News Highlights Hebrew College and partners to break ground
on Jewish hub in Newton, MA
The vision of a dynamic new interdisciplinary hub of Jewish learning and life on the campus of Temple Reyim in Auburndale will come one step closer to a reality on Sunday, December 5.
Hebrew College, a vibrant institution of Jewish learning and leadership that is celebrating its centennial this year, along with Temple Reyim, and seven other Boston-area partner Jewish organizations, will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 3 p.m., December 5, to celebrate the construction of their new shared campus.
Event speakers will include Massachusetts State Senator Cynthia Stone Creem, Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, CJP President and CEO Rabbi Marc Baker, Hebrew College President Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, and Temple Reyim spiritual leader Rabbi Daniel Berman.
“We are uplifted and inspired by the breadth and depth of support throughout our community and beyond, as we begin construction of our dynamic shared campus, which will create new opportunities for the College to grow, meet evolving needs, and prepare Jewish spiritual and educational leaders to meet people at many different doorways to Jewish life,” said Hebrew College President Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld.
The vision for this exciting project emerged after two years of planning between Hebrew College and Temple Reyim, who have come together to create a campus that will be a national model for Jewish communal collaboration and innovation. Other organizational partners on the shared campus include Jewish Arts Collaborative, Jewish Women’s Archive, Kesher Newton, Keshet, Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center, and Zamir Chorale of Boston.
“Our vision for this collaborative is grounded in a desire to live more fully into our missions, and with a deep love of Jewish learning, spiritual openness, and commitment to collaboration,” said Rabbi Berman. “We are thrilled to work with Hebrew College and each of our campus partners to bring this vision to life.”
Hebrew College has raised $13.2 million through its ongoing Capital Campaign, “Branching Out, Building Together,” to extensively renovate the existing Temple Reyim property and construct an additional two-floor, state-of-the-art building. This will be called the “Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Education Building,” thanks to a challenge grant of $1 million early in the campaign from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Supporting Foundation.
“The Foundation made this grant knowing that this collaboration of institutions on a new shared campus is an exciting opportunity not just for the surrounding community but as a model for other institutions nationally,” said Jehuda Reinharz, President and CEO of the Mandel Foundation.
In August 2018, Hebrew College made the decision to sell its current campus in Newton Center to eliminate debt, reduce operating costs, rededicate resources to people and programs, and to prepare for the future through new opportunities for strategic partnership and collaboration.
“We are excited to be moving to our new home in January 2023 with a balanced budget and without any debt,” said Hebrew College Board Chair Andy Offit. “Our new shared campus will enable each organization to maintain its distinctive identity and programs, strengthen its missions and long-term sustainability, and, together, serve the wider Jewish community in Greater Boston and beyond.”
Hebrew College plans to move to its new home in January 2023.
“We congratulate Hebrew College on this exciting milestone and are looking forward to the collaborations that come from this new shared campus in Auburndale,” said Rabbi Marc Baker, President and CEO of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). “This is an exciting example of community organizations working together to optimize resources and prepare for the future. CJP is proud to partner with Hebrew College and its campus partners to strengthen Jewish life in Greater Boston and beyond.”
Due to COVID-19 precautions, attendance at the in-person groundbreaking ceremony is limited, but the event will be livestreamed at 3 p.m., on December 5. The ceremony will be followed by a 4:15 p.m. outdoor Hanukkah Celebration and launch of the 2021 Jewish Arts Collaborative Arts mobile art installation, Brighter Revealed, at Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street, Auburndale, Newton. For more information, visit hebrewcollege.edu/groundbreaking.