Letter from Mara Bloom and Rabbi Berman Regarding Hebrew College Collaboration

Dear friends,

We are excited to share that, following the guidance of our congregational vote, last night our Board of Directors voted unanimously and enthusiastically to approve the key terms for the relocation of Hebrew College to Temple Reyim.

This is an historic moment for our community. During the last several years, we have discussed in depth how to serve our shul’s sacred mission of a strong and vibrant Jewish religious, educational and spiritual life for our community members, while providing for our long-term financial health and sustainability. A critical part of our discussions has always been ensuring that we honor and maintain the core identity of Temple Reyim as a Conservative, warm, welcoming, inclusive, spiritual, and participatory community. Even with change ahead, what we know and love about our shul will remain.

We are grateful for this unique opportunity to care for our congregation, welcome Hebrew College, and build partnerships that we strongly believe will meet our foundational goals. Together with Kesher Newton, Zamir Chorale and Mayyim Hayyim, which are already on our campus, we will welcome Hebrew College, Jewish Arts Collaborative, Jewish Women’s Archive, Keshet, the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, RUACH breath lab, and Camp Yavneh to create a national model for communal innovation and sustainability and serve the interests and needs of an ever-changing Jewish community. A press release issued jointly by Temple Reyim and Hebrew College describing this new shared campus model will be going out tomorrow, Tuesday morning.

We want to express our deepest gratitude to our entire community. As you know, it takes a village, and so many people have participated in various ways: developing the vision, building relationships, negotiating key terms, meeting with our community members, asking critical questions, expressing concerns, attending community meetings, listening closely, and so much more.

What now? In the coming months, we will be working on several critical goals:

  • Building a leadership framework that is grounded in our shul's mission, vision and values, draws on the many strengths of our community members, ensures a diversity of ideas, and positions our community for success;
  • Developing the final agreement based upon our key legal, financial and space planning terms;
  • Forming focus groups to work on the design and schematics of construction and renovations to Temple Reyim space; the key principles and terms for our Condominium Association; and communication and public relations; and
  • Creating a working group to partner with our rabbi to develop the goals of collaboration program opportunities.

This process has included both successes and mistakes. We will continue to lead from a place of love for the community and learn from experience. We are very excited by this opportunity for our community, and are dedicated to ensuring that all of our members feel at home.

We are mindful that, due to the pandemic, we have been physically apart for over a year now. This has taken a significant toll on our community members. Our spiritual and emotional lives are deeply connected to being together. Perhaps our most important work is to help our community transition from being apart to being together in all our "Reyimness," as dear friends who learn Torah with love, pray with open hearts, celebrate together, and support and comfort each other in the most important moments in our lives. We hope and pray that we will be together again soon.

With gratitude for this holy community,
Mara Bloom, Congregational President
Rabbi Daniel Berman