Leadership Development & Congregational Management






Synagogue Council of Massachusetts is delighted to welcome congregational presidents (or their representatives) to semi-monthly roundtable discussions facilitated by Daniel Langenthal on the first and third Thursdays of the month from 12:00-1:00. 


Synagogue Council is abundantly grateful to Daniel Langenthal, an organizational consultant with extensive experience working with leadership in the Jewish community and former director of the CJP Leadership Development Institute (LDI). Daniel joins us at our roundtables to facilitate our conversations and to share his skills, knowledge and experience. More information about Daniel and his work may be found atwww.Daniellangenthal.com.

Synagogue Council’s roundtable is an opportunity for synagogue lay-leaders to talk with other lay-leaders, to brainstorm together, to learn from each other, to share innovations, concerns and challenges and to engage in peer-to-peer conversations and mentorship. 

Meetings on the third Thursday are theme based and themes change monthly. Third Thursday themes have included:

February 18, 2021: “How will we know when it’s safe to reopen?”

March 18, 2021: "Managing Transitions"

April 15, 2021: "Learning from Success"

May 20, 2021: "Hybrid Events: Ideas for making them compelling for all participants both on-line and in-person"

June 17, 2021: "Gathering in person: managing expectations and dealing with push-back"


On the first Thursday of the month, we gather to address whatever concerns, challenges and ideas that you bring to the table. 


We invite congregational presidents (or their representatives) to join us when you are able and also to propose topics for the roundtable.


For more information and the Zoom link for our roundtable meetings, please contact Gretchen Marks Brandt, [email protected]

*This program honors the memory of Synagogue Council Past President, Arnold Zaff z"l. 

In the Mishna, the rabbis taught, "Be equally attentive to minor and major principles" (Avot 2:1).

That was Arnie. He valued the big picture, and, at the same time, attended scrupulously to very

detail, whether an arcane aspect of Roberts's Rules, a complex Biblical Hebrew verb, a pitcher's

ERA, or the knot in his bow tie. 


Arnie's impact upon us, and upon the community, cannot be measured.

We honor his legacy by convening synagogue leadership for meaningful dialogue, learning,

support, and mentorship. 


Coping with Uncertainty:
Avarnu et Paraoh, na’avor gam et zeh
(We overcame Pharaoh and we will overcome this too):
Managing Expectations, Coping with Uncertainty,
and Caring Remotely

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 3:30-5pm



During this program, facilitated by Rabbi Naditch, we will connect in the wilderness, take stock of our journey and have safe opportunities to acknowledge ambiguous losses, share concerns and challenges, be heard, listen to each other, and vent. Participants will learn a bit about what we know regarding how the pandemic is affecting us, and then we will avail ourselves of break-out rooms in which clergy and lay leaders will meet separately and engage in conversation facilitated by chaplains and social workers. At the end of this program, we will come back together.


Planning for the High Holidays: Especially for Small Congregations

Monday, August 31, 2020 10am EDT


​Small congregations (primarily 120 or fewer households) are invited to Synagogue Council’s Zoom-based roundtable discussion, Planning for the High Holidays: Especially for Small Congregations. During this program we will celebrate the benefits of being a small congregation, discuss how we can leverage those benefits during these unusual times, and share our greatest challenges with High Holy Day planning. Small congregation leadership should have received an invitation with a registration link. We look forward to joining together virtually on Monday!


What Makes This Year Different From All Other Years? Planning for the High Holidays, On-Line Edition

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 10-11am



For those who seek a focus on virtual High Holiday services, our program, What Makes This Year Different From All Other Years? Planning for the High Holidays, On-Line Edition, will take place on Tuesday, August 4th, at 10 in the morning. Once again, this one-hour program will offer a moderated panel that will address questions about how they hope to realize their goals for the High Holiday experience through worship services and activities accessed on-line. Panelists will address challenges, innovations, and unexpected benefits. We will wonder together about the needs of congregants this year, and also the impact of the many forms and layers of loss that we have faced and how this may influence the High Holiday experience. And we will attempt to answer questions about messaging regarding changes and adaptations to this year’s High Holiday experience. 

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Arnold Zaff Memorial Presidents' Leadership Forum

Models of Collaboration: The Role of the Synagogue President

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 2-3:30pm

WEBINAR Facilitated by Dr. Craig Schneider



In the best and worst of times, the success and vitality of our synagogues, rests on the shoulders of its key leadership, including spiritual leaders, presidents, and executive directors. This program is the first in the Models of Collaboration series among these key leaders, with a focus on the role of the president, particularly to help onboard new presidents. The format will be a moderated panel of current and past presidents followed by an interactive Q & A session.  Our goal is to leverage the experience, wisdom and insights of our panelists and also to answer your questions about best practices for collaboration—what a new president needs to know to succeed!  


Gala Celebration



The Path Forward

Thursday, September 19, 2019 6pm

Temple Aliyah, 1664 Central Ave. Needham, MA 02492

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Arnold Zaff Memorial Presidents' Leadership Forum

Sunday, April 7, 2019 10am

Temple Emeth, 194 Grove St. Chestnut Hill, MA 02467


The Presidents' Council of the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts is now The Arnold Zaff Memorial President's Leadership Forum, in honor of past president, Arnold Zaff z"l. We will provide a yearly gathering and training opportunity for presidents of congregations in Massachusetts and those on the path to leadership.


To launch this initiative, we are planning to hold a workshop on Sunday morning, April 7th at 10:00 AM for you presidents and presidents-to-be.

Fundraising Essentials for Congregations


Same Seminar * 2 Convenient Locations and Dates


Points South

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 7-9pm

Temple Kol Tikvah, 9 Dunbar St. Sharon, MA 02067

Click here to view the Facebook event


MetroWest/Central MA

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 7-9pm

Temple Israel of Natick, 145 Hartford St. Natick, MA 01760

Click here to view the Facebook event

Click here for more information


Fundraising Essentials for Congregations

Tuesday February 12, 7-9pm

Temple Reyim, Newton

Tuesday March 20, 7-9pm

Temple Emanuel, Andover


Dessert and beverages provided. 

Led by Edith Moricz, MBA.

Sometimes it really is about the money. You can have creative leadership and exciting programatic ideas but if you can't pay for them ...


We Can Help. 


The 2 hour seminar will cover topics such as capital campaigns, letters, communications and social media, gala events, volunteer engagement, and much more.


You will walk away with immediately actionable strategies that, when implemented, yield tangible results.

Edith Moricz, MBA


Our facilitator, founder of ROCKETyourNONPROFIT, has a 25 year career as a financial advisor, non-profit development coach, and business professor.  


To learn about Edith Moricz, and her track record of success, click HERE to visit her website.