The Synagogue Council of Massachusetts Board of Directors believes that the COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to assess our historic role, and to plan a strategy for the future that will enable us to continue to accomplish our mission of supporting synagogues and davening communities and promoting Jewish unity. During this assessment, the Board has decided to part ways with executive director David Bernat. While we develop the longer team leadership strategy, the current staff - Acting Director Gretchen Marks Brandt, Office Administrator Emma Savitz, and Bookkeeper Terry Goldzier - and the Board will continue to serve the organization and our members.
For nearly forty years the Synagogue Council has supported the synagogues in our community. Our mission is to build connections to promote mutual understanding and respect for Jewish diversity across the spectrum of Jewish belief and practice, serving diverse congregations: Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Reform, unaffiliated synagogues, and independent minyanim. The other Synagogue Council mission is to promote pluralism and k'lal Yisrael.
We achieve our dual mission through programs that include the Zaff Presidents' Leadership Forum; seminars on safety/security, fundraising, marketing, and environmental sustainability; the AREV MA grants that fund innovations in women's leadership and mentorship; the Ma'avar initiative that assists synagogues in transition; Widening Our Gates series to help synagogues welcome interfaith, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and others who may feel different; and the Teperow Unity Initiatives that include Daf Yomi Talmud discussions, a recent trip to Israel, and bus tours to experience pluralism.
We look forward to working with our members, community partners, and other stakeholders to enhance Jewish and synagogue life in Massachusetts. We welcome your input as we develop our strategy to achieve our mission during the COVID crisis and afterwards. We can be reached at
and we'll be happy to speak with you.
Elizabeth Pressman, Co-President
Craig Schneider, Co-President and Treasurer
David Stollar, Secretary
Fred Cohen, Board Member
Liz Offen, Board Member
Jay Sage, Board Member
Sandy Slavet, Board Member