Welcome to Synagogue Council of Massachusetts

  • Welcome

    The Synagogue Council of Massachusetts (SCM) is a unique organization focused on bringing the diverse elements of our Jewish community together in unity.

  • Synagogue Council of Massachusetts

    We strive for this unity through meaningful and respectful dialogue and initiatives.

  • Synagogue Council of Massachusetts

    We offer programs and classes for individuals who thrive in settings that embrace diversity and personal growth.

  • Synagogue Council of Massachusetts

    We enhance the vitality of over 120 member congregations and minyanim.

  • Synagogue Council of Massachusetts

    By offering seminars and support for lay and professional leaders, we are proud to strengthen area synagogues and minyanim.

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One Community, Many Branches

"The Paradox of Unity and Pluralism"

by Craig Schneider

K'lal Yisrael means the unity of the Jewish people.  The Jewish people are extremely diverse, with a rainbow of cultures, ethnicities, traditions, and of course religious practices.  How can we be both united and pluralistic?

I was privileged to participate in the bi-annual Synagogue Council of Massachusetts Unity Mission to New York on November 9th and 10th to explore these issues.  We were a group of about 30 representing modern Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, and unaffiliated congregations (I was the lone Reconstructionist), as well as three people from Haifa, and two young rabbis who joined us once we arrived in New York.

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Calling All Women: Join the KOLOT Community

Our long-time study series for Jewish women has started up again and we have a great year in store.  Those interested in the joy of Jewish learning as part of a diverse group of warm Jewish women are encouraged to sign up for a great experience.  We are proud to present top-notch faculty members this year, including:  Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Professor Jane Kanarek, Marjorie Sokoll, Keren McGinity, Anita Diamant, Rabbi Liza Stern and Geni Bleich.

For further information, click here.

 

Synagogue Council Organizes Bus Transportation to Israel Rally

At the August 7th Rally for Israel, in the confines of City Hall Plaza greeted by police and surrounded by security, it was so gratifying to see bus after bus — from the North Shore, MetroWest, South area and Newton/Brookline (organized by SCM) — arriving with 500 people on board.

No less miraculous than the busloads of people was the gorgeous rainbow over the Holocaust Memorial with a message of hope for better days ahead.

Photo Courtesy Jacquelynn Abraham-Saslaw

 

Our Blog

The Synagogue Provides Comfort During Trying Times

 

BLOGPOST By Alan Teperow

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 4:12pm

Nachamu, Nachamu Ami – Comfort, Comfort My People

Our summer jaunts to the beach may have been peaceful, but they didn’t provide the kind of comfort many of us needed this summer. In a recent Shabbat sermon, Rabbi Wes Gardenswartz referenced these prophetic words of Isaiah, suggesting that the kind of inner peace we seek only comes when we are together with fellow Jews, in our synagogues and communities.


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Five-Year Calendar of Jewish Holidays 

Do you ever need to plan ahead, perhaps a year or more, keeping in mind the Jewish holidays? Or, maybe you want to be absolutely sure your community or school district is aware of Jewish holidays to avoid scheduling conflicts.  If so, click here for a five-year calendar of Jewish holidays produced by USCJ.

 

Shop Amazon...Help SCM

 

As a non-profit associate of Amazon, the Synagogue Council receives a percentage of every sale initiated from our web site.  Please click here for all your Amazon.com purchases.

Thank you very much for your support of SCM!

 

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Featured Events

Hold These Dates for Upcoming Events

Presidents Council Meeting (see below for details)

Sunday, January 11 from 9:00 am-12:00 pm

at the Adams Street Shul, Newton (optional tour at noon)

“Boosting Digital Success & Fundraising for Synagogues”

with Jvillage Network and Evans Consulting Group

Tuesday, January 27 from 8:30-10:30 am at Temple Shalom, Newton

Connie Spear Birnbaum Memorial Lecture

Featuring a dialogue between Rabbi Rick Jacobs and the parents of Gilad Shaer,

whose courageous phone call alerted the world that he and two of his peers had been kidnapped.

Sunday, March 22 at 7:30 pm at Temple Emanuel, Newton

Re-Envisioning Congregational Membership

Management Symposium with OTI, JDI and URJ’s Northeast Congregational Communities

Tuesday, May 19 from 5:00-8:30 pm at Temple Shalom, Newton

Annual Tribute Celebration & Concert

In Honor of Alan Teperow’s 33 Years of Service to SCM

Monday, June 22 at 6:00 pm featuring SAFAM and other musical treats

at Temple Beth Elohim, Wellesley

 

President's Council Features Conversation about Social Change in a "Connected World"

This year's President's Council meeting will be a combination of learning, business and collaboration (and, of course, a delicious Kosher breakfast).

The January 11th meeting will feature a number of important agenda items including discussions about Consortium discount purchasing, Transition Planning at the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, SCM by-laws amendments, and a first-hand account of this year's Unity Mission to NYC.

We are pleased to announce that Allison Fine, the immediate past president of Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown, NY, will facilitate the content portion of our meeting. Allison is among the pre-eminent guides to the social media revolution. Her gift is for converting uncertainty over rapid change into excitement over remaking organizations by the least expensive and most profitable means available: connecting with others.

Her new book, Matterness: What Fearless Leaders Know About the Power and Promise of Social Media, was just released. In addition, she is the author of the award-winning Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age, and co-author with Beth Kanter of the bestselling The Networked Nonprofit.

Presidents and Vice-Presidents of SCM member congregations are invited to join us from 9:30 - noon (breakfast included) at the historic Adams Street Shul in Newton. There is an optional tour of the shul following the meeting from 12:00-12:30 pm.

Sign Up Now

 

Tour de Teperow Celebrates Alan's Career


The Sidney B. Teperow Memorial Chapel at Temple Beth Am, Randolph

On Sunday, November 2nd, a busload of enthusiastic learners celebrated Alan Teperow's career through a tour of the Jewish stories and places that map his remarkable journey. The Synagogue Council's "Tour de Teperow" took us from Newton's oldest surviving active synagogue building, through the urban neighborhoods of Roxbury and Dorchester, to synagogues in Randolph and Milton, and to the Beth El Cemetery on Baker Street, where so much of our community history lives.  

At Temple Beth Am in Randolph, we were greeted by Reb David Grossman — who knew Alan growing up in the suburban community in the 1950's and 60's — and Bob Pransky, an active member of the shul for 50+ years.  Grossman and Pransky recounted wonderful stories of the early years and impressive growth of the congregation, when Alan's father, Sid Teperow, was President, as well as more recent challenges due to demographic change. According to Grossman, "a saying goes, 'remember who you once were and never forget it, no matter how much honor they give you.' This retrospective tour of Alan's significant places as he was on the way up is a symbol of his never forgetting who he was."

 

 

 

 

SCM Supports Synagogues in Transition

 

As Temple Beth El in Quincy prepares to close its doors and merge with Temple Shalom of Milton (to become Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills), Alan Teperow met with Rabbi Fred Benjamin (2nd from right) and officials from the former Beth El congregation.  Together, we are working to ensure that all sacred artifacts, ritual objects and stained glass windows will find a proper home for future use and commemoration.

 

Featured Synagogues & Minyanim


Our Featured Congregation for Kislev/Tevet is Kehillat Moriah, a Conservative congregation in Haifa (Boston's sister city). We are pleased to recognize the synagogue and Rabbi Dubi Haiun (pictured here) in celebration of the congregation's 60th anniversary this year, the oldest Conservative shul in Israel. Visit Moriah's website for more information. For English, scroll down the left side of the home page and click on "Welcome to Moriah Congregation."
View past featured sites