Chodesh Tov!
Welcoming the New Month of Sh'vat
Todah rabah! Thank you to the 244 respondents to the Synagogue Council Strategic Planning Survey. We are abundantly grateful for the gifts of your time, feedback, and insights.
Todah rabah--thank you so very much to Jeremy Yamin, Associate Vice President, Director of Security and Operations and Dan Levenson, Deputy Director for Communal Security, at CJP for presenting Synagogue Security: What Should Our Considerations be in this Moment? These security professionals offered important information and meaningful insights and answered our questions as we consider our synagogue security, reflect on the events in Washington DC last week and look forward to the inauguration next week. Click here for the JEMS Security Notice, Information and Action for this Concerning Time.
The Jewish Federations of North America

1:30 PM | Ongoing Threat Environment, Impacts, & Security Considerations
15 Jan, 2021
TIME 1:30PM - 2:30PM
Please join ADL, SCN and JFNA to discuss the challenges facing the Jewish community, the ongoing threat environment and security recommendations in light of the current environment.

4 PM | What Does the Vaccine & COVID Relief Mean for Me and My Community?
27 Jan, 2021
TIME 4:00PM - 5:00PM  
The distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has begun, but what does it mean for the Jewish community? Join Mark McClellan, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food & Drug Administration along with Erika Rudin-Luria, President of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and JFNA Board Member Marissa Schlaifer in a conversation about key COVID relief efforts, the vaccine, and what it means for Jewish communities and those that they serve in the U.S.
18th Annual Connie Spear Birnbaum Memorial Lecture
Dr. Herbert Birnbaum and the Birnbaum family along with the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts announce the Chai (18th) celebration of the Connie Spear Birnbaum Memorial Lecture featuring famed author, Yossi Klein HaLevi. Be on the lookout for the date and other event details.

Please consider a tax-deductible gift earmarked for the annual community lecture. We are abundantly grateful to those who have made donations.

Please note the giving levels and ways to contribute:

Pillar--$250+ Patron--$100-249 Sponsor--$54-99 Friend--$36-53

You are invited to donate on-line at by clicking on the DONATE button and selecting DONATE TO CONNIE SPEAR BIRNBAUM MEMORIAL LECTURE.

If you prefer to donate by check, please make your check payable to Synagogue Council, write “Connie Lecture” on the memo line and mail your check to

Synagogue Council of Massachusetts
1320 Centre Street, Suite 306
Newton, MA 02459

May the memory of Connie Spear Birnbaum be for a blessing.

Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe, Brighton

Hundred-year-old traditional carved wooden Aron Kodesh (holy ark) is being offered by Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe in Brighton, which cannot use it in its new building. The ark came from Torah Moshe’s original home in Roxbury and is typical of arks of that period. The same ark was used in many local congregations, often for their second sanctuary, or minyan, space, and probably came from a catalogue. The gold and white paint is not, of course, original, and probably could be stripped off to restore the ark to its original beauty.

New England Yachad

Program: Circle Time - January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Day/Time: Sundays from 6:30 PM-7:30 PM
What: Join your friends each week for an evening of favorite Yachad songs and games!
Zoom Link:
Zoom ID: 965 8825 5322
Contact Person: Brittany Kurtz at

Program: Teen Support Group - January 5, 12, 19, 26
Day/Time: Tuesdays from 4:30 PM-5:15 PM
What: Calling all Yachad teens - hang out with the New England social work interns in a SAFE SPACE to talk, listen to music, vent, share, and relax with friends. All teens are welcome!
For more information and a Zoom link, contact: Yaffa Tilles,

Program: Torah Talk - January 5, 12, 19, 26
Day/Time: Tuesdays from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
What: Join your Yachad friends every Tuesday evening from 6:30-7:30 pm for an interactive and fun way to learn about the weekly Parsha and chagim.
This program is open to all members of all ages and all regions!
Meeting ID: 977 8477 9769
Contact Person: Tali Grossman at

Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston

January 31 1:30-3:00 pm EST, by Zoom - Virtual
Amy Wachs- History and Geography - Tools for Eastern European Research
This presentation offers guidance in using the region’s historical events and geography to help fill in gaps and move past brick walls. It shows you ways to identify your ancestors, find the places where they lived, and trace their migrations.
Members Free / Non-Members $5, Register at:

Amy Wachs, past president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland, has been involved in Jewish genealogy for over 30 years, including currently serving on the Board of LitvakSIG, Inc. A retired attorney, she taught law in Latvia as a Fulbright Scholar and in Moldova as a Fulbright Senior Specialist.


Cybersecurity and You — Be the First Line of Defense
Virtual event
Two date options:
Friday, January 29 | 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET
Thursday, February 11 | 4:00–5:00 p.m. ET

The CJP Communal Security Initiative (CSI) wants to empower you to better protect your organization against cyber threats. 

This cyber-awareness webinar will cover top cyber threats such as phishing, desktop security, and data protection, as well as a review of proven practices. During this session, CSI will introduce an online cybersecurity awareness training program to provide you with the skills to thwart cyberattacks and better protect your organization’s data. CSI will fund this self-paced cyber training program for you and your staff. This webinar is designed for all staff and lay leaders of your organization.

Nancy Viner, Cybersecurity Executive 
Ted Penfield, Associate Vice President, Information Technology, CJP
Jeremy Yamin, Associate Vice President, Director of Security and Operations, CJP

Celebrating Inclusion: Opening Doors to Jewish Community

Together in Harmony: A Celebration of Resiliency of the Human Spirit
Monday, February 1 | 7:30–8:30 p.m. ET
Virtual event

Featuring: Rabbi Dr. Bradley Shavit Artson, Elana Artson, Jacob Artson, Neshama Carlebach, and Rabbi Menachem Creditor

We hope that you will join us for a very special gathering on Monday, February 1, as we begin our month-long celebration of Jewish Disabilities Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) with healing songs, prayers, and reflection that will lift our spirits. This evening will explore the challenges and joys of navigating a Jewish world committed to realizing the dignity and spiritual value of every person and will celebrate the resiliency of the human spirit in the darkest of times.

The event will feature Rabbi Dr. Bradley Shavit Artson, Abner & Roslyn Goldstine Dean’s Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, his son, Jacob Artson, and his wife, Elana Shavit Artson; and internationally renowned singer and songwriter, Neshama Carlebach, and Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Scholar-in-Residence at the UJA-Federation of New York.

The Jewish Federations of North America

JDAIM: Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance & Inclusion Month

“Behold how good and pleasant it is for all to dwell together in unity” Psalm 133

February is known as Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is proud to join together with Jewish organizations and communities from all over the world in this unified effort to raise awareness and champion the civil rights of people with disabilities. This page was designed to provide the resources to help plan and implement JDAIM events and programs. The column on the right includes activities, book club ideas, and other resource material. Additional resources can be found on our Disability and Inclusion webpage. Please post all your JDAIM events on Jconnect so they will appear on this page. Together, we can foster a more inclusive Jewish community that emphasizes, first and foremost, the value, dignity, and capabilities of each and every individual. An inclusive community is a stronger community, and while this quest is universal, Jewish values and traditions provide teachable moments to advance inclusion. JDAIM’s logo, a blue and gold intertwined ribbon that forms the Magen David, was designed to signify how inclusion is woven into every aspect of Jewish life and community. Join us – use this resource; create a JDAIM program and find a JDAIM program to attend.
See the Jconnect Disability Inclusion page for a list of our community partners.

Climate Goals Now: What’ll Your Synagogue’s Carbon Impact be in Seven Years?: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 7:00–8:00pm REGISTER HERE
Our imperative to tikkun, repair, demands a climate commitment. How do we draw a target for reducing the synagogue's carbon impact? How deep a reduction? How long should it take? This webinar walks through the straightforward steps to provide the answers. In this workshop, we will learn how to craft bold targets to guide your community. Have you got climate chutzpah? Learn to set climate goals. Led by JCAN-MA Vice President, Fred Davis.

Support for Clergy in This Time of Climate Crisis: Thursday, January 21, 2021 12:00-1:00pm REGISTER HERE
At this critical moment in the climate crisis, we address the question of how we grapple with the reality that humanity's actions and inactions now are determining what our future will look like. The Jewish Climate Action Network-MA provides this webinar for rabbis and other spiritual leaders, to support and encourage them in their roles as leaders of synagogues either somewhat involved or yet-to-be involved in climate action. Together Rabbi Katy Allen, JCAN-MA President, and Fred Davis, JCAN-MA Vice President, will provide a forum for discussion and a series of possible entry points for congregational involvement.

To learn more about our webinars, go to our website
3rd Jewish Climate Change Conference: Everything is Connected
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Virtual day-long conference
The Third Jewish Climate Change Conference: Everything is Connected will be an online event and will bring together Jewish climate activists from across the country for the purpose of providing not just vision and leadership, but also a sense of community grounded in the Jewish value of tikkun olam, repair of the world. We are inviting Jewish climate leaders and others to bring to the conference a vast array of insights, tools, and actions regarding the intersectionality of anti-racism/environmental justice, youth, decarbonizing, sustainability, agriculture, spiritual resilience, and communal adaptation.
Request for Session Proposals: In keeping with the theme of intersections among themes and topics, we are accepting session proposals from secular and Jewish climate organizations, synagogue green teams, individuals, teens and young adults, indigenous nations, and anyone else interested in sharing their voice. For guidelines and information, click here.
 For more information, 


Cape Cod Synagogue
Chabad Lubavitch of Cape Cod
Am HaYam-Cape Cod Havurah
Falmouth Jewish Congregation

The Matzo Ball Diaries
Jewish stories about food reveal secrets about love, nourishment and the power that food has to heal
Sunday, January 24, 2021 2:00pm (Eastern Time)
Tickets: $18 (+$3 service fee)
This is a virtual ZOOM event. The link will be provided
JPRO Network

JPRO Network is offering the following events for Jewish communal professionals:

Fundraising Essentials
with philanthropy expert Andrea Wasserman
Tuesdays, January 12, 19, and 26 12-1:30pm Eastern

Reflections from 70 Years in the Field: An Inter-generational Conversation about Resilience with Ted Comet and Aliza Kline
Thursday, January 14 1-2pm Eastern

Task Management with Less Stress
with accountability guru Diana Bloom
Tuesdays, January 26, February 9, February 23 + Q&A time March 2 1-2:30pm Eastern

JCC Greater Boston

JCC Greater Boston is offering a wide range of classes and events for children and adults. Click the links below to learn more and register!


Dear Friends,

On Monday, January 18th, The Foundation for Racial, Ethnic, and Religious Harmony (The Harmony Foundation) together with The Mayor's Office and the Newton Interfaith Clergy Association, will host Newton's 53rd Annual Martin Luther King Day Community Celebration.

Registration is open and this virtual event is free to all via
The theme for 2021 will be: "Keep Moving Forward", as inspired by Dr. King.
A detailed program will be forwarded to registrants closer to January 18th, but highlights will include musical selections, a reflection and sermon led by Newton Interfaith Clergy Association's Reverend Devlin Scott and Rabbi Allison Berry, a Roundtable Discussion with some of Newton's social justice leaders, an NPS Student Voices Video, and a "Spotlight" featuring Myrtle Baptist Church. 

We hope to see you there. Thank you!
IAC Boston

3rd-5th Grades
Torah Stories
Let's have fun together learning about the Torah - the book of the people of Israel.
Class starts January 25th
5 Sessions in English
In this five-session course, we will hear Torah stories, get to know the characters, and see where it all happened. Each child will discover its relevance to their everyday life through discussion and individual projects.

Israel Rundown: Current Affairs with Israel's Top Experts
Sunay, Jan. 24 2pm EST
The IAC is proud to announce “Israel Rundown,” a debate on hot-button topics in current affairs among Israel’s top experts and political minds. This series of debates will focus on examining the most pressing issues in Israel and for the Diaspora, and offer an inside look into where the decision makers of today see our future heading.
On the schedule, among others: Where is the next fight on the COVID-19 battleground? How is Israel, the Start-Up Nation, being impacted? How do we and foreign lawmakers see the ultra-orthodox community during COVID?
Join the first debate, “Here We Go Again" on January 24, 2:00pm EST.

Eitanim 2021
Entrepreneurship 101
Join our national community of tomorrow’s game-changers and register for
IAC Eitanim Spring semester!

The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University

Text and the City: Learning Hebrew in the Street
Thursday, January 21, 2021
6:00 PM EST
Zoom event
Through texts found in their natural habitat, in the streets of Tel Aviv, we'll decipher textual graffiti, lost pet ads and stickers. We'll talk about the influence of other languages on Modern Hebrew and celebrate the different cultural and linguistic layers of Israeli society. We'll also talk about words like "haverimot," about gender and inclusive language. Cohosted by the Consulate General of Israel to New England and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University. Free and open to the public. Registration required in order to receive the Zoom link. 
Guy Sharett teaches Hebrew in the Shanghai International Studies University in Shanghai, China. He has a B.A in Linguistics of Hebrew Language from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an M.A from the University of London. Sharett, who was born in Ashdod, Israel, speaks seven languages, and is the presenter of the Streetwise Hebrew podcast, where he teaches Hebrew using music and pop culture, talking about slang, intonation, grammar and identity.
Shayna Weiss is the associate director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University.

This event is part of the "How to Revive a Dead Language in 100 years" series organized by the Consulate General of Israel to New England, and co-hosted by Brandeis University's Hebrew Program, The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University, The Jewish Studies Program at Colby College, Middlebury Language Schools, Hebrew College, and Northeastern University Hillel.

Historical Jewish Press - Tour the Revitalized Site
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
Zoom event
Join us for a virtual tour of the newly revitalized Historical Jewish Press. This web resource is a rich repository of digitized newspapers at the National Library of Israel in a wide variety of languages (Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic, French, Spanish, English and more), including many Palestinian newspapers from the first half of the 20th century. These records shed light on modern Jewry in its Middle Eastern and global contexts, providing rich resources for educators and scholars alike. Our guide for the hour is Eyal Miller, the site's project and technology manager. 
Cosponsored by the Brandeis University Library and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University. 
Free and open to the public. Registration required in order to receive the Zoom link. 

Israel in the Spanish-speaking Media: The Case of Latina Entrepreneurship
Thursday, February 4, 2021
7:00 - 8:00 PM EST
Zoom event
Link will be sent via email at least 24 hours prior to the event.
Presented by the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Project on Latin American Jewish & Gender Studies (LAJGS). 
Join LAJGS in conversation with Leah Soibel, Fuente Latina founder and CEO, and Susanne Althoff, journalist and author of Launching While Female (2020).
The event will address the entrepreneurial and journalistic aspect of Fuente Latina’s mission to bring Israeli news coverage to a global Hispanic audience, exploring Leah Soibel’s role as a Latina entrepreneur and the organization's women's centered journalism programs. Free and open to the public. Registration required in order to receive the Zoom link. 
Cosponsored by: Brandeis International Business School (Asper Center, Latin American Initiative, Israel Initiative), Brandeis University Journalism Program, and Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University. 

Moderated by Dalia Wassner, Ph.D. Director, HBI Project in Latin American Jewish & Gender Studies

Leah Soibel, founder and CEO of Fuente Latina, is a Hispanic American and Israeli who has more than a decade of experience on the ground in Israel, the U.S, Latin America and Spain working with Spanish-language journalists and opinion leaders from around the world.

Susanne Althoff, Assistant Professor at Emerson College and past editor-in-chief of Boston Globe Magazine, is author of Launching While Female: Smashing the System that Holds Women Entrepreneurs Back (Beacon Press, 2020).

Questions? Contact Dalia Wassner:  

Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

Painted Pomegranates and Needlepoint Rabbis: 
How Jews Craft Resilience and Create Community
Thursday, February 25, 2021 2:00 pm-3:00 pm EST
Jodi Eichler-Levine, Ph.D., takes us inside a flourishing American Jewish crafting movement through her travels across the country. Join us as we discuss with Levine how Jewish Americans, mostly women, create ritual pieces and Judaic-themed crafts, and in doing so, honor and nurture the fortitude, memory, and community of the Jewish people.
Available at BookshopAmazon, and UNC Press (with discount).

A collaboration between the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University and the Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University
Wednesday, March 3, 2021 12:00-1:00 PM EST
The lives of Iranian women and girls were turned upside down in the 20th century. The cultural reforms of the Shah’s 1963 White Revolution opened new horizons for women, while the Iranian Revolution of 1979 imposed strict interpretations of Islamic law. Join memoirists Jacqueline Saper and Farideh Goldin as they reflect on what it was like to experience these dramatic events as Iranian Jewish girls.
Jacqueline Saper, From Miniskirt to Hijab: A Girl in Revolutionary Iran is available at AmazonBookshop, and your local bookseller. 
Farideh Goldin, Wedding Song: Memoirs of an Iranian Jewish Woman is available at Brandeis University Press and Amazon

Dr. Nora Gold
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm, EDT
Join us for a discussion on Jewish women's writing with Dr. Nora Gold, award-winning author and editor of, and Israeli and American authors who will share their work and reflect on the creative process. The panel will explore every stage of the process, from publishing and curatorial issues to what we can learn about Jewish women’s lives from fiction.
Vilna Shul

Persona Non Grata: The Story of Chiune Sugihara
Virtual Screening & Discussion
Saturday, January 23, 2021
7:00 pm EST
Back by popular demand! If you missed the Boston premiere screening one year ago, we are hosting the film again! Watch the film in advance, and then join us for a discussion on Chuine Sugihara with film director Cellin Gluck, Sugihara Diplomats for Life Foundation Chairman Linas Venclauskas, and Staci Rosenthal from Facing History & Ourselves.
Sponsored by Consulate-General of Japan in Boston.
In partnership with the Japan Society of Boston, Facing History & Ourselves, Boston Jewish Film, Jewish Community Center of the North Shore, Jewish Community Center of Japan, Sugihara Diplomats for Life Foundation, and Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in New York.

Finding Matilda:
Uncovering the Life & Death of a Jewish Lithuanian Poet
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
7:00 pm EST
 In commemoration of this date, the Vilna and its partners will convene a panel to discuss the search for a little-known Holocaust victim, Matilda Olkin, and her extended family who were killed in an isolated location in northern Lithuania in the beginning of the Holocaust in 1941. The film, “Finding Matilda: The Anne Frank of Lithuania" follows the search for the mass grave.
Special thanks to our fiscal sponsors:
The Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding at Old Dominion University and Virginia Holocaust Museum.

The Lost Family:
How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
7:00 pm EST
Author Libby Copeland discusses how com­mer­cial DNA test­ing (for ances­try and fam­i­ly his­to­ry research) is chang­ing how we view our fam­i­lies and them­selves. She is joined by Alice Plebuch, who made a startling discovery about her own family history through a run-of-the-mill DNA test.
In partnership with the Falmouth Jewish Congregation and Worcester JCC.

Chai Mitzvah

Join us on Thursday, January 28 from 4:30 to 5:30 PM Eastern Time for Branching Out: A Unique Tu B’Shvat Celebration for All Ages! 
Even if you can’t join us, enjoy the attached sample activity on your own. It’s from the Grandparents and Beyond sourcebook, Judaism and the Environment 

TOPIC: Spiritual Friendship/Chevruta
February 1, 2021
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm ET
Having a chevruta partner is built into the spiritual practice of Mussar. In order to work on developing one’s character, it is helpful to be accountable to someone else and to have someone else support you in your efforts. In this session, we will explore the importance of spiritual friendship as elaborated in different commentaries, each of which responds to the same teaching: “Acquire for yourself a friend.”
Jewish National Fund

Visit Israel LIVE from Your Living Room on a Virtual Tour

Can’t get to Israel? Let Israel come to you. JNF is bringing hundreds of people to Israel—RIGHT NOW! Pack your bags and take a trip without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Your $50 registration fee per Zoom spot includes a week of touring. Invite your household to come along on the journey.
For one week, join us for one hour a day (Monday through Thursday) for live touring of Israel. After a short break, log back in for a one hour social dinner/cocktail hour. Friday will feature a one hour pre-Shabbat experience.

For more information on any of our virtual tours or to schedule your own, please contact Rebecca Cohen at or 212.879.9305 x256.

Safe Havens' annual IMPACT Awards ceremony will take place March 18th, 2021, at 7 pm, via Zoom.

Stay tuned to learn about our 2021 honoree.

We hope to see you there!


Jump-start the New Year with Team Sharsheret.  

Team Sharsheret can help you reach your 2021 fitness goals.
Become our next Team Sharsheret athlete and make your miles meaningful!
So many ways you can get involved: 
1. Reserve your slot for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
on Sunday, October 10, 2021. Contact Becky Koren for more details. 
2. Join the #TeamSharsheret tag on the Peloton interface and meet your family and friends on the leaderboard with Sharsheret's Peloton initiative.
3. Have friends or family in Israel? Spread the word about joining our team in the Jerusalem Marathon on March 12, 2021. 
 4. Create your own race and make your miles meaningful. Register as an individual, community, or as a team of friends and family. Create a personalized peer-to-peer fundraising page on our site. It's fun, easy and we will give you all the tools you need to run a successful campaign. 
 For questions or for more information, please contact Ellen Kleinhaus.
 Thank you to Bernstein Liebhard and GSK for supporting Team Sharsheret.

Sharsheret Pink Day is an opportunity for you to raise awareness about breast and ovarian cancer and help save lives. 
Get involved and let everyone know by 
wearing pink on February 10th!
 Lead a breast cancer awareness or fundraising event virtually or in person for your school, organization or company and share Sharsheret's free resources and giveaways! At home? Join us virtually and raise awareness on social media.

Raise awareness by making delicious pink challah on Sharsheret Pink Day! Join us as Mandy Silverman, Mandylicious: The Challah Guru (@mandyliciouschallah), teaches us how to make a special Sharsheret-flavored challah. Suggested donation of $18.