About


Mission Statement

To provide a modern conservative Jewish experience to the community. We are a full egalitarian congregation. Our values focus on warmth and intimacy more than the size of the congregation. We are a young vibrant congregation providing services and programs to enrich the lives of our congregational family.

History and Vision

CST dates its history back to 1870 and the formation of Sharah Tefilo on the Indianapolis South Side. Later other congregations were organized and ultimately in 1992, all were merged into CST and established Shaarey Tefilla.

In 1992, a group of forty people assembled in a living room in Carmel, Indiana. We felt that our religious needs were not being met by the Indianapolis Jewish community. We wanted a synagogue where lay members could lead services and read Torah. We wanted Shabbat and holiday services where the congregation would sing the Shacharit and Musaf melodies with kavannah (feeling). We wanted bar and bat mitzvah students who could lead Shabbat services and read the entire Torah and Haftarah selections. These ideals meshed with those of the national Conservative movement, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and Shaarey Tefilla was “born.”

From 1992 to 1997, the lay leadership of Congregation Shaarey Tefilla continued to build upon its vision. Family dinners for Shabbat and holidays became part of the rhythm of congregational life. Junior Congregation was established for children. The first bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies took place. The number of infants and toddlers grew as young couples affiliated with Shaarey Tefilla.

In 1997, Arnold L. Bienstock was engaged as the first Rabbi of Shaarey Tefilla and served until 2010.

In 1999, Congregation Shaarey Tefilla granted equal participation to Jewish women in our ritual life. Women choose to count in our minyanim, lead services and read Torah and Haftarah. Our decision came after a process of discussion and study. Shaarey Tefilla is strongly committed to the observance of halakha (Jewish law), according to Conservative Judaism. We continue to grow in our commitment to kashrut (the dietary laws), Shabbat, and tefilla (daily prayer).

In August 2010, Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow became Shaarey Tefilla’s Rabbi. Rabbi Sendrow was ordained in 1992 and has been part of the Rabbinical Assembly since 1997. He has also held chair positions in the Southeast Rabbinical Assembly Council. Rabbi Sendrow was previously at Temple Judea in Fort Myers, Florida. Rabbi Sendrow has taught many classes and workshops for adults, seniors, and children of his congregation as well as the community at large. He is an adjunct professor of Bible Studies at Butler University. He has written numerous articles in a variety of publications including his essay entitled “Here I Am” in the book, “Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul.” Rabbi Sendrow is married to Arlene Sendrow and they have three children, Evan, Sammy, and Rachel.

Join us! We’d love for you to become part of the Shaarey Tefilla family!


RABBI BENJAMIN SENDROW

Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow joined us at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla in August 2010. He was born in Philadelphia and grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. There he was active in Boy Scout Troop 18 based in Congregation Beth El. As a Boy Scout, Rabbi Sendrow earned the Ner Tamid Award. That experience established his relationship with Rabbi Howard Kahn, alav hashalom, and ultimately led to Rabbi Sendrow’s decision to study for the rabbinate. 

Rabbi Sendrow served his first pulpit in Southwest Florida for eighteen years. Since coming to Indiana, he has served as Secretary and then as Chair of the Indiana Board of Rabbis. He has also been active in interfaith activities through the Carmel Interfaith Alliance.

At Shaarey Tefilla, he expanded our educational opportunities for adults and for older teens. Teaching Torah is one of his passions, and that led to the establishment of a group of people who have spent years with Rabbi Sendrow studying the Torah verse by verse. As of late 2022, the group, now known as the Dr. Jack Kamen Memorial Study Group, is deep into Deuteronomy and will shortly conclude the study of the entire Torah. Rabbi Sendrow also initiated the Yad Squad, a program to encourage teenagers to continue to read Torah in services after they have become B’nai Mitzvah. In addition to his regular speaking, writing, and teaching, Rabbi Sendrow has also started a YouTube channel called The Rabbi’s Study, which can be accessed here: YouTube Channel

Rabbi Sendrow is also passionate about his congregants. He works to establish close relationships with everyone in our synagogue and loves his role as a pastoral counselor, which is one of his strengths.

Rabbi Sendrow has published articles and sermons in several publications including The American Rabbi, and a story in Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul. Until the pandemic, he was an Adjunct Professor of Bible Study at Butler University. For Rosh HaShanah of 2017 (5778), Rabbi Sendrow became one of the twenty-five rabbis across the country asked to write for the Jewish Daily Forward’s Rabbinic Roundtable. In 2021, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

RABBI’S SERMONS

August 6, 2021:
 A Case Against Secularism
May 28, 2021:
 
Shining Light On Hamas
April 9, 2021:
 
The God Hypothesis
February 19, 2021:
 Lincoln and the Jews

More Video’s


HAZZAN GIORA SHARON


Hazzan Giora Sharon, the son of two holocaust survivors was born in Hungary. He is a fourth-generation cantor in his family and studied the cantorial art from his father, and other cantors. At the age of 16, he immigrated to Israel where he continued his musical, vocal, and cantorial studies. Has been the cantor in Natanya, a soloist of the Israel National Opera, and sang in various opera companies in Europe. He moved to the USA in 1984, continuing his operatic, concert, and cantorial career.

Served as a Hazzan at Temple Isaiah in Palm Springs, CA, the Park Synagogue in Cleveland, OH, and Congregation Beth El Zedeck in Indianapolis. After retirement, he joined Congregation Shaarey Tefilla where he is a member and leading services.
He is a professional Hazzan for the past 49 years. Resides in Indianapolis with his wife, Clara, a former opera singer, and early childhood educator, with his children, and four grandchildren.



BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Phil Lande, President president@shaareytefilla.org
Don Katz, Immediate Past President
Jeff Bublick, Treasurer
Corey Freedman, Secretary
Melissa Allen, Vice President
Marlyn Safren, Vice President & Sisterhood President

Heather Baumgardner, Religious Affairs Committee Co-chair
Robin Condin
Mike Contreras,
Fundraising
Steve Frankovitz,
Religious Affairs Committee Co-chair
Dr. Marc Kappelman, 
Chesed co-chair
Mike Mervis,
Safety & Security 
Mike Robert, 
Men’s Club President 
Sandi Zeckel,
Education
Shani Zucker,
Technology