Toddah Rabbah-Thank you!
The 18th Annual
Connie Spear Birnbaum Memorial Lecture & Chai Anniversary Celebration--
An event to remember!
We are abundantly grateful to Herb Birnbaum, lecture founder, Alan Teperow, honorary chair, Larry Sandberg and Dan Goldish, Ben Birnbaum and Yossi Klein Halevi, our generous donors and all those who joined us to honor the memory of Connie Spear Birnbaum z"l, to learn from Yosssi Klein Halevi and Ben Birnbaum and to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the lecture with us.


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

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. 
Roundtables on the third Thursday are theme based and themes change monthly. The theme for the May 20th roundtable will be, Hybrid* services: Ideas for making hybrid services compelling for all participants, in-person and online. 
*Hybrid services are services in which some participants attend in person and others attend through Zoom or other on-line platform.

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, the class is currently studying the tractate of Yoma .

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
Mount Sinai Jewish Center in Washington Heights (Upper Manhattan) is renovating its main sanctuary and will not be able to use the cushions they bought only two years ago. They would love for them to find another home. 
The cushions are shown in these photos. They are 2 inches thick (filling is polyurethane foam), 13.5 inches wide, and have a contour front and square back. They are upholstered on a 3/8 inch plywood base with non-skid foam backing. They come from Waggoner's Pew Cushions ( There are a total of 63 cushions: 18 cushions that are 105" long, 35 cushions that are 123", 4 cushions that are 88.5" long, and 6 cushions that are 69" long.  Some are a solid blue and others are a grey tweed.
If you can rescue all or some of these cushions, please contact Sarah Ratner, 
Cushion fabric close-up
Congregation Ahavath Sholom in Great Barrington is seeking an additional Yahrtzeit memorial board. Anyone with information to share, please contact Dan Burkhard.
For more information about MARCH. OF THE LIVING, please click on the above flyer .
Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston

Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz:

Finding Vital Records from Poland Online

Sunday, May 23
1:30 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
Virtual -ZOOM

Free to the public.
Register at: 

Go beyond JewishGen and JRI-Poland to find vital records for your Polish-Jewish ancestors. This program will introduce you to major websites such as Metryki, GenBaza, Szukajwarchiwach (the Polish State Archives), Geneteka, and FamilySearch. Julie Szczepankiewicz will also review U.S. records that contain the specific places of origin of your immigrant ancestors, suggest resources to decipher misspelled place names, and identify the registry or parish offices that kept the records for your ancestral towns.

Julie Roberts Szczepankiewicz is a professional genealogist, writer and speaker, with over 20 years of experience researching her family’s origins in Poland, Germany, the U.S. and Canada. She is the Secretary of the Polish Genealogical Society of Mass., contributes to a number of genealogy-related Facebook groups, and writes an informative genealogy blog, From Shepherds and Shoemakers.

Sunday, May 23rd
8:00 in the evening
on Zoom
Mike & Rissy Hirsh and family
Honoring Dr. Jamie & Lauren Rosenzweig,
Mike & Rissy Hirsh, Jaimie Bollen, Rena Weinberg
Dr. Jamie & Lauren Rosenzweig
Jaimie Ballon
Rena Weinberg
For more information about the YACHAD GALA , Click here

To see New England YACHAD's many upcoming events, click here
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:

Rediscovering the Lost Literature of
Unconventional Jewish Women

Thursday, May 13th, 2021, 12:30-1:30 pm EST

HBI Seminar Series
Please register for this event:

Lori Harrison-Kahan, Boston College
Jessica Kirzane, University of Chicago

We don’t often hear about the bold Jewish women of the west, who in the early 20th century, wrote about free love, suffrage, and gender issues. Scholars Lori Harrison-Kahan and Jessica Kirzane will introduce you to the exciting Jewish women you should know: Yiddish writer Miriam Karpilove, journalist and suffragist Miriam Michelson, and novelist Emma Wolf. They will share their journeys to recover, republish, and translate their lost literary works. Learn about their unconventional lives and literary careers, exploring how their works—now back in print after a century of obscurity—speak to issues of gender, sex, religion, and activism that we continue to grapple with today.
To register for Shishi Israeli Shavuot to Go, please click on the above flyer.

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

Jewish Needlepoint- June 10, 12:00 pm
Jewish Mosaics- July 12, 7:00 pm

JLive with
Anita Rabinoff-Goldman
Friday, May 14 at 12:00 PM
"Quilts are my canvas, fabrics my paint."

Artist, Anita Rabinoff-Goldman joins us for a special JLive centered around Shavout to talk about her work as a quilt artist and how that work has crossed paths with her Jewish identity.  

In partnership with Hebrew College
Tribute to Leonard Cohen with David Broza and Friends
In Memory of Michael B. Rukin
Tuesday, May 25 at 8:00 PM
Israeli superstar David Broza, who has been called the Israeli Leonard Cohen, will pay tribute to the late great Cohen through song and story. This online event will give insights on Cohen’s music and life, which were heavily informed by his relationship with Israel and Jewish spirituality.
Made possible by the Michael B. Rukin Charitable Foundation.
In partnership with the Contemporary Jewish Museum. 

JLive with Anita Diamant
Friday, May 28 at 12:00 PM
Best-selling author Anita Diamant joins us on JLive to speak about her new book, Period. End of Sentence., that will be available in May, 2021. Anita is the author of the novels The Boston Girl, The Red Tent, Good Harbor, The Last Days of Dogtown, and Day After Night, and the collection of essays, Pitching My Tent. Anita is also an award-winning journalist whose work appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine and Parenting and is the author of six nonfiction guides to contemporary Jewish life.

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
The event features highlights of the award-winning Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, with a special performance by Steven Skybell who played Tevye in the original Off-Broadway production and
it is free to attend. To register, click here
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.