with the Disability Community in our continuing fight for civil rights, which now includes Social Security reform.

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