Temple Sinai of Bergen County
August 01, 2017
Partner Peter Zlotnick and his family have been members of Temple Sinai of Bergen County for 20 years. In 2009, during Peter’s recovery from a medical procedure, he became close to Temple Sinai’s Rabbi. Once he recovered, he was asked to chair the Rabbi Liaison Committee, an ad hoc committee established by the Temple’s Board of Trustees to serve as a platform for the congregation and the Rabbi to communicate feedback to one another. In 2016, Peter was nominated by the Board of Trustees and unanimously elected by the congregation to serve as President of the Temple for a two year term, which ran through June 30, 2018.
During his tenure as president, Peter led a two-phased, master plan to renovate the Temple’s land and building to create a modern facility for the 21st Century and establish Temple Sinai as the leading Reform Jewish congregation in Northern Bergen County, New Jersey. Phase I of the master plan began in Spring 2017. Work focused on the renovation of the synagogue’s sanctuary and social hall. Phase II focused on updating and reconfiguring the Temple’s religious school classrooms, administrative offices, public spaces and other areas not covered by Phase I.
Working with the Temple’s leadership, Peter also led a multi-million dollar capital campaign to finance the renovation and create one or more endowments to fund the congregation’s future operational needs. The capital campaign had two lead donors who asked to remain anonymous, but who made the renovation possible through their generosity and ongoing support. Each member of Temple Sinai’s Board of Trustees also unanimously committed to making meaningful gifts to help the congregation reach its fundraising goals.
As part of his leadership role concerning the Temple’s strategic fundraising and construction initiatives, Peter worked with a team of Temple Sinai leaders to negotiate contracts related to short term construction financing for the renovation. Peter, together with other legal professionals on the Temple’s Board, negotiated and reviewed contracts between the synagogue and its design professionals, contractors and consultants related to this initiative.
Peter regularly counsels Temple leaders on corporate governance, employment and other legal issues. As the Temple President, his role additionally involved working closely with the Temple’s clergy, lay leaders and senior staff members concerning spiritual, operational, educational, social action and a myriad of other matters necessary to ensure the synagogue’s vitality.
In his role as President, Peter’s responsibilities covered additional areas, including working and communicating with the Temple’s 500 families concerning their interests and needs, as well as the broad array of resources, educational programs and social events available to them throughout the year. Peter has been involved in Temple Sinai’s annual gala and other fundraising events, organizing volunteers, conducting personnel searches and, in short, engaging in virtually all aspects of running a synagogue. By perusing the Temple’s newsletter, you will get a sense of the wonderful Temple Sinai community and their breadth of services.
When asked what motivates Peter to lead Temple Sinai, he replied that his wife, three children, and the desire to help the community are his driving forces.