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

Symposium on Cantillation


On May 8, 2017, Northeastern University will host a day-long symposium on cantillation, the ancient practice of chanting sacred scripture, as practiced in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Scholars, practitioners and students from the three faith traditions will come together for sessions that will address theoretical and performance issues that all (or many) have in common. The symposium will conclude with an evening concert, open to the general public, featuring Dünya, the acclaimed world music ensemble.

Registration is now OPEN!
View the Schedule


Hebrew College has published an excerpt from the remarks of our Associate Director, Marilin Lipman, when she accepted a Torchbearer Award at Synagogue Council's Annual Tribute Celebration in June. We are pleased to say her speech shined a bright light on our central mission of Jewish pluralism.

Hebrew College
August 1 at 9:50am · Newton Center
Humans of Hebrew College ‪#‎HumansHC‬


"It’s not a mission that rotates significance or is in competition with other initiatives like youth programs, adult learning, connection to Israel, disability and inclusion, teen engagement, sexual orientation, attracting young adults to Judaism, synagogue membership, and the overall goal, Jewish continuity. Pluralism is all of those things, and all of those things fall under the umbrella of pluralism. Without providing validation and encouragement, and fostering understanding and respect for the many ways of being Jewish, our people will fragment into even smaller groups than the full Jewish population is now—which is pretty small. So keeping us together, continuing to harvest common ground is the only way for the many important initiatives I listed above to flourish. You need numbers to have adult learning make a difference; you need numbers and inspiring programs for all types of Jews in order to, for example, stir the souls of young people to find themselves Jewishly."

(Marilin Lipman, Me'ah`98; Synagogue Council of Massachusetts Torch Bearers Award recipient)


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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 for your support!

SCM Programs

New Listings In Maavar Program

Maavar, SCM’s program for synagogues in transition, has gotten off to a strong start.  It has posted listings from Maine and Rhode Island as well as Massachusetts, and has sent unwanted sacred items to Poland and New York as well as various homes in Massachusetts.  We expect the program to grow as word spreads, and we welcome referrals.

The program aims to serve as a clearinghouse for sacred objects that result from the closing or merger of a congregation.  It will provide advice and referrals to such congregations, as well as support in navigating issues of transition and the disposal of records.

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DAF YOMI with Dr. Jesse Hefter
Temple Emanuel, Newton

Sunday evenings from 8:00-9:00 pm

10 sessions for Winter/Spring 2017:
2/26, 3/5, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9, 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14

This Daf Yomi course will be led by Dr. Jesse Hefter of Brookline who is past President of the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts (SCM) and has been the instructor for several years in SCM's popular Daf Yomi weekly study program.

Course fee: $100 for 10 sessions.
More Information
Register Online

No prior Talmud experience or knowledge of Hebrew is required.


Synagogue Council in the In the News

David Bernat, Executive Director, quoted in the Jewish Advocate, Nov 6, 2015 issue front page article titled "Several Local Synagogues Succeeding While Others Contending With Challenges".

Commenting on ingredients for success...
"'Its a combination of factors,' said David Bernat, Executive Director of Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. Among these are a charismatic Rabbi; an inclusive attitude toward interfaith familiies, LGBT individuals, and people with disabilities; and innovative programming and a creative way to use the physical space of the synagogue. Overall, "a creative vision, forward-looking type of attitude," are important, he added".

Featured Synagogues & Minyanim

Celebrating their 36th year, the Falmouth Jewish Congregation on Cape Cod is a vibrant, Reform congregation affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Their community represents a diverse, inclusive, participatory family where congregants from all backgrounds are welcomed with warmth and respect.

Visit their website.

Visit past featured sites


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.

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