Hebrew College’s New Home: A Shared Campus in Newton, Massachusetts
Below are some photos from the groundbreaking. Check back for additional photos.
Unique Collaboration Creates Hub of Jewish Life and Learning in Newton, Mass.
We are excited to share that Hebrew College will partner with Temple Reyim to create a new shared campus for Jewish life on the grounds of Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington Street in Newton, Mass. We will relocate to our new home in January 2023.
Through the Hebrew College’s Capital Campaign, Branching Out, Building Together, we will renovate 25,000 square feet of Temple Reyim’s current building space, and construct an additional two-floor state-of-the-art wing dedicated to offices and program space. The shared campus model will allow Temple Reyim and Hebrew College to maintain their distinctive identities and programs, while sharing space and resources to strengthen their missions and long-term sustainability, and together, serve the wider Jewish community in Greater Boston and beyond.
Hebrew College President Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
Our new campus will preserve the warmth of the communities at Hebrew College and Temple Reyim, while creating pioneering 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. At a time of so much division in the world, we are enlivened by this vision of deep partnership and collaboration.
Building. Dreaming. Growing. Together.
The vision for the collaborative builds on the strength of existing relationships with organizations that are currently located at Temple Reyim’s campus, including Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center, Kesher Newton, and Zamir Chorale of Boston. Hebrew College will be bringing several other dynamic pluralistic Boston-based Jewish organizations to the shared campus, including the Jewish Arts Collaborative, the Jewish Women’s Archive, Keshet, and the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis to create an interdisciplinary hub of Jewish learning, spirituality, and innovation.
our new campus
We are grateful to Temple Reyim for opening their home to us so together, we can create this exciting new shared campus for the Greater Boston Jewish community.
Our new home will include state-of-the-art, flexible spaces for teaching and learning, community building, and collaboration.
Teaching and Learning
- A beautiful light-filled Beit Midrash will house the Rabbinical School during the day, and be used for community-based study programs on evenings and weekends
- A renovated school wing, as well as other gathering spaces throughout the building, will offer sun-infused and spacious classrooms for all of our programs
- A dedicated wing will be created for Kesher’s pluralistic afterschool program with welcoming and flexible learning spaces, as well as an outdoor playground
- The Joseph and Rae Gann Library with a comfortable reading lounge for students and visitors to gather.
- An enhanced entrance and reception area will create a welcoming experience for all who come to the campus.
- An outside shared courtyard for meals and conversation, quiet meditation, and public reception
- Access to a social hall and stage for cultural performances, film screenings, receptions, communal meals, and public events
Flexibility and Collaboration
- As we plan for a post-pandemic environment, we are putting a premium on flexibility—with private and shared offices designed to support faculty and staff working independently and collaboratively both on and off-campus
- Small conference rooms and lounge spaces will foster and facilitate interaction and collaboration among faculty, staff, students, and core programs and partners
- A new recording studio will enable us to create and offer even more high-quality online content and will be a resource to artists, educators, and other organizations in the local Jewish community.
- Classrooms and conference rooms will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology for both on-campus and remote learning and collaboration and our library will include enhanced access to digital collections and online resources.
Our new site provides an ideal physical location for the College’s base of operations, including easy access to parking, local highways, and public transportation. It is conveniently located for our full-time students, faculty and staff, and members of the wider community we serve. And it is nestled on a beautiful wooded campus, which we will develop with an eye to environmental sustainability and the preservation of green space.
“Our vision for this collaborative is grounded in a desire to live more fully into our missions, and in deep love of Jewish learning, spiritual openness, and personal trust. We are thrilled to work with Hebrew College and each of our campus partners to bring this vision to life.”
— Rabbi Daniel Berman, Temple Reyim
“Like Mayyim Hayyim, Hebrew College is a living laboratory for innovation, accessibility, and pluralism. We are excited about partnering together and the potential for achieving our shared goals within the Jewish community.”
— Carrie Bornstein, Executive Director of Mayyim Hayyim Mikveh and Education Center
“The Zamir Chorale of Boston is pleased to be a part of the new collaborative. Like our partners in this endeavor, we are committed to the preservation, perpetuation, and presentation of Jewish culture. We look forward to participating in the synergy that will be created through collaboration with like-minded partners.”
— Josh Jacobson, Founder & Director of Zamir Chorale of Boston
“I have long admired how Hebrew College has the most special way of bringing art and creativity into all they do, producing clergy and educators who really value the arts. Now, we at JArts couldn’t be more excited to be part of this new campus, and to be able to think collaboratively about how we can use art in so many ways to elevate the Jewish experience for Boston area audiences.”
— Laura Mandel, Executive Director of Jewish Arts Collaborative
We at Kesher Newton are thrilled to soon be sharing a campus with Hebrew College and working together to inspire the next generation of pluralistic Jewish community leaders from Kindergarten all the way to graduate school!
— Ilana Snapstailer, Executive Director of Kesher Newton
Why is Hebrew College moving?
Nearly four years ago, the Hebrew College Board of Trustees made the decision to sell the College’s current campus in order to eliminate debt, reduce operating costs, rededicate resources to people and programs, and seek new opportunities for strategic partnership and collaboration. Since that time, Hebrew College has been working diligently with an ever-growing group of dedicated board members, community leaders, donors, alumni, staff, and students to develop a strategic vision for Hebrew College’s next chapter, and to identify a new home for its sacred work. Hebrew College will be joining with Temple Reyim to create a new shared campus and interdisciplinary hub for Jewish life in the Auburndale neighborhood of Newton, MA. Once in its new home, Hebrew College will be operating with a sustainable budget and poised for growth.
Where is Hebrew College going?
Hebrew College is thrilled to have identified an exciting site for its new home. In December 2022, Hebrew College will relocate to Temple Reyim’s grounds at 1860 Washington Street in Newton, where the College will join with Temple Reyim and other partner organizations to create an interdisciplinary hub of Jewish learning, spirituality, and innovation. Partners include: Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center, the Jewish Arts Collaborative, The Jewish Women’s Archive, Keshet, Kesher Newton, the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, Camp Yavneh, RUACH:Breath Lab, and Zamir Chorale of Boston.
Is this a merger?
No. This is a partnership to create a shared campus, with Hebrew College, Temple Reyim, and other partners retaining their own identities and staff, but working together to build a strong, collaborative, interdisciplinary hub for Jewish leadership, learning, spirituality, and innovation. The shared campus uses a condo model of joint ownership between Temple Reyim and Hebrew College, facilitated by a condo association to ensure long-term sustainability for both organizations. Other on-site partners will have long-term leases.
Why a Shared Campus?
At a time of so much division in the world, this vision of deep connection and collaboration will enable both organizations to better serve the Jewish people and the world. This dynamic shared campus will:
- Develop a national model for Jewish communal sustainability, creativity, and growth
- Create a vibrant living laboratory for spiritual and educational leadership and experimentation
- Deepen local and national impact through creative programmatic collaborations
- Promote the financial health of mission-aligned partners, with ongoing opportunities for cost reduction and resource optimization
What will the renovations entail?
Hebrew College will renovate 25,000 square feet of existing space, and build an additional 16,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities to create a post-pandemic shared space. The renovated building will include state-of-the-art, flexible spaces for teaching and learning, community building, and collaboration. These include:
- A beautiful light-filled Beit Midrash that will house the Hebrew College rabbinical and cantorial programs school during the day, and be used for community-based study programs on evenings and weekends
- A renovated school wing, as well as other gathering spaces throughout the building, with sun-infused and spacious classrooms for all of the programs
- A dedicated wing for Kesher’s pluralistic afterschool program with welcoming and flexible learning spaces, as well as an outdoor playground
- The Joseph and Rae Gann Library will be accessible and housed on the first floor of the new addition with a comfortable reading lounge for students and visitors to gather.
- An enhanced entrance and reception area that creates a welcoming experience for all who come to the campus.
- An outside shared courtyard for meals and conversation, quiet meditation, public reception, and a community prayer and gathering space.
- Access to a social hall and stage for cultural performances, film screenings, receptions, communal meals, and public events
- Private and shared offices designed to support faculty and staff working independently and collaboratively both on and off-campus
- Shared conference rooms that will foster and facilitate interaction and collaboration among faculty, staff, students, and core programs and partners
- A new recording studio for artists, educators, and other organizations in the local Jewish community to create high-quality online content
- Classrooms and conference rooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology for both on-campus and remote learning and collaboration
Why this location?
Temple Reyim’s property in Auburndale provides an ideal physical location for our shared campus, allowing for easy access to parking, local highways, and public transportation. It is conveniently located for full-time students, faculty and staff, and members of the wider community Hebrew College serves. And it is nestled on a beautiful wooded campus, which will be developed with an eye to environmental sustainability and the preservation of green space.
How will Hebrew College pay for this?
When Hebrew College sold its building, it eliminated debt for the first time in recent history. As part of this move, Hebrew College has launched Branching Out, Building Together, a Capital Campaign to raise $9.5 million by October 15, 2021. The College has already raised more than $5.8 million in generous leadership gifts. When donations reach $9.5 million, Hebrew College will receive a $1 million challenge grant from a major philanthropic foundation, securing Hebrew College’s future in this vibrant new hub for Jewish community, learning, and innovation.
Is Hebrew College in trouble?
Hebrew College has never been stronger. Hebrew College is a vibrant center of Jewish learning and leadership, with the fastest growing rabbinical school in the country, groundbreaking graduate programs for cantors and educators, and community education programs serving over 2,700 adults, teens, Jewish professionals, and interreligious leaders throughout Greater Boston and beyond. Learn more about the impact of Hebrew College alumni in the Greater Boston area and across the country here.
Hebrew College has moved several times in its 100 years. Founded in Roxbury in 1921, the College moved to Brookline in 1952 and to Newton Centre in 2002. After selling its building in 2018, Hebrew College decided on a shared campus to reduce operating costs and create a smart and sustainable model for the future. The shared campus will not only promote the financial health of mission-aligned partners with ongoing opportunities for cost reduction and resource optimization, but will also create a national model for Jewish communal sustainability and a hub for spiritual and educational leadership, experimentation, creativity, and growth, and deep community impact.
When will this happen? How will it affect the neighborhood?
Hebrew College and Temple Reyim have submitted their zoning application to the city of Newton and hope to begin renovation and construction in mid-October 2021. The work will be carried out with as minimal disruption of Temple Reyim programs and services as possible. If necessary, some services may be remote for limited periods of time. Hebrew College plans to move in December 2022.
Will Hebrew College have a role in planning or leading Temple Reyim’s religious services or deciding religious and spiritual practices?
Hebrew College will not have a role in planning or leading Temple Reyim’s religious services or deciding Temple Reyim’s religious and spiritual practices. As part of the financial agreement, Hebrew College will provide occasional Shabbat and weekday Torah readers. Temple Reyim’s religious and spiritual practices are considered by their rabbi in conversation with their Religious Services Committee and community members. Religious services are led by their rabbi and members of their community, together with others who are paid to read Torah on Shabbat and weekday services.
Will Hebrew College remain an unaffiliated pluralistic Institution? Will Temple Reyim remain affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism?
Both institutions respect one another’s values and affiliations. Hebrew College will remain an intentionally and vibrantly pluralistic institution. Temple Reyim remains a traditional, egalitarian, inclusive and spiritual community affiliated with the USCJ and a member of the Conservative movement.
How will Temple Reyim use the building? How will Hebrew College use the building?
Temple Reyim, Hebrew College, and other campus partners will have largely complementary uses of the building. The Temple Reyim community is primarily in the building in the evenings, on Shabbat, weekends, holidays, and weekday and Sunday mornings for minyan and breakfast/gathering. Hebrew College and other partners will be in the building from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, with Prozdor and JTFGB on Sundays. A Condominium Association will manage all space sharing.
Temple Reyim will have exclusive use of its sanctuary. On Shabbat and holidays, they will also have exclusive use of the Goldweitz Chapel, Ordis Hall and the Offit Beit Am. They will continue to use the Chapel and Chaletzky Kiddush Room for daily minyan. Those spaces will be available to Hebrew College and other partners on weekdays. Similarly, Temple Reyim will be able to use Silver-Shore Hall (the Hebrew College Beit Midrash), the new lounge, classrooms, and other Hebrew College spaces when Hebrew College is not using them. Temple Reyim, Hebrew College and other partners will reserve in advance any rooms they need outside of their normal operating schedule.
Will the campus share a kitchen?
Temple Reyim’s kitchen will remain under the supervision of its Conservative rabbi. Hebrew College will offer a catered lunch service and will use the Servery for food. They may use the kitchen for staging and minimal storage, but will not use it to prepare food.
What will the courtyard look like?
The relandscaped, enclosed courtyard will be available to Hebrew College and Temple Reyim. Access will remain at grade level and will meet accessibility standards. The doors from Ordis Hall to the courtyard will be upgraded to include an accessible ramp. The tree dedicated to Zachary Solomon will be preserved. The courtyard will also be large enough for the sukkah.
Are there other changes for Temple Reyim?
Temple Reyim’s youth lounge, which is currently in the synagogue basement, does not meet ADA requirements. Instead, youth activities will meet in a lounge space in the new Hebrew College wing. Youth meetings will also take place in classrooms.
While Hebrew College will be the primary user of Silver-Shore Hall (as its beit midrash), it will retain the name… the XX Beit Midrash in Silver-Shore Hall.
Will Kesher continue to serve as the Hebrew School for Temple Reyim children?
Kesher will continue to be Temple Reyim’s partner and will be housed in its own school wing. They will have renovated classrooms, and will continue to have their own entrance at the far end of the corridor. Students and teachers may also use the main entrance. The play area will be smaller, but will be renovated for their use. Kesher will continue to have access to Ordis Hall, the Offit Bet Am, and other spaces for their program.
Will Temple Reyim be able to keep the art and plaques that are in the building?
The Reyim Art Committee will continue to make decisions about the artwork in the foyer, hallways, and other Reyim spaces. The Hebrew College Art Committee will make decisions about artwork in Hebrew College spaces. The two committees will work collaboratively on any decisions related to art in shared spaces.
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; extend your cords, strengthen your stakes. (Isaiah 54:2)
Campaign Goal & Progress
Branching Out Building Together will provide the capital support required to make this vision a reality. Our goal is to raise $9.5 million by October 15, 2021. With $5.7 million in generous leadership gifts already confirmed, we are more than halfway there.
When we reach $9.5 million, we will receive a generous $1 million challenge grant from a major philanthropic foundation, securing our future in this vibrant new hub for Jewish community, learning, and innovation.
Enlarge the tent of our community. Stretch your imagination wide. Do not hold back. Please give generously. Extend the possibilities of what we can create together. Strengthen your stakes in the future.
Please contact Rosa Franck, Director of Development, if you are interested in discussing a gift to the Capital Campaign, a Naming Opportunity, or a combined gift to the Capital Campaign and Annual Fund.
Make a Campaign Gift
We welcome gifts of any amount, and you may designate your gift to the Capital Campaign or increase your impact by combining it with a gift to the Hebrew College Annual Fund. You may also wish to consider one of the new building naming opportunities. The Hebrew College Federal Tax ID number is 042104300.
Ways to Give
Online — Use our secure online form and designate if/how you want your gift allocated in the COMMENTS field.
Check — Please mail checks to: Hebrew College, Office of Institutional Advancement, 160 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459.
Credit Card — We accept Visa and MasterCard. Donate online or call us during business hours at 617.559.8764
Securities — Provided you have owned the securities for more than one year, a gift of listed stocks, bonds or other publicly traded securities entitles you to a charitable income-tax deduction equal to the full market value of the securities; this is calculated by averaging the high and low selling prices on the date of the gift. Learn more
Real estate — A gift of real estate offers favorable tax benefits on the transfer of a highly appreciated asset. Learn more
Legacy plans — Planned gifts include bequests, trusts, gifts of life insurance, and annuities. Learn more
Hebrew College receives the highest 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, reflecting our efficient and fiscally-responsible management.
Please contact Rosa Franck, Director of Development, if you are interested in discussing one of the building naming opportunities below.
- Beit Midrash: $1,500,000
- Office Wing: $1,000,000
- Classroom Wing: $500,000
- Adult Learning Suite: $500,000
- President’s Office: $360,000 – NAMED
- Recording Studio: $360,000 – NAMED
- Miller Suite: Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership Suite – NAMED
- Teen Learning Suite: $250,000
- Library: Rae and Joseph Gann Library – NAMED
- Conference Room: $250,000
- Library Lounge: NAMED
- Elevator: $100,000
- Individual Classrooms (4): $100,000 – 2 of 6 NAMED
- Individual Offices (20): $50,000
Jewish Women’s Archive March 19
Collaboration and innovation? Yes, please! JWA is excited to be joining the new shared campus of @hebrewcollege, Temple Reyim, and many of our other partners like @KeshetGLBTJews, @MayyimHayyim, and @JArtsBoston (in December 2022).
“Wow! What an amazing hive of great ventures on one campus.”
“Great example for all communities.”
What a wonderful idea. It will be a vibrant hub of Jewish life!
“Mazal tov for all involved; what a beautiful collaboration!”
In Newton, Hebrew College to relocate to Temple Reyim as part of ‘shared campus’
(The Boston Globe, March 18, 2021)
“The shared campus model will allow Temple Reyim and Hebrew College to maintain their distinctive identities and programs, strengthen their missions and long-term sustainability, and, together, serve the wider Jewish community in Greater Boston and beyond,.” In Tuesday’s statement, officials for the college and the temple said the vision for the collaboration builds on the strengths of existing relationships with organizations now based at the temple — including Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center, Kesher Newton Jewish afterschool program, and Zamir Chorale of Boston.”
A Jewish campus grows in suburban Boston as Hebrew College announces relocation plan
(The Jerusalem Post, March 22, 2021)
Hebrew College President Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that she knew finding the right home for the school was a top priority when she was installed in 2018 as the first woman to lead the college. “On the one hand, our new home would have to be affordable and sustainable … It had to feel exciting, generative, hopeful — a compelling vision for the college and for the wider community.”
Jewish campus grows in suburban Boston as Hebrew College announces relocation plan
(Sun Sentinel, March 23, 2021)
“Under the space-sharing arrangement, both Hebrew College and Temple Reyim will maintain their independent identities while introducing economies of scale that facilitate long-term sustainability.”
Hebrew College announces relocation plan to growing suburban Boston campus
(The Times of Israel, March 23, 2021)
“Hebrew College has already raised more than $5.8 million of its $9.5 million campaign to pay for renovations to Temple Reyim’s current building and add two floors for office and program space.”
A Jewish campus grows in suburban Boston, as Hebrew College announces relocation plan
(The Forward, March 21, 2021
“On the one hand, our new home would have to be affordable and sustainable. … On the other hand, the move couldn’t just feel like a story of contraction and loss. It had to feel exciting, generative, hopeful — a compelling vision for the college and for the wider community.” – Hebrew College President Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
Hebrew College and Temple Reyim announce shared campus
(Newton Wicked Local, March 18, 2021)
“Our new campus will preserve the warmth of the communities at Hebrew College and Temple Reyim, while creating pioneering 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. “At a time of so much division in the world, we are enlivened by this vision of deep partnership and collaboration.”
Daily Phil Announcement
eJewish Philanthropy, March 16, 2021
“The non-denominational seminary Hebrew College announced plans…creating a hub for at least 12 Jewish organizations. Some are already located there, and some, such as the Jewish Women’s Archive and Camp Yavneh, will move in with the school.”
Rabbi Marc Baker, President and CEO of Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP)
It’s very exciting that Hebrew College and Temple Reyim are collaborating on a new shared campus, creating a vibrant hub for Jewish learning and life in the Auburndale neighborhood of Newton. This collaboration will allow them to grow as institutions, optimizing their resources to ensure their long-term sustainability, and enabling them to better serve the Jewish community throughout Greater Boston. CJP is proud to partner with Hebrew College and is excited about a future built on cooperation to enhance, enrich, and deepen our collective communal impact.