Rabbi Fine was hired by Temple of Aaron in 2012 to be their Assistant Rabbi and in 2014 was promoted to Associate Rabbi and acting Head Rabbi. In 2017 he officially became the Senior Rabbi. Temple of Aaron is a staple in St. Paul Minnesota with a rich 100+ history. ToA prides itself on an innovated yet traditional approach to Jewish rituals, spirituality, and learning. ToA is 800+ family Conservative synagogue and a proud member of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, a former affiliate of Big Tent Judaism and participant in the Life & Legacy Project of the Grinspoon Foundation. TUSY (Temple of Aaron USY) is the chapter where USY began and was proud to be the 2016 EMTZA Region Chapter of the Year. Below are a few projects that have led Temple of Aaron over the last 8+ years.
The 100 Project
After attending the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s Centennial Conference in October 2013, Rabbi Fine responded with a pledge to help bring Conservative Jews closer to their community, meaning, and God. Below are the 100 people/families that Rabbi Fine will be taking to coffee, calling for Shabbat, and having for dinner. All of these gatherings are outside of regular pulpit duties. They are people he is initiating contact with just to meet. The UJA and Jewish Journal both ran articles about the project.
Modern Look Into Israel
2015 Rabbi Fine created a new opportunity for Temple of Aaron with a Free Trip to Israel. But unlike Birthright or a family trip, this adventure was a modern look into Israel through technology, agriculture, arts, and more. 15 adults ages 25-45 spend a week experiencing and grappling with Israel in the 21st century. The amazing experience allows for young families and professionals to bond and immediately contribute back to the synagogue. Trip #2 took place December of 2016 and Trip #3 (Culinary and Art) took place December 2018.
5 for Fridays
In an attempt to reach all 900+ families more frequently, one of Rabbi Fine’s first initiatives was to great the 5 for Fridays program. Every week Rabbi Fine calls, at random, five families to merely wish them a “Shabbat Shalom.” The program has been a nice way for outreach and people look forward to the phone calls.
AIPAC Policy Conference & More
Rabbi Fine has helped Temple of Aaron formulate a new Israel Committee. Part of its accomplishments has been Israel education and advocacy. ToA raised its participation in AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference to 30-50 congregants and hosts nearly 10 tables at the annual Minnesota event. Most importantly ToA’s High School confirmation trip now attends the conference. Through Rabbi Fine’s initiative, together with 5 other teen groups, AIPAC now offers more breakout sessions for teens.
Space – Playground, Lounge, and More!
Maybe Rabbi Fine’s biggest passion is making sure space at the synagogue is inviting and versatile.
- Library – The synagogue library has been modernize. There is a space for children’s books and cozy corner to read. A big screen smart TV was added for classes via Skype and other projects.
- Playground – Rabbi Fine designed and secured a brand new Noah’s Arc Playground which can be used for fun and education!
- USY Board Room – The new space allows for all sorts of creative and recreation for our award winning teens.
- Chapel – By removing permanent seats and other items the chapel is now used for tefillah, learning, and youth services. Many more configurations for seating is now possible for services in the round, classes of all sizes, and guest youth musicians.
- Family Lounge – The bright new space is wide open for children to play and build fun memories at the synagogue.
- Nursing room – This room provides a private space for parents and their children.