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K'lal Yisrael - SCM Unity Programs

Unity amidst Diversity

The Synagogue Council's groundbreaking Annual Unity Mission to New York City, just completing the celebration of its 21st year, is an intensive two-day program for select Jewish leadership designed to spark personal interaction and increased understanding among Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist participants. The group meets with scholars and denominational leaders from CLAL (the Center for Learning and Leadership), the Jewish Theological Seminary/United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/Union for Reform Judaism, Yeshiva University, and the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale/Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.

Check out the Photo Gallery! from the Unity Mission.

Below, we present for you some highlights of these programs. To really understand what effect these initiatives have and continue to have, please consider joining us!

Unity Initiatives

Unity Mission to NYC

An intensive two-day program for select Jewish leadership designed to spark personal interaction and increased understanding among Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist participants. Want to learn more? YES!

2007 Unity Mission "Pre-Mission" Audio Lectures

If you missed the two pre-mission lectures and would like to listen to them over the internet, please choose from the links below.

  • Pre-Mission Lecture 1 >Listen (MP3 format)
  • Pre-Mission Lecture 2 >Listen (WAV format)

Note: You should be able to use Windows Media Player, RealPleayer, or any other audio file program that can read MP3 and WAV files.

Unity Shabbaton

An interdenominational Shabbat weekend for lay leaders which includes religious services (mechitza and egalitarian minyanim), interactive study with a faculty of three rabbinic scholars, Shabbat ruach, singing and camaraderie.

Connie Spear Birnbaum Memorial Lecture

An annual event sponsored by the Synagogue Council, for alumni of the acclaimed Unity Mission to New York City and members of the the broader Jewish community, as a way of addressing issues related to K'lal Yisrael with a speaker of national or international prominence. For more information about these lectures, click here.

KOLOT - Women's Study Group

KOLOT is comprised of women who share a commitment to the study of text and the principles of dialogue and K'lal Yisrael (Jewish diversity). See our 2008-09 brochure here.

KOLOT provides a forum for committed women from across the denominational spectrum to come together to study and share common ground. The series is a journey in Jewish learning and spirituality, exploring Jewish values with the ultimate goal of developing personal relationships through dialogue.

Women interested in the joy of Jewish learning through personal exploration in a supportive group setting are encouraged to attend this series, which runs from December through June.

A special kick-off event is our "Celebration of Women's Scholarship" (see article to the left). If you would like to securely register for KOLOT on-line, please click here.

Weekly Daf Yomi - Talmud Study 2009 Winter/Spring Semester Underway

Our weekly Daf Yomi class meets each Erev Shabbat morning at our Council office in Newton. Now in its third year, it is led by our recent past-President, Dr. Jesse Hefter of Brookline. The class, led in English and accessible to everyone, is open to women and men of all backgrounds and follows the world-wide cycle of daily Talmud study. We meet from 7:30-8:30 AM. The Spring Semester started on Friday, January 30 and runs through April 3. The subject matter is from the Tractate of Bava Kamma (Torts and Liability Law) but may, as the Talmud often does, cover a wide and stimulating array of subjects!

To provide some background information about the development of the Oral Tradition and the Talmud, here are some relvant notes you might find of assistance. The notes include:

  • Historical time chart from Moses to today...
  • A chart of all the tractates of the Talmud
  • Definition of Baraitot

The International Cycle of Daf Yomi (a page of talmud studied each day) was initiated by Rabbi Meir Shapiro of the Lubliner Yeshiva on September 11, 1923. The 2,711 pages of the talmud requires about 7 and a half years to complete on a "page-a-day" pace. The same page of Talmud is learned around the world by thousands of Jews in dozens of languages, in synagogues, homes, buses, cars, trains, and offices, and studied via classes, audio and video tapes, iPod and Palm downloads, and over the Internet. Come join us this Winter/Spring; secure online registration is available online. It's free to come by once to try it out and there's always some cofee!

New Synagogue Council/Boston-Haifa Women's Initiative! Siach: Women's Dialogue

, has been established as a women's communication and study group between Boston and Haifa. This project was borne largely out of the incredible bonds of friendship forged since our Israel Unity Mission in January 2007, especially between several women in the group. We have been emailing and meeting with our partners in Haifa, mostly women who have expressed interest in dialogue and Jewish learning, to work toward the goal of establishing a pluralistic dialogue group for women in both cities. The groups are comprised of 12 women on each side of the ocean from across the Jewish religious and cultural spectrum and spanning a wide age range. Meeting monthly, each group will discuss the same topics separately, with every third meeting taking the form of a teleconference between Boston and Haifa. A blog is being set up for the women to interact throughout the year. We are very excited about this program, which we hope and believe will open new doors of communication between our two communities, and be a catalyst for deepening relationships and respect for all Jews, whatever paths we choose to follow.

Women's Dialogue Group

Bringing together select women of diverse Jewish backgrounds, the Synagogue Council's Women's Dialogue Group meets monthly throughout the year. Group members share a concern for the divisions within our Jewish community and a desire to seek greater knowledge of that which unites us as Jews.

Staff Study

For its office staff and that of neighboring Jewish communal organizations which affords the opportunity to spend lunch hour nourishing not only the body but the Jewish soul as well.