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.

No front page content has been created yet.

One Community, Many Branches


View SCM's Annual Open House Ad

Appearing in the August 21st edition of The Jewish Advocate


SCM Annual Tribute Celebration
Honors Longtime Executive Director

An Evening to Remember!
In a joyous and heartfelt celebration, 400 supporters of the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts came together to honor SCM's longtime Executive Director, Alan Teperow. Alan is the founding Director of the organization and has served in this capacity for 33 innovative, successful years, making his mark as a pioneer in the pursuit and realization of Jewish unity and pluralism throughout the community. His work with the many diverse congregations in the Commonwealth was also showcased at the event.  View Photo Gallery

In the photo above, Alan is flanked by current president, Arnie Zaff, and SCM's first president, Bob Kahn. The evening was a magnificent reflection of the decades of involvement of hundreds of SCM's supporters and friends.

President Arnie Zaff presented a beautiful work of art to the honoree, highlighting Alan's love of music and Judaism. The accompanying plaque perfectly captured Alan's remarkable career.
The plaque reads, "In sincere and heartfelt appreciation of your 33 years of service to the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, its ideals, and the Jewish Community."  

Alan's family offered a loving and creative musical presentation, preceded by remarks by his eldest daughter, Shira. The participation of the Teperows' adorable grandsons added a special element to the celebration.

Kudos to event co-chairs
Ma'ayan & Rick Sands  
Cantor Lorel & Arnie Zar-Kessler

...and to the evening's Masters of Ceremonies
Joyce & Michael Bohnen
Photos courtesy of Mickey Goldin  



"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.



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 last summer. In a 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.




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!


Make a Donation

Featured Events

Hold These Important Dates for Events this Fall


Bus Tour of Jewish Boston

With Ellen Smith, Director of the Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership at Brandeis University

Sunday, October 18 from 12:00 - 6:00 pm

Click here to register.

Shabbat for all G-d's Children: Inclusion and Accessibility in Judaism
A pluralistic Shabbaton in partnership with the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts and Temple Ohabei Shalom with support from CJP.

Friday - Saturday    December  4 - 5
Details TBA



M’Dor L’Dor

At SCM's April 21, 2015 Board of Directors meeting, David Bernat (right) was welcomed warmly by Alan Teperow after the Board had voted, unanimously, to name Bernat as Teperow’s successor. The Jewish Advocate article (below) tells the Synagogue Council’s story of growth and transition.

Synagogue Council of Massachusetts (SCM) this week announced Dr. David Bernat as the pluralistic organization’s new executive director. At press time Bernat had not been officially appointed, but SCM’s board was expected to approve Bernat’s candidacy at a meeting on April 21. Bernat will succeed Alan Teperow, the head of SCM since 1982, who has announced he will be retiring later this year.

Read More


Birnbaum Lecture Offers Emotion and Inspiration

Together We Stand:
Responding to the Challenges of Our Times

Ofir and Bat-Galim are the parents of Gilad Shaer, one of three Israeli teenagers kidnapped and murdered in June as they were hitch-hiking to their homes. We were so honored that Ofir made the long trek from Israel to Boston in March — his third to the States in five weeks — to offer an uplifting message of connection and unity. More than 500 people heard Ofir's words on March 22nd at Temple Emanuel... a beautiful response to the unfathomable tragedy his famlly has endured. We truly felt that his son, Gilad, was our son and that the Shaers' loss was our collective loss.

Responding to Ofir's talk was a moving and engaging presentation by Rabbi Rick Jacobs, CEO of the Union for Reform Judaism, from his perspective as CEO of the world's largest denomination of Judaism.

Pictured here are Alan Teperow offering thanks to Rick Jacobs and Ofir Shaer while Herbert Birnbaum expresses his appreciation to our speakers and to SCM's Executive Director.



Re-Envisioning Congregational Membership

An engaging Management Symposium, with OTI, JDI and Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island URJ Community, was held on Tuesday, May 19 at Temple Shalom of Newton.  With over 150 people in attendance, Rabbi Dan Judson addressed the group on re-envisioning synagogue dues.  Following Rabbi Judson's keynote, was a panel discussion with Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Judith Emanuel, Brad York, Rob Carver and moderater Alan Teperow.




Featured Synagogues & Minyanim

Our Featured Congregation for Elul/Tishrei is Temple Beth Israel, a traditional, egalitarian congregation in Waltham. We are pleased to recognize the synagogue in celebration of its 100th anniversary. Visit Temple Beth Israel's website for more information.
View past featured sites