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      The Future of Reform Judaism in Stamford

The only thing missing is YOU!           



FAQ about Circles

All things Circles!

What is the
purpose of Circles?

What is my commitment to Circles?

How often do Circles meet?


How many Circles can I sign up for?


Can we create a
standard Brit for all the Circles?


How and when can I register for Circles?


What if I miss the sign-up deadline?


New Circle information 

Sinai Circle Fair, Sunday Sept. 10, 2023, 11:00am

Sinai Circles are congregant-led small groups, comprised of 12-14 congregants, which meet on a regular basis throughout the year. These self-selecting affinity groups serve to intersect shared interests and Jewish values. Sinai Circles provide a safe and nurturing community within our community and participants experience meaningful connections and powerful personal growth. If you would like more information or have an idea for a new circle, please contact Larry Stoogenke.

2023/2024 Circle Leaders 

  Sinai Circles Leaders 2023/2024




Sinai Circles for 5784



Leader: Carolyn Ginsberg
1st Tuesday of the month, 2:30-4:00pm, at Temple Sinai

Our Circle is happily embarking on our fourth cycle!  As we continue to learn about the historical and current manifestations of racism against Blacks, we will examine our own thoughts and feelings as we learn. We regularly consider new ideas for discussion and possible action. We welcome congregants who have been on their own paths of racial awareness to join us. 


BOOK CLUB (with a focus on worldwide cultural exploration) CIRCLE

Leaders: Martha Kramer
3rd Sunday of the month, 1:00-2:30pm, at Temple Sinai

Explore various cultures through fiction with us! In this Temple Sinai Circle, we will meet monthly to discuss short stories or novels through the lens of what they teach us about different cultures, as well as our own. Our first selection will focus on Judaism, but later books could explore other cultures, such as South American, Indian, Chinese or others suggested by the circle members. Make friends while learning and enjoying noshes. Questions –


CINEMA CIRCLES - 2 separate circles)

Leader: Carl Rosen
4th Sunday of the month, 4:00-5:30pm, at Temple Sinai
Leader: Glenn Wolff 
4th Sunday of the month, 1:00-2:30pm, atTemple Sinai

Movies affect many of us powerfully and can elicit deep feelings and help us reflect on our lives or the lives and culture of others. Movies are often a mirror image of society and can be inspirational and expand our knowledge of the world and attitudes around us. Current and classic movies will serve as a background for discussion on a wide variety of topics. Movies will be selected by the Circle members.



 Leader: Joan Madison
4th Tuesday of the month, 7:00-8:30pm, at Temple Sinai

Do you love, appreciate, want to hear and learn about classical music? If so, this Circle is for you! We will share our favorite works, listen together, react, enjoy, and expand our knowledge in the process. All ideas are welcome as we strive to create a meaningful experience. There are no musical requirements.



Leader: Joan Kranz
1st Saturday of the month, 11:00-12:30pm, at Temple Sinai

Explore how democracy works and how you can make a difference. We will work with Vote Forward (, which is dedicated to empowering grassroots volunteers, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to vote and to participate in our democracy. A diverse community of volunteers from all over the country has written millions of letters to voters since 2018. Vote Forward has results that show voter turnout can be increased by up 3.4 percentage points. 

Vote Forward templates are nonpartisan, encouraging the recipient to vote and providing important election information. Volunteers, regardless of their political leanings, are instructed not to reference candidates or political parties in the personal messages they write.



Leader: Robin Himelstein
2nd Wednesday of the month, 6:30-8:00pm, Offsite

Get together with other women of Temple Sinai once a month for relaxing conversation, good food, and strong bonding. What more can you ask for? 



Leaders: Carol Lilienthal and Edith Samers
2nd Monday, 7:30-9:00pm, location TBD
Curious about all things that make Israel and the Jewish community so exciting? Let’s explore the fascinating developments in Israel’s society: government, arts, scientific and medical achievements, as well as conflicts and challenges. We’ll also dive into the growing antisemitism and other challenges that the American Jewish community faces, especially on college campuses. Expect guest speakers for some of the meetings.



Leader: Joanna Frank
Friday, October 13th at 5:30-7:00pm
Saturday, November 11th at 9:30-11:00am
Saturday, December 9th from 4:30-6pm (Hanukkah party)
Sunday, January 14th, after Hebrew School
Thursday, February 8th, 5:30pm-7:00pm
Friday, March 8th, 5:30pm-7pm
Saturday, April 20th, 9:30am-11am
Sunday, May 19th after Hebrew School

The Family Fun Circle is like a youth group for young families! Once a month, we will get together and participate in a fun activity. Apple and pumpkin picking, a playground playdate, or sharing Shabbat dinner together, are some of the endless possibilities to have tons of fun. Recommended ages: families with children 1—5 years old.



Leader: Rachel Hager
1st Sunday of the month, 5:30-7:00pm, at Temple Sinai

Come, bring the kids, and get to know other families in an informal and fun way. We’ll meet at the Temple grounds (inside or the ‘backyard’) to taste our way through local pizzerias. Many of us are busy with drop offs/pickups, and this is a great opportunity to pause and get to know some of the Sinai families. By the end of the Circle cycle, hopefully we will have crowned a pizza winner and made new family friends.


GROUP STUDY OF the book GOD IS HERE by Rabbi Tova Spitzer CIRCLE: Let’s reimagine the Divine together

 Leader: Moira Morrissey
4th Saturday of the month, 10:15-11:45am, at Temple Sinai
We will explore metaphors for God found in our sacred texts using Rabbi Spitzer’s book as the framework. The purpose is to help enable us to better access experiences of divinity. These experiences encompass all aspects of our lives—joy and sorrow, birth and death, love and anger, compassion and hard heartedness—and because the divine is not easily accessible, we need a multitude of metaphors. We will ‘try on’ the idea of God as something other than the King/Judge/Big Person. There is no belief or disbelief in any concept of God required to participate. We will use the meditations and practices suggested in Rabbi Spitzer’s book as a way of deepening our spiritual practice and communal worship.


Grown up Game Night CIRCLE

 Leader: Glenn Harper
3rd Wednesday of the month, 7:30-9:00pm, at Temple Sinai

Tabletop games are so much more than Monopoly and Uno.  Modern board and card games use strategy, creativity, quick-thinking, bluffing skills, off-color humor or even just a willingness to be silly!  Come enjoy a grown-up evening of fun as we play a variety of games like Apples to Apples, Ticket to Ride, Tellustrations, Castle Panic, and of course Card Against Humanity.  And whatever else may be in your closet!  We'll meet once a month to try a new set of fun and exciting games! 



Leader: Betsy Stone
1st Wednesday of the month, 7:00-8:30pm, at Temple Sinai

Looking for some intellectual discussion? The Atlantic Monthly is a periodical full of interesting and thought-provoking articles. Recent issues had articles about Mel Brooks, Lara Logan and her break with reality, the limits of liberalism and the impact of Moneyball on baseball. This Circle will meet monthly to discuss one or more articles from recent Atlantic issues. Join Betsy Stone for thoughtful conversations!



Leaders: Randy Skigen and Eric Morson
2nd Tuesday of the month, 7:00-8:30pm, at Temple Sinai

We’ll meet monthly to discuss our local government’s inner workings, invite local leaders to discuss current political issues as well as the future of Stamford and the region. This Circle will be co-led by Randy Skigen, a 22-year former member and President of the Board of Representatives, and Eric Morson, a current member and Deputy Majority Leader of the Board of Representatives.



Leaders: Ellen Jacobson and Ronnie Lilien
3rd Saturday of the month, 11:15-12:45am, at Temple Sinai
Would you like the tools to help navigate life’s challenges? For centuries, meditation has been a core practice around the world to help people uplift their lives and transform their experience of daily living. Join our monthly circle as we practice different meditation techniques including guided imagery, mantra, chanting, mindful breathing, moving meditations and more all with the wonderful energy of practicing in a group. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn



Leader: David Swerdloff
Dates and times TBD

Looking to read books that are so engaging that you can’t wait to discuss them with others? The Men’s Book Club Circle is designed to discover books that are suitable for conversation, learning and fostering deeper relationships with others who share the passion for reading and conversation. Discussions will reflect the Jewish “angle” or theme or other related aspect of the book that can be either fiction or non-fiction. Join us to make new friends and add a new dimension to your enjoyment of reading.



Aaron Levenson
3rd Tuesday of the month, 7:00-8:30pm, Offsite, variable fee for each meeting

Be a part of the new craze and join us for pickleball games. We can play singles or doubles. 

It’s fun, easy to learn, a great way to get exercise and socialize. There’s a reason it’s the fastest growing sport in the world! No need to purchase equipment, the venues should have them available for a nominal fee. A fee will be required to secure court time.



Leader: Cantor Micah Morgovsky
1st Monday of the month, 6:00-7:30pm, at Temple Sinai

Join Cantor Micah as we delve deeper into the liturgy of Shabbat. We’ll begin each session with a contemplative niggun. We’ll read a close translation of the prayer, and explore various interpretations and creative reimagining of each text. We’ll then set out, each one of us, to write our own poetic version of the prayer, making it our own and weaving our stories with these ancient texts.



Leader: Marian Freed
Dates and times TBD

Do you feel squeezed? Caring for both your children (young or grown) and your parents (near or far) financially and/or emotionally can be challenging. How do we take care of everyone and still make sure we have the support we need for ourselves? What resources are out there? When do we ask for help and what is that help? Join our Circle and share with others who know how difficult but also rewarding it can be. 



Leader: Jessica Kooris
2nd Sunday of the month, 11:30-1:00pm, Offsite

We invite you to join our monthly Circle which meets right after Religious School on Sundays. If you’re looking for fun and excitement, get ready for a series of local seasonal adventures that will create unforgettable memories. Apple picking in the golden autumn, navigating through tricky corn mazes, thrilling ice-skating sessions, and feeling the adrenaline rush as we go snow tubing! Each adventure will be a blend of laughter, camaraderie, and exploration.



Circle Leaders: Connie Elkinson and Everett Shaw
2nd Friday of the month, 5:30-7:15pm, Temple Sinai

Let’s grow together as we celebrate Shabbat with a meal and free flowing conversation. This Circle will meet once a month. We hope that after dinner, we can attend services together.



Leader: Phil Garmun
Dates and times TBD 

Are you looking for an exciting opportunity to learn about card collecting and discuss the fun and business sides of sports cards and the Pokémon trading card game? We are thrilled to offer a unique learning experience. Join us as we delve into the rich history of sports cards collecting, whether it be collecting your favorite athletes and teams, understanding their values, the art of trading, and how to best invest in the card market. We’ll also explore collecting the captivating card game of Pokémon, learning about the various species, their abilities, and the intricacies of the trading card game. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned collector, this opportunity promises to be an enriching and unforgettable journey.



Leaders: Elisabeth Giles and  Leigh Claypool
3rd Saturday of the month, 9:30-11:00am, at Temple Sinai

The goal of the Tikkun Olam Circle is to create relationships while giving back to the community. Whether it is a beach cleanup, a trail cleanup, or putting together necessity bags for the shelters, this Circle will be sure to fill your mitzvah needs! Come and spend a few hours once a month in service with new friends! All ideas are encouraged and welcomed.



Leader: Nan Gordon
4th Monday of the month, 7:00-8:30pm, at Temple Sinai

In this Circle, group members will encourage one another to become healthier either through exercise, diet, food choices, reducing unhealthy habits, etc. The Circle will be designed to assist and encourage each member to set long and short-term goals. There is NO specific plan for the whole group. Each member will be setting their own plan and pace and using other members for advice and encouragement.


Wine and . . . Circle

Circle Leader: Belinda Sheets
4th Wednesday of the month, 7:00-8:30pm, Offsite

Wine pairings offer different experiences to your sense of smell and taste. They can be sweet, they can be dry or sparkling! They will offer a quick or more long lasting memory against your palate. We will pair our choice of wines with food and meaningful discussions which all align to the theme of the evening. We will be capturing our thoughts in a journal as a memory of our circle. 



Circle Leader: Mike Kadish
1st Tuesday of the month, 7:00-8:30pm, at Temple Sinai

Have a half-finished novel manuscript in your drawer? Looking for time to write that memoir? Trying to find a space to think through a picture book you want to publish? Give yourself the time you need to tell that special story…and to support others as they share their creative voices. All genres are welcome – we have had memoirs, fiction for adults and young people, humor, blog posts, and graphic novels!


NOTE: no Circle meeting will conflict with another circle.


Registration opens September 10, 2023 at 11:00 am (in conjunction with the Circles Fair and Smokin' BBQ) 


Click here to register

Sat, July 13 2024 7 Tammuz 5784