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


Many congregations invite prospective and current members to connect at assorted events in the fall. You can find BBQ’s, services, get-togethers and friendly faces in the greater Boston area.  Click here for details about upcoming membership events.


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


Birnbaum Lecture Attendees Enjoy Glorious Music and Impassioned Speech


On Sunday, March 30th, close to 300 people came together for an inspirational evening of chamber music and choral singing, and an impassioned conversation with Nancy K. Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, who addressed the critically important topic of "Women Leading Change."  

The program, which was free and open to the public, is made possible by the generosity of the Birnbaum family and friends, to honor the memory of Connie Spear Birnbaum.  Connie worked at SCM for seven years as our Unity Coordinator, bringing people together, from across the spectrum of Jewish belief and practice, in learning and dialogue.  

Here are just a couple of the many comments we've received affirming the evening's power and meaning: 

From Cantor Sara Gaffin Geller, one of the soloists in the Zachor Choral Ensemble: "Witnessing the testimony of Holocaust survivors within a musical context is so powerful and life-affirming.  It's up to us to testify to the next generations." 

And, from Alan Nelson, conductor of Zachor: "It's a testament to Herbie and the entire Birnbaum family that after all these years....the fire still burns."

Photo Gallery
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Shabbaton Experiment Surpasses All Expectations

This year's Community Shabbaton -- jointly sponsored by SCM, Hebrew College and CJP's Commission on Jewish Life & Learning -- took on a new, collaborative look with fabulous learning and the same sense of community and great davening/worship we've learned to expect from past Shabbat gatherings.

Based on the Meah learning model, our theme, "What About God," was taught by four of Meah's amazing faculty members: Dr. Marc Brettler, Dr. Rabbi Shaye Cohen, Dr. Deeana Klepper and Dr. Jacob Meskin, who explicated biblical, rabbinic, medieval and modern perspectives, respectively, on this important and provocative theme.

SCM Shabbaton 2013Pictured here are Alan Teperow (holding the kiddush cup for Havdallah) along with Steve Lipman (holding the Havdallah candle), Suzanne Hanser Teperow and Vice President Fred Cohen (in the background).

Read what people who attended this year's Shabbaton had to say about their experience.


More Photos


Our Blog 

Goodbye, dear friend: Anita Redner z”l

BLOGPOST By Alan Teperow

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 4:58pm

How sad and tragic to have learned this morning about the sudden and untimely death of our good friend, Anita.  Like all of you, I am in shock.

In the absence of any way to make sense of the tragedy, we have no alternative but to accept this unimaginable loss by showing gratitude for Anita’s magnificent soul and selfless deeds.  A true eishet chayil, Anita set an example for us all about loving humanity and following in God’s ways.



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

Annual Tribute Celebration Pays Special Tribute

Alan Teperow Makes a Dramatic Announcement and Surprises Marilin Lipman for 15 Years at SCM

Temple Aliyah in Needham was the venue for this year's Annual Tribute Celebration, held on June 11, 2014 with close to 300 people in attendance.  A magical evening was enjoyed by friends and family of our honorees — Leonard Davidson, Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow and Benjamin Sigel — as well as leaders of the Greater Boston Jewish community, SCM Board members and supporters, and those who came to surprise Marilin Lipman who had just completed 15 years with the Synagogue Council.


Alan Teperow is moved by a standing ovation after making a special announcement that will, according to Alan, "be the end of an era and the beginning of a new one, filled with hope and renewal as this organization transitions to a new generation of community leaders."  To hear Alan's brief remarks, click here or read the front page article in the Jewish Advocate about Alan's announcement.

Rabbi Sara, Len Davidson and Ben Sigel enjoy the musical finale after an emotional, uplifting evening.  View the event video now.

Quotes and photo album


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 Tammuz through Elul is Temple Aliyah, a Conservative congregation in Needham. We are pleased to recognize the synagogue in celebration of its 50th anniversary this year. Visit Temple Aliyah's website for more information. 
View past featured sites