Our Mashpiah

It is truly a privilege to serve Temple Sinai as the Mashpiah.JoEllen at Zacs Bar Mitzvah

I love Temple Sinai and my Temple Family. Over the past 30 years I have been a member, board president, ritual committee chair, lay leader, beit midrash parent, beit midrash principal, and for the past 10 years, Mashpiah.

Mashpiah has a variety of translations, but most often the term is used to describe a companion, guide or spiritual director. A teacher on matters of Jewish faith and practice.

The role of the Mashpiah at Temple Sinai is to support the spiritual, pastoral, religious and educational needs of the Congregation through personal and communal prayer, study, teaching, pastoral care, life cycle rituals, celebrating and mourning.

I have the privilege of being present, celebrating and sometimes officiating at the most joyous as well as the saddest life cycle events: baby and child namings, bnei mitzvot, weddings, commitment ceremonies, house warmings, rituals to mark life’s many milestones, up to and including the times of mourning and grief.

I trained as a Spiritual Director in New Zealand with Spiritual Growth Ministries and have continued to study and teach at Advanced Jewish Spiritual Direction seminars and retreats overseas. I have recently completed the Jewish Meditation Teaching Training Program with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. I lead meditation groups within the Temple Family and in the wider Jewish and non-Jewish world.

I am dedicated to serious engagement with Jewish practice, study and worship and support of our congregants in their Jewish journey.

Acquire a companion for yourself…to reveal all your secrets, both in matters of Torah and in matters of the world.” (Avot de Rebbe Natan)