History & Vision

In the 1920s, a group of Jewish women in Glendale dreamed of creating a place where their children could learn about their religion and their heritage. They rented a room above a Ralph’s grocery store where local Jewish families could gather for services, lessons and community. Ten years later, these families raised enough money to purchase a permanent location – a small house in south Glendale that they named the Sinai Community Center.

As participation in the little shul grew, people began dreaming of building a synagogue large enough to serve not only the present Jewish community of Glendale but also its future. In the 1940s, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations informed the Sinai community that if they could find ten families willing to commit themselves to such a vision they would receive an official Reform Charter. Ten families stepped up. Land was purchased on Pacific Avenue. A full-time rabbi was found. And in 1949 a spacious new synagogue was erected… thanks to the love, investment and actual sweat of the whole community.

From that day to this, Temple Sinai has never stopped growing. Our membership has broadened to encompass Jews from Burbank, Pasadena, the Foothills, and beyond. The building has undergone major expansions and improvements in 1963, 1998, and more recently in 2017.  We have welcomed many brilliant and forward-thinking clergy, including Carole Meyers, who in 1986 became the first female Rabbi in Southern California to lead a congregation full-time. Rabbi Rick Schechter came to lead the congregation in 2005, and Cantor Allison Weiss in 2022. Throughout this nearly century-long history we’ve been led by a series of core values which give us meaning and purpose:

Tefillah – Sacred Worship

Torah – Lifelong Learning

Simchah – Joyous Celebration

Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World

Mishkan – Sacred Space for All Ages

Brit Olam – Sustaining Jewish Continuity

Kehillah Kedoshah – Building Community

Ahavat Ger – Welcoming Interfaith Families

Ahavat Yisrael – Connection to Israel and the Jewish People

We welcome you to come learn more about Temple Sinai and experience a community of warmth, acceptance and spiritual growth for all Southern California Jews.