David Bernat PhD, Executive Director

David Bernat took the helm as Executive Director of the Synagogue Council in the Fall of 2015. He came to us with a background in campus leadership and academics, having served as Jewish Chaplain at Wellesley, Babson, and Olin Colleges, under the Hillel Council of New England umbrella. He has also held faculty positions at Wellesley College and Hebrew College Rabbinical School and is currently a Lecturer in Judaic Studies at UMass Amherst.  David is also active in Adult Learning, having taught for the Meah Program since 1998. He has a PhD in Biblical Interpretation from Brandeis, and has published in the areas of Jewish ritual, especially circumcision, and violence and zealotry in ancient Jewish writings. David is engaged in many community-wide endeavors, with seats on CJPs Boston-Haifa Identity and Education Committee and Committee on Disability, the Limmud Advisory Council, the Boston Labor Council Steering Committee, and the Israel Seder Project's Advisory Board.  David believes in the continued role of the Synagogue as a center of Jewish vitality, and the project of Jewish pluralism that is a core value for SCM.
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Sondra Traister, Development Manager

Sondra started at Synagogue Council of MA in June of 2019 with a background in non-profit development.  She is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton, and then received her MBA from University of Buffalo.  After starting in the high-tech conference and trade show world, Sondra found her way into the non-profit world where she feels most enlightened and productive. She has spent the past 18 years in development, fundraising, and special events for non-profits in the fields of healthcare, education, and religion.  Sondra and her family belong to Temple Beth David in Westwood, MA where she is on the Board and active in temple life. Sondra’s Judaism is part of the fabric of her life!


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Emma Savitz, Office Administrator

Emma Savitz joined the Synagogue Council in September 2018. Emma grew up in the Boston area. After spending a year in Israel, she attended Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. After college, Emma moved back to Boston, where she has been involved in the Jewish community both professionally and personally over the last several years, while also working for the Boston Red Sox. She is pleased to be able to serve the community as part of the Synagogue Council.


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© 2018 Synagogue Council of Massachusetts

1320 Centre Street, #306

Newton MA 02459

617-244-6506 - info@synagoguecouncil.org