Teperow Unity Initiatives
Alan Teperow is the founding director of SCM and led the agency for 33 years before his retirement in 2015. He played a pivotal role in promoting Jewish unity and pluralism, ensuring that The Synagogue Council served congregations and communities across all lines of denomination and affiliation. We name our ongoing unity initiatives to honor Alan's labor and legacy.
The study of Talmud is a unique opportunity to engage with Jewish tradition. The Daf Yomi (Daily Page) program, started in 1923 in Lublin, Poland, was created to unify the Jewish community around the world by studying the same page of text every day. It takes about seven and a half years to complete the 2,711 pages of the Talmud and then we start again.
Each Sunday evening, a group of adults of varying Jewish backgrounds joins together to study the daily page of Talmud (Daf Yomi). After meeting for years at the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts offices and for a series of years at Temple Emanuel in Newton, our group now gathers over Zoom.
Each week, we "tune in" to the same page of Talmud being studied around the world by thousands of others. The class is led by Synagogue Council of Massachusetts former president Dr. Jesse Hefter of Brookline.
The class is led in English and requires no prior experience. There is no charge for the class, just an invitation that you consider trying out the program for a Sunday evening, online, from 7:30-8:30 PM.
For more information, please send your email address to the Synagogue Council office (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject line of "Daf Yomi Class" and we will send you the Zoom information. Come join us and enjoy an hour of Talmud
Our Israel Experience Unity Mission was a success!
The Synagogue Then & Now: Israel Experience & Unity Mission 2019
February 26 - March 10, 2019
Pluralism and SCM
Adapted from remarks by Marilin Lipman, former Associate Director, delivered at the 2016 Torch Bearers tribute event, honoring her achievements and retirement.
I will likely not have another opportunity to speak to as large a group as tonight, and don’t often get the chance to make a public service announcement on behalf of Synagogue Council. So, I’m going to take that chance now! Jewish unity or pluralism or whatever descriptive you want to give it is not something that’s important in a transitory or temporary way. It’s not something that’s “in” right now, or, on the other hand, “not in fashion”. It’s not a mission that rotates significance or is in competition with other initiatives like youth programs, adult learning, connection to Israel, disability and inclusion, teen engagement, sexual orientation, attracting young adults to Judaism, synagogue membership, and the overall goal, Jewish continuity. Pluralism IS all of those things, and all of those things fall under the Umbrella of Pluralism. Without providing validation and encouragement, and fostering understanding and respect for the many ways of being Jewish, our people will fragment into even smaller groups than the full Jewish population is now—which is already pretty small. So keeping us together, continuing to harvest common ground is the only way for the many important initiatives I listed above to flourish. You need strong numbers of participants to have adult learning make a difference; you need numbers and inspiring programs, for all types of Jews in order to, for example, stir the souls of young people to find themselves Jewishly and then to perhaps affiliate with a synagogue or minyan, or to lead a disaffected soul back into the fold with the prospect of doing meaningful social action work. To me, Jewish Unity IS the essence Jewish Continuity, and this is the sacred work that is done by the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. We pursue this both through congregational and individual programming. And no other place does it as their whole identity, with all its heart and intention. So, if you agree that Pluralism, Klal Yisrael, the Acceptance of Diversity which leads to the kind of Unity that is wide and pliable, is of the utmost importance to the Jewish future, you will continue and increase your support of SCM, with your resources and your feet. Think of this concept as similar to being an American citizen; we are as diverse as can be in every way, including our views, but most of us are patriots and love our country. Every initiative and program is undertaken with the objective of making the country stronger and everlasting.
Please, can we do the same for our Jewish future?