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1974-Present

 
 

Rabbi Fierman's health declined beginning in the mid-1970s, and a new Rabbi, Edward Cohn (z"l) led Temple Mount Sinai from 1976 until 1980. As was the case throughout our movement, this was a period of change at Temple, with the Classical Reform style embraced during the Fierman years making way for youth groupers holding guitars,and a greater emphasis on Hebrew in prayer.

In 1980, Rabbi Ken Weiss came to El Paso, where he served until his retirement in 2002. His was a tenure marked by an emphasis on Jewish peoplehood, including Israel (congregational trips were held in 1982 and 1995), and by a passion for youth engagement. Rabbi Weiss was a lifelong devotee of URJ Camping and Youth Grouping. It was during Rabbi Weiss's tenure that Temple first explored a two-clergy model. Rabbis Mark Goldfarb and Larry Bach, and Cantor Judith Ovadia, all served alongside Rabbi Weiss. During his tenure we undertook a campaign to refresh and renovate our building, and celebrated our ninetieth (cinqo de chai!) and one-hundredth anniversaries. The centennial was marked by a year of festivities, and the commisioning of a sefer torah.

With Rabbi Weiss's retirement in 2002, Rabbi Larry Bach became the seventh Senior Rabbi of Temple Mount Sinai. His tenure was a time for reaching out into our El Paso community in interfaith learning and action; continuing our strong connection to Israel (with five congregational trips between 2004 and 2010); and embracing a more participatory musical culture, driven by our lay choir, Shir Chadash (established in 1992). A 2007 fundraising campaign, "Shared Vision," grew Temple's endowment significantly, allowing us to engage Rabbi Sandra Bellush in 2011. Rabbi Bellush's  devotion to our city's interfaith effort to alleviate hunger allowed her to make a tremendous impact during her tenure.

With Rabbi Bach and Rabbi Bellush's departure in June 2015, our search for our tenth rabbi ended when we found Rabbi Ben Zeidman, who had served as assistant and associate rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.  Rabbi Zeidman has been with Temple Mount Sinai since July 2015.

From our earliest years as a frontier outpost, through the middle years of the twentieth century, and on to the present era, Temple has grown and thrived in accordance with changing times.