An important message from our Board of Directors:

ATTRACTING & ENGAGING MILLENNIALS:
SUBURBAN EDITION

Wednesday evening, June 15th at 7:00

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Rabbi Leora Kling-Perkins, Temple Emunah, Lexington

Rav-Hazzan Aliza Berger, Temple Emanuel of Netwon

An opportunity to learn from a panel of rabbis each with a proven track record of success!  Rabbis Aliza Berger, Danny Burkeman and Leora Kling-Perkins share their insights, strategies and experience in attracting this important and sometimes elusive population.

Rabbi Danny Burkeman, Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland

The Purpose, Process and Importance of
STRATEGIC PLANNING
Tuesday evening, June 21, 7:00-8:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During this workshop, veteran consultant, Lee Rosenfield (https://rosenfieldconsulting.com/) explained strategic planning, outlined the process, and answerd participants' questions. 

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To our members and friends: 

 

The Synagogue Council of Massachusetts (SCM) has been a key catalyst in promoting pluralism in our New England Jewish community for the past 40 years. Despite our long history of service and achievement, due to significant changes in our funding sources and unforeseen increases in ongoing operational costs, SCM is no longer able to sustain itself financially and will be closing its doors as of October 31, 2022.  This has been an incredibly difficult decision, but after more than a year of deliberations with the aid of an outside consultant, our Board of Directors believes that it is the correct decision at this time.

 

In our roles as convener, amplifier and connector, SCM has partnered with numerous established organizations to strengthen our Jewish community. We are grateful for the support of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston and other Jewish institutions throughout the years; their belief in our mission and support for our programs has contributed significantly to our success. 

 

Although we will no longer be functioning as an independent organization, we are optimistic about the future for a strong and cohesive Jewish community in Massachusetts and New England.  Our vision is affirmed in intentionally pluralistic institutions like Mayyim Hayyim, Gann Academy, the Jewish Community Day School, Hebrew College, and the growth and success of independent minyanim and havurot. We applaud the important work of area congregations affirming their values while respecting those of others.  We know that our past and present board members and professional staff are proud to have been a part of this exciting model in communal cooperation and are confident that much of the work will continue as we leave the Jewish community in excellent hands.

 

The Synagogue Council of Massachusetts was established in 1981 as a safe home for Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and independent congregations to work together across denominational lines. Alan Teperow, the organization’s first executive director, served for more than three decades as its visionary leader who, in partnership with a supportive and resourceful Board and staff, instituted countless innovations. Due to its professional and lay leadership, during the entirety of its history, SCM has been committed to promoting mutual understanding and respect for Jewish diversity.  The goal has always been to serve and strengthen congregations that span the spectrum of Jewish belief and practice.  Through opportunities for shared learning, worship and dialogue, SCM has been a leader in supporting pluralism by bringing together synagogues across denominations through workshops and trainings for synagogue leaders, clergy and administrators. We have honored dozens of community leaders with awards like the Klal Yisrael Award, and recognized synagogue heroes and educators for their extraordinary contributions within their communities and the greater Boston Jewish community.  We have gathered the entire Jewish community through our Unity Missions, Shabbatonim, the Annual Connie Spear Birnbaum Memorial Lecture in collaboration with Dr. Herbert Birnbaum and the Birnbaum family, programming for young adults and Russian speaking Jews, Israel missions, women’s dialogue groups, the Project Ezra Christmas day volunteer program, and serving as an incubator for a unique Jewish cemetery association, a groundbreaking community-based mikveh, and other key initiatives. 

 

We thank you for your participation, contributions, trust and the important role you have all played in the development and success of the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts.

 

L’Shalom,

Sandy Slavet, President

Elizabeth Pressman & Craig Schneider, Immediate Past Co-Presidents

Jay Sage, Treasurer

B. David Stollar, Secretary

Fred Cohen

Mark Frydenberg

Steven Greenberg

Shirah Hecht

Aaron Kischel

 

 

What's happening at the Synagogue Council?

Soaring Synagogue Utility Bills!

STRATEGIES FOR ENERGY CONSERVATION AND COST REDUCTION

With Professional Engineer
Curt Freedman

Wednesday, September 14th at 7:00 PM



 

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We are all struggling with increasing energy costs. Professional engineer Curt Freedman provides 8 practical strategies for conserving energy and reducing energy costs while maximizing ventilation at your synagogue.

A pdf of Curt's PowerPoint presentation

Living Jewish Life with Joy in a Time of Uncertainty: REPORTS FROM THE ADL

Thursday, June 23 at Nooon



 

 

 

 

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Rabbi Ron Fish, Director of Antisemitism, Advocacy and Education, ADL will update us on what's going on in New England: the resurgence of antisemitism, extremism and white supremacists, hate on-line, domestic terrorism and hate crimes, and, most recently BDS and the Mapping Project. He will provide suggestions about what you can do about it and answer your questions.

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A New Strategy for Attracting and Engaging Millennials:
Attract and Engage Grandparents 

Tuesday, June 28th at 7 PM



Baby Boomers have so much more to offer than their checkbooks!  The Synagogue Council and The Jewish Grandparents' Network explored new strategies in attracting and engaging millennials, strengthening families and enhancing the the Jewish community.

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The Jewish Grandparents Network explores new ways for grandparents to play joyful and meaningful roles in families, to cherish time together, and to share Jewish stories, heritage, and traditions.

JOIN US FOR A GUIDED TOUR OF KOLTURE!

Select the session that works for you
Tuesday, June 28 at 12 PM 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the Synagogue Council and the Jewish Arts Collaborative (JArts) for a guided tour of Kolture, the newest Jewish digital arts and culture platform, and a FREE resource for your congregation. Imagine access to FREE outstanding resources for program development, book groups, lifelong learning, d'vrei Torah and more! To learn more, join us for our brief Zoom-based tour!


Kolture is an expertly curated one-stop digital destination for the best of Jewish arts and culture: visual arts, music, theater, comedy, dance, literature, food, film, fashion, architecture, digital media, podcasts... Our curators scour the world to bring you thematic content designed to spark meaningful conversation

CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT VIDEO

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STRENGTHENING THE RABBI-PRESIDENT RELATIONSHIP

Back by popular demand!

Synagogue Council invites synagogue professionals and lay leadership to register for workshops on developing the lay and senior professional leadership relationship. These individualized workshops will be a two hour consultation session for lay and senior professional leadership, facilitated by Daniel Langenthal (www.daniellangenthal.com). The consultation sessions are designed to help build new relationships and strengthen those that already exist. Participants will learn about each other’s working styles and also explore their own and their partners’ goals for themselves and the synagogue. This workshop will provide both a process and tools through which participants may better understand each other, clarify the differing roles and responsibilities of their positions, develop consensus building strategies, recognize and respect differences and develop skills for effective working relationships.

 

The consultation sessions are FREE to synagogues and congregations who are members in good standing of the Synagogue Council.

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Please join us for these Ongoing Programs

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DAF YOMI: FREE TALMUD CLASSES

Sunday Evenings at 7:30 pm via ZOOM
Taught by Dr. Jesse Hefter
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

To all curious learners, our Daf Yomi class is conducted in English and neither Hebrew nor prior experience are required.

Text materials are shared via Zoom.

 

"Try it, you'll like it!" You are welcome to join us for a class at anytime.

To receive the Zoom link for our Daf Yomi class, please email gretchen@synagoguecouncil.org

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THE ARNOLD ZAFF MEMORIAL

PRESIDENTS’ ROUNDTABLE HOSTED BY

SYNAGOGUE COUNCIL OF MASSACHUSETTS

Synagogue Council of Massachusetts is delighted to welcome congregational presidents (or their representatives) to semi-monthly roundtable discussions facilitated by Daniel Langenthal (https://www.daniellangenthal.com/)

 

We gather on Zoom on the first and third Thursday of the month from 12:00-1:00.

Our September roundtables will take place on September 1st and 15th.

 

For the Zoom link, please contact gretchen@synagoguecouncil.org.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Our programs exceeded expectations!

Videos and other resources are now available

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State Funded Non-Profit Security Grants 
A Community Conversation with
State Senator Eric Lesser and State Representative Ruth Balser

Thursday, May 19th, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION & EVENT VIDEO
 

The 19th Annual 

Connie Spear Birnbaum

Memorial Lecture 

Sunday, May 1 2022 (Rosh Hodesh Iyyar)

Featuring Keynote Speaker

Major General Amos Yadlin

 

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CLICK HERE FOR  MORE INFORMATION

THE EVENT VIDEO IS AVAILABLE BY REQUEST

Contact Gretchen Marks Brandt, gretchen@synagoguecouncil.org

A DEEP DIVE INTO THE VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS MODEL

TUESDAY, APRIL 19TH, 7:00 PM, VIA ZOOM

 

 

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE POWER POINT PRESENTATION

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During this one-hour Zoom based program, Robert Carver provided the conceptual framework for the Voluntary Contributions model for synagogue funding. We also heard from a panel of representatives from congregations who have implemented this model about planning, implementation and what they've learned. 

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Rav Claudia Kreiman,

Temple Beth Zion, Brookline

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Rabbi Jen Gubitz, Temple Shalom of Newton

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Rabbi Elizabeth Bonney Cohen, Congregation Kehilath Israel, Brookline

ATTRACTING & ENGAGING MILLENNIALS
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 7:30 PM EST

An extraordinary conversation with a panel of rabbis, each with a proven track record of success! 

Our Gala,
Featuring Keynote Speaker
Dr. Susannah Heschel and Honoring Our Educators, was extraordinary!
 
Thursday, January 13, 2022
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SEE WHAT THE SYNAGOGUE COUNCIL HAS BEEN UP TO!
Click on the image to explore our 2020/2021 Annual Report 
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DISRUPTING SYNAGOGUES...

WHAT CAN SYNAGOGUES AND CONGREGATIONS LEARN FROM CHABAD?

Consultant Keith Krivitzky helped us to unpack the secrets of the Chabad's success and offered guidance in applying some of their strategies to our own congregations.

CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO OF THIS PROGRAM

CLICK HERE FOR THE POWER POINT PRESENTATION

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SUSTAINABILITY & LEGACY PLANNING
FOR  SMALL CONGREGATIONS

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SEEKING IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS:

THE WISDOM OF GROUP SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
 

Spiritual Director, Author and Psychologist Dr. Roslyn Weiner and Rabbi Neil Kominsky explored the value of group spiritual direction for pulpit rabbis and how it may also benefit lay leadership and congregants.

 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

COVID-19 RESOURCES

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The Synagogue Council of Massachusetts builds connections among individuals and communities to promote mutual understanding and respect for Jewish diversity. Synagogue Council serves and strengthens congregations spanning the spectrum of Jewish belief and practice and thereby promotes Jewish unity and pluralsim.