2421 Pennington Road

(609) 730-8100

2421 Pennington Road

(609) 730-8100



The beginnings of Har Sinai Hebrew Congregation date to November 19, 1857, when the Har Sinai Cemetery Association was formed. Funds were raised by subscription, and eventually a tract at the corner of Liberty and Vroom Streets in Trenton was bought.

Har Sinai Hebrew Congregation was an outgrowth of this Cemetery Association, making it one of the earliest Jewish organizations in the area. Before its formation, religious services were held in private homes and then in rented quarters. Formal services, regularly conducted, began with the formation of the Har Sinai Hebrew Congregation in 1860. They were held in the old Chancery Building, which stood at the corner of West State Street and Chancery Lane. At a meeting in July 1860, the Congregation decided to incorporate. Nearly all the founders were German, and, for many years, the services were conducted in Hebrew and German.

The first permanent home of worship was a little brick chapel, purchased from the Lutherans, on the west side of North Montgomery Street. It was refitted as a synagogue and dedicated on March 23, 1866. This building had evidently never been deeded to the Congregation; thus, on March 16, 1872, the first temple was sold at public auction. Through the tireless efforts of several congregants, sufficient funds were raised so that by the autumn of 1872, the Congregation once again owned the property.

Rabbi Isaac Lesser who, with Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, then shared leadership of American Jewry, spoke at the synagogue’s dedication. Lesser went on to found the Conservative movement in the 1880’s. Wise established the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1873 in Cincinnati (now known as URJ, the Union for Reform Judaism) and the Hebrew Union Rabbinical College in 1875.

1903 – 1929

In July of 1903, Har Sinai sold the Temple and then purchased a lot at the southwest corner of Front and Stockton Streets, where it built its second house of worship. The temple was dedicated on October 7, 1904. Shortly thereafter, the Congregation adopted Reform Judaism, and English replaced German in the services. In February of 1922, Har Sinai joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, thus gaining official status as a Reform Congregation. Changes in the religious practices of the Congregation saw the return of the chanting of the kiddush and the use of the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah.

1930 – 2005

A quarter of a century passed, and the Congregation once again felt the need for expansion, particularly to accommodate the growing enrollment for the Religious School. In 1925, Har Sinai purchased an empty lot on Bellevue Avenue and erected a structure, with Louis S. Kaplan, a member of the Congregation, serving as architect. The cornerstone was laid on November 6, 1929, and dedication ceremonies took place the following September.

Har Sinai was the only Reform Congregation in Mercer County, and most of the local Jewish population was located in Trenton or its environs. The sanctuary was majestic with a vaulted ceiling and stained-glass windows representing the twelve tribes of Israel, along with a magnificent rose window with the Mogen David in the center. The ark had beautiful, brushed bronze doors surrounded by marble.

2006 – Present

After seventy-eight years at the Bellevue Avenue location, Har Sinai moved for the first time outside of Trenton. In July 2006, the Congregation closed on a nine-acre property on Pennington Road, Rt. 31, in Pennington, NJ. The project consisted of the renovation of an existing office building and the addition of a multipurpose chapel. Construction began at the site in March 2007, and a temporary Certificate of Occupancy was issued in early October 2007. In the meantime, Har Sinai sold the Bellevue Avenue property to the Mt. Bethel Church of God of Hamilton, New Jersey in December 2006.

Over the years, Har Sinai has striven to be the preeminent Congregation in our area, offering a wide range of services and programs to its members and to our community.

Cantor Marshall Glatzer (z’l’) came to Har Sinai Temple as its first cantor in 1953 following his investiture at the HUC-JIR. During his active tenure as our cantor, he was instrumental in developing an outstanding children’s choir and adult volunteer choir. He trained more than eight hundred B’nai Mitzvah and participated in many family events in the lives of our congregants. Cantor Glatzer retired in 1987 from Har Sinai and was given the title of Cantor Emeritus.

Cantor David Wisnia (z’l’) joined the Congregation in 1986 and retired from Har Sinai in June 2008. For nearly tweny-three years, Cantor Wisnia’s powerful and melodious voice led and enhanced Har Sinai’s services.

Cantor Orna Green joined Har Sinai Temple in 2014, following Cantors Emily Wigod Pincus and Leon Sher who led the Congregation in prayer and song.

Rabbi Jordan Goldson became Har Sinai Temple’s twenty-eighth Rabbi on July 1, 2020, succeeding Rabbi Stuart Pollack, Har Sinai’s spiritual leader for 21 years.

The Rabbis of Har Sinai Temple (1857 – 2021)

Rabbi M. Lesser

Rabbi Simon Rosenberg

Rabbi Israel Goldvogel

Rabbi Morris Ungerleider

Rabbi I.E. Wagenheim

Rabbi Shonberg

Rabbi Joseph Kahn

Rabbi Joseph Gabriel

Rabbi I. Weiss

Rabbi Bloch

Rabbi Nathan Rosenau

Rabbi Nathan Stern

Rabbi Louis B. Michelson

Rabbi Joel Blau

Rabbi Harry K. Jacobs

Rabbi Jacob Goldstein

Rabbi Abraham Holtzberg

Rabbi Samuel Thurman

Rabbi Gerald Raiskin

Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman

Rabbi Morton Rosenthal

Rabbi Richard Sobel

Rabbi Bernard Perelmuter

Rabbi David J. Gelfand

Rabbi David E. Straus

Rabbi Lynn Koshner

Rabbi Stuart A. Pollack

Rabbi Jordan Goldson