For Administrators and Lay Leaders


The Synagogue Council is proud to support the efforts of our member congregations and minyanim. Working with lay leaders and professional staff, SCM offers seminars and trainings, cost-savings measures, consultation and support on a multitude of topics.  If we don't have the expertise or resources in-house, we are sure to steer you in the right direction.  Some of these important resources are offered on this page or in the gold box to the left.  Or feel free to contact us directly.


"Increasing Digital Intelligence in the Jewish World" 

More than 50 people gathered for a Jvillage/ SCM-sponsored Breakfast to learn how the internet and use of technology can further their congregation's fundraising goals. 

At this Jvillage/SCM Meetup, Bob Evans from Evans Consulting and Jill Minkoff of Jvillage, shared their techniques for this digital world and how we can use  it to promote our congregations.  This thrice scheduled Meetup was valuable and left us with many resources for congregations. 
The link provided is to the Berman Jewish Databank where you will find a synopsis as well as the opportunity to download the full study.
Use this information to help understand who your current and prospective members and donors are, what they value, use, etc.
Use this information to ask yourself how you're doing with your community's "web strategy" and gain insights on what to focus on next.

OUR MATSA is not unleavened bread

MATSA comes together for regular meetings and professional development. In this photo, Cindi Crutchfield of Temple Shalom, Newton is being thanked and honored by MATSA President, Dan Barkowitz of Temple Beth Shalom, Needham for her many years of devoted leadership to the organization and the broader Jewish community.
Massachusetts Association of Temple and Synagogue Administrators (MATSA) is a professional organization open to temple and synagogue Executive Directors/Administrators from all denominations, working together within the context of Jewish values. Our main purposes are to mentor and support each other and to advance each individual's personal and professional development. We achieve these through regular meetings, special programming and on-going, member directed communications. MATSA is sponsored by the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts.  MATSA's programming, open to Administrators and Executive Directors of SCM member congregations, provides opportunities for learning and camaraderie.

MATSA's schedule for 2014 (for members only):

Thursday, February 5 – HR Hot Topics Presentation
Tuesday, March 24 – Joint meeting with Reform Synagogoe RSDP on Planned Giving
Wednesday, April 29 – OPEN meeting (topic TBD)


Security and emergency preparedness planning is the “albatross” of many synagogues and communities. This nagging burden is frequently pushed aside due to its perceived complexity and emotional overtones. Often forgotten is the reality that emergency planning is not just about “bad guys with guns”, but also affects situations such as responding to medical emergencies, issues around child custody disputes, domestic and/or workplace violence, and weather or environmental disasters. 

Part of the complexity of crisis planning in synagogues is due to the different groups people who are involved, whose input is important. The planning process involves both the professional staff and the lay leadership: The executive director (or administrator), clergy, education director, and facilities / maintenance all have important contributions and roles in the planning and the crisis management.  The lay leadership – President, building committee, education committee, and others – have an important role through providing input on community culture and expectations, as well as the process of rolling out the plans and encouraging “buy-in” by the community.

Crisis situations (regardless of the cause) amplify the intensity of any flaw or weakness in an organization: if there is a problem, it will become apparent in the assessment, planning, or execution of the crisis response. The reason for this is that crisis affects us internally and also in the way we interact and communicate with others. Additionally, it tends to expose the limitations of the infrastructure (facilities and technology) that we are using.

Ultimately, the fiduciary responsibility of the Board of Directors of the synagogue includes making sure that there are adequate and effective policies and procedures in place to protect the facility, staff, and community.

Here are a few important resources to support your congregation in developing a comprehensive security plan.

Securing Your Synagogue – Beyond Guards

Self Assessment Tool

Security and Preparedness Resources

Articles about Fundraising and Development for Nonprofits from Mersky, Jaffe & Associates is a free resource for congregations and other nonprofits. Click on the appropriate category (below) for multiple articles on a variety of topics:

10 Essential Articles

About MJA

Annual Fund

Board Development

Case Studies


Capital Campaign

Development Audit

Donor Relationships

Executive Search

Feasibility Studies


Fundraising Skills

Major Gifts




Planned Giving

Q and A

Staff Development

Strategic Planning

Volunteer Development