18th Annual
Connie Spear Birnbaum
Memorial Lecture &
Chai Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, May 2, 2021
12:30 pm EDT
from the comfort of your own home

The Synagogue Council of Massachusetts is honored to join lecture founder, Dr. Herbert Birnbaum, the Birnbaum family and friends, and honorary chair, Alan Teperow in presenting the Connie Spear Birnbaum Memorial Lecture.

This year's program features noted journalist and author, Yossi Klein Halevi in conversation with Benjamin Birnbaum addressing the important and provocative topic, "Holding the Jewish Center". An award-winning journalist, Ben is also Connie and Herb's son.

The Chai Anniversary Celebration will showcase music, excerpts from previous lecture events, photos and a video.

The Synagogue Council of Massachusetts is delighted to welcome congregational presidents (or their representatives) to semi-monthly roundtable discussions facilitated by Daniel Langenthal ( on Thursday afternoons from 12:00-1:00. 

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. 
Our roundtables will be held on the first and third Thursdays of each month from 12:00-1:00. Meetings on the third Thursday are theme based and themes will change monthly. The theme for the April 15th roundtable is "Learning from Success". On the first Thursday of the month, we will gather to address whatever questions, 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, 
You are invited to join
Daf Yomi,
Sunday Evenings
at 8:00 pm

We invite you to join our weekly Daf Yomi class taught by Jesse Hefter each Sunday evening at 8:00 PM via Zoom.

After completing our study of Shkalim, we will begin the tractate of Yoma on Sunday April 18th.

Yoma, literally "the day" explores the preparations of the High Priest for the Yom Kippur Holy Day, the processes by which priests were assigned their sacrificial duties, and finally, the five restrictions of the Holy Day itself - eating and drinking, washing/bathing, wearing leather shoes, anointing oneself with oil and experiencing intimate relationships.

The class is given in English, there is no fee for joining, and no Hebrew proficiency is required. Since we move 7 pages ahead week-to-week, we almost always touch new topics each week.

We hope that you will join this fascinating adventure into Jewish law and lore.

To receive the Zoom link for our Daf Yomi class, please contact Gretchen,
Synagogue Council Maavar:
Supporting Synagogues in Transition
Congregation Ahavath Sholom in Great Barrington is seeking an additional Yahrtzeit memorial board. Anyone with information to share, please contact Dan Burkhard.

Jewish National Fund-USA
Invites You To
Breakfast for Israel
You, me & Israel at 73!
April 18, 2021
10:30 ‐ 11:30 am (ET)

Join us for an engaging, impactful, and informative virtual Breakfast for Israel — Fauda style! Gather together with your community members to hear how your local efforts ensure a bright, prosperous future for the land and people of Israel, and Jewish people everywhere. Then, join Jewish National Fund-USA supporters from coast to coast in a vibrant celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, where you’ll hear from Fauda celebs, Tsahi Halevi (Naor) and Rona-Lee Shimon (Nurit) in a fascinating conversation moderated by i24 News’ Yoav Limor, a veteran military correspondent who has been covering the Middle East conflict for the past 33 years.

Featuring Guest Speakers:
Tsahi Halevi, Musician, Singer, Creator & Actor Naor on the Netflix series Fauda
Tsahi Halevi is a musician, singer, creator, and actor known for playing Naor on the popular Israeli Netflix series Fauda. Halevi also reached the finals in the first season of The Voice Israel. He released his debut album, “Directions,” which is regularly featured on local radio. 

Rona-Lee Shimon, Actress
Rona-Lee Shimon is an Israeli actress best known for her role as Nurit in the Israeli Netflix series Fauda. She also has extensive experience in Israeli theater, having performed the roles of Velma Kelly in Chicago, Anita in West Side Story, and Sally Bowles in Cabaret

Moderator: Yoav Limor, Defense Commentator
Yoav Limor is a veteran military correspondent who has been covering the Middle East conflict for the last 33 years. Limor is the host of a morning show on Israel’s Channel 2 Keshet, a defense commentator for Israel Hayom daily newspaper, and a regular contributor on i24 News.

For more information and to register, CLICK HERE

Third Jewish Climate Action Conference:

Everything is Connected
April 25, 2021
12:00-8:00 pm (Eastern Time)
Free and Online

The Third Jewish Climate Action Conference: Everything Is Connected will build on the momentum of recent gatherings and discussions that have galvanized Jews throughout the country to become more involved in fighting climate change. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of sessions related to advocacy, carbon reduction, spiritual resilience, communal adaptation, and soil and agriculture. Issues of environmental justice and anti-racism will be woven into many of the sessions. The day-long event will be geared toward action solutions, strengthening the national Jewish climate action network, and integrating youth into our leadership. The conference will be national in scope and will also provide time for meeting with vendors and local organizing.

Sign up now for our pre-conference workshops:

WEDNESDAY APRIL 14 at 7:00-8:30 EDT
Exploring Climate Solutions with the En-ROADS Policy Simulator 
Leaders: Yonatan Malin and Steve Moses, Citizens Climate Lobby

We will demonstrate the En-ROADS climate simulator, an online tool that allows users to explore different variables that affect the Earth's climate. It empowers people to realize that there is a solution to the climate crisis, but many different actions are required to get to an acceptable level of warming. The actions that help to solve the climate crisis have many co-benefits, including better health outcomes, fewer premature deaths, and more sustainable agriculture. We will talk about present carbon pricing policies and current carbon pricing legislation and action steps to support these policies.

SUNDAY APRIL 18 at 5:30-7:00 EDT
All Gender Rosh Chodesh for All Creation
Leaders: Rabbi Moshe Givental and Catherine Bell

This Rosh Hodesh Circle will provide a ritual space for folks to honor the pain of doing environmental work and facing climate disruption head on, to ground their work in gratitude, history, and vision. Our time together will draw upon Jewish wisdom and a process developed for providing emotional and spiritual support for communities facing seemingly overwhelming challenges called “The Work That Reconnects” by the Buddhist scholar and activist Joanna Macy (see here for more information).

WEDNESDAY APRIL 21 at 7:30-8:30 PM EDT
A Mixed Marriage: The Science and Spirituality of Climate Change
Leaders: Rabbi Devorah Lynn and Dr. Fred Lipschultz

Our session focuses on the key messages of both the science and Torah, emphasizing values, frequently asked questions, and action. We will discuss how neither interfere with each other and how Judaism provides a rich tradition of both spiritual text and science. We will especially focus on language in communicating advocacy and action per Dr. Susan Hassol, what wording to use and not use and where to find Torah text that inspires and promotes provocative discussion.

Some session highlights:

Your Path to a Low-Carbon Home: Customize and Motivate Every home "needs work" to decarbonize in this decade and the big news is: it can be done. Through case studies, Rachel White (Byggmeister Inc) will show how homeowners can cut carbon emission by improving their home’s efficiency, electrifying their systems, and installing solar. Ellen Tohn (Tohn Environmental Strategies) will demonstrate the trailblazing portal that will keep you, and fellow congregants, motivated.

Spiritual Resilience and Value-Directed Action for Individuals, Groups, and Society Yaacov Jeffrey Kravitz (Center for Spiritual Intelligence) will share teachings and practices from Judaism and behavioral psychology that can help us manage feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by challenges and move us to action

Other sessions include:
  • Urgency and Youth Voices and About Youth Perspective
  • Jewish Gardening and Gardening Jewishly
  • The Work That Reconnects
  • Your Path to a Low-Carbon Home: Customize and Motivate
  • Accelerating Heat Pumps: Soon And In Our Time
  • Storytelling by Judith Black and Jackson Gillman
  • Singing by Chana Rothman, Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman, and others
  • We've got something for everyone, and an incredible conference platform to make it all accessible:Opening panel discussing the interconnectedness of issues
  • 35 sessions in the themes of carbon reduction, carbon and soil, advocacy, youth advocacy, anti-racism, and resilience
  • Over 60 speakers including scientists, engineers, professors, advocates, energy consultants, gardeners, youth activists, rabbis, singers, storytellers and more
  • Closing joy-filled, music-filled event


Questions? Contact us at

Click here to see New England Yachad's many upcoming events.
Beantown Jewish Gardens

The Jewish Volunteer Gardening Brigade is a mobilization to support and engage new gardeners. As gardens spring up in our neighborhoods around greater Boston, we are answering the call to ensure they are delicious the entire growing season. At the same time, the Brigade connects small-scale efforts at growing food to build a more resilient web for all. We are members of an intergenerational, cross-denominational community, responsible for each other. We believe that our diversity is our strength that allows for cross-pollination of ideas.

It includes:

  • Monthly meetups, garden tours, and volunteer opportunities;
  • Access to peer learning and mentor/mentee matches;
  • An email-based online forum for sharing questions, celebrations and learning;
  • A weekly Shabbat email to inspire, inform, and move you to action;
  • End-of-season Sukkot celebration(s).

Beantown Jewish Gardens has been connecting the greater Boston Jewish food justice community since 2011. The sliding scale fee will provide the ingredients necessary to build our resiliency toolbox and a welcoming community in which nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. In addition, your generous donation will support the Brigade’s ability to engage and support local partners who are gardening for and with food insecure individuals.

More information and to sign up:

Bid farewell to President Reuven Rivlin
See Israeli Olympic gold medal hopefuls
Join Amar’e Stoudemire, six-time NBA All-Star and player development assistant for the Brooklyn Nets, and pledge to shoot 73 hoops in honor of Israel’s 73rd Independence Day
7:00 PM ET
Israeli-American Council
To register, click on the flyer

American Jewish University

Birth of the Jewish Nation: Documentary Code Name Ayalon
Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston

Stephen Morse-- Two Lectures
Finding Presidents’ (and Your) Ancestors in the Strangest Places &
Getting Ready for the 1950 Census: Searching with and without a Name Index

April 25 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm EDT – Online--ZOOM
Free for Members / $5 Non-Members. Register at: 

Steve Morse, creator of the “One-Step” web pages, has been a mainstay of genealogy research, inventing many tools that ease research work for both the novice and the experienced genealogist. For details on his enormous number of research aides, see his website at
Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies

Books at the Center
The Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies presents a series of Zoom conversations with the authors of important new books in Jewish and Israel Studies.

4/22/21 at 2:00 pm
Mustafa Kabha and Nahum Karlinsky
The Lost Orchard: The Palestinian-Arab Citrus Industry, 1850-1949

Encounters with Holocaust, Genocide,
and Human Rights Studies
4/14/21 at 4:00 pm
Mark Geraghty
New Rwanda's On-Going Campaign Against "Genocide Ideology"
An examination of New Rwanda's on-going campaign against "genocide ideology," which is prohibited in law as "thoughts" of ethnic hatred that threaten the recurrence of genocide. It analyzes the narratives of those imprisoned for this crime and their inability to reconcile with this new apparatus of state terror.

Virtual Enrichment Classes for Ages 0-12 yrs
Classes & Activities for All Ages & Interests
Winter Session

In-Person Outdoor Classes
Sports Mania and Dance & Movement
For ages 3-8 in Newton

Workshops and Classes for Adults
Everyone is welcome!
Journey Into Judaic Art: Free Classes with Jeanette Kuvin Oren at

Art of the Huppah April 19, 12:00 pm
Art of the Ketubah May 11, 12:00 pm
Jewish Needlepoint June 10, 12:00 pm
Jewish Mosaics July 12, 7:00 pm

To register, click on the flyer

Performing Disability in Israel
A two-part series (Part Two April 22)

Explore the real-life experiences and artistic performances of people living with disability in Israel — a two-part series held in conjunction with Professor Ilana Szobel's course, Disability Cultures: Art, Film, and Literature of People with Disabilities, at Brandeis University.

Artists, writers, and scholars will examine the intersection of disability with Zionist ideology, gender, race, and class. Our presenters, thus, will examine the ways performance of disability on stage, on the screen, and in everyday life raises questions about Israeli subjectivity.

Free and open to all. Please register. Learn more and register:

Thursday, April 22, 2:00 - 3:00 PM Boston time
In the Kingdom of Fever: Tradition, Tuberculosis, and the Creation of Yiddish Poetry
Sunny Yudkoff is an assistant professor at The University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the author of "Tubercular Capital: Illness and the Conditions of Modern Jewish Writing," winner of the 2018 Salo Wittmayer Baron Book Prize (Stanford University Press, 2018).

Presented by the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and cosponsored by the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute; the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy; and the Program in Health: Science, Society, and Policy (HSSP), all housed at Brandeis University.

If you enjoy academic presentations, we encourage you to join us for our biweeekly Schusterman Seminars. These are advanced seminars geared toward faculty and graduate students, and open to all, presenting the latest research in Israel Studies to the Schusterman Center community and beyond.
All seminars take place 12:00 - 1:00 PM Boston time, live via Zoom. Free. Registration required. Join us for one or all.

April 29, 2021
Voice and Audience in the Israeli Lullaby
Lilach Lachman, Guest Lecturer in Hebrew and Comparative Literature, University of Haif

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.
Save the date:


Friday, October 29, 2021

The Jewish Arts Collaborative™️ in partnership with the Synagogue Council and MassCreative are bringing together congregations across Massachusetts to celebrate Jewish arts and culture and we want YOU to be a part of it.

This year JArts is producing a film highlighting the work of the our inaugural Community Creative Fellowship with artists Yoni Battat and Adriana Katzew. The film will look at their journey as well as provide communities with resources and action steps individuals can take to engage in advocacy for the arts. 

 For more information about Creativity Connects Shabbat, please contact
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston (JBBBS) is recruiting children (ages 6-18) to participate in our impactful and comprehensive mentoring program which pairs children with an adult mentor who provides role-modeling, encouragement, and friendship. LGBTQ+ and questioning children can be matched with an adult in the LBGTQ+ community.

JBBBS supports children and their families by providing financial support, coaching, and referrals to other social services agencies. In the Children’s Program, matches meet 2 times a month, mostly on the weekends, for a minimum of one year.

We are also recruiting adults (18+) with mild to moderate disabilities to participate in our Friend 2 Friend Adults with Disabilities Program which introduces adults with disabilities to new friends in the community. In the Friend 2 Friend Program, matched friends meet 1-2 times a month for a minimum of one year.

All JBBBS in-person meetups follow CDC and Mass Govt. guidelines of social distancing and masks. Must be in the CJP Catchment.  Learn about how JBBBS has helped people across Greater Boston (in 90 cities and towns) at www.jbbbs.orgEnroll a child! Or contact For Friend 2 Friend Enroll Here! Or contact
CJP (Combined Jewish Philanthropies)

Virtual Events and Opportunities
There are opportunities for you to connect with others in the coming month. has something for everyone.