Hevreh of Southern Berkshire is closed and will reassess opening on two-week intervals. Check the HEVREH BLOG and HEVREH’S FACEBOOK PAGE for daily updates to connect. We wish good health to all and look forward to being back with our Hevreh soon.

About - Hevreh
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Hevreh – Jewish Life. Learning. Community.


Hevreh, a member of the Union for Reform Judaism, is a diverse community. Some of us are Berkshire natives, while the vast majority of our members have come from somewhere else. We are single and married, with and without children. We are gay and straight. We were born Jewish, we have chosen to become Jewish and we are non-Jews who are part of Jewish families. We celebrate the fresh insights of the young and the sage wisdom of those who are older. We embrace Judaism in many ways. For example, concurrent with our regular Shabbat service in the sanctuary on Saturday morning, the Berkshire Minyan, a member-led, egalitarian group unaffiliated with any branch of Judaism, worships in our library. Both congregations gather together at noon for a joint Kiddush.


Joyful and music-filled worship, thoughtful study of Torah and Jewish texts, a deep commitment to social justice and an ongoing exploration of God and spirituality form the core of our activities. We also are a center of Jewish living and experience, offering concerts, lectures, a film series, and even exercise classes.

Our History


In 1974, the Jewish population of Berkshire County was invited to a meeting to discuss founding a new Jewish fellowship group in southern Berkshire County.


The hope of Hevreh’s original founders was to create a supportive Jewish community based on egalitarian and non-authoritarian leadership. With dedication, belief, and hard work, they met each challenge of growth, from purchasing and constructing buildings, to finding learned, compassionate rabbinic leadership.


Forty years later, Hevreh proudly remains true to our founders ideals, evolving into the diverse and dynamic congregation of today.

Purpose & Values


In 1974, Hevreh was founded with “B’reisheet” – the first word of Genesis – at the top of a flyer sent to Berkshire County Jews, inviting them to a meeting to discuss founding a new Jewish fellowship group in south Berkshire County.


“Hevreh” comes from the Hebrew word for friendship and our name states our purpose, to be a community of friends in a Jewish context. 40 years later, Hevreh of Southern Berkshire still adheres to the goals of its founders, to be a supportive Jewish community based on egalitarian and non-authoritarian leadership. Hevreh continues to emphasize democratic decision-making and worship leadership.


As a congregation, Hevreh began meeting in members’ homes and meeting spaces throughout Berkshire County; eventually purchasing its first permanent building in 1992 at 41 Mahaiwe Street. When the congregation was 18 years old; we hired our first Rabbi, Deborah Zecher. By 1996 we had outgrown Mahaiwe Street and began the process of planning, designing, and building our current building at 270 State Road. In June 1999 the dream became a reality, as members of the congregation, clergy and religious school carried our Torahs through Great Barrington from our old home to our new synagogue.


During Rabbi Zecher’s tenure at Hevreh, our membership grew to over 375 families and the values which animated Hevreh’s founders are still very much alive and well. The Board of Directors continues to reflect those values, balancing the needs of the congregation with the responsibility of reaching out to the larger Berkshire County community. Hevreh’s members welcome newcomers as we strive to embody the best of Jewish history, culture, ritual, and ethical values.


Rabbi Zecher became our Rabbi Emerita in 2014. After a year of transitional leadership, we are fully staffed once again with Rabbi Neil P.G. Hirsch and Rabbi Jodie Gordon who also serves as Education Director. Together they are a dynamic, exciting team and Hevreh is looking toward continued growth in a future that is full, engaging, enriching, meaningful and joyous.


Hevreh is proud to be a custodian of a Torah scroll that was preserved in Europe through the Holocaust and World War II. Our scroll is #759 of thousands in the Czech Memorial Scroll Trust that were hidden in a cave in former Czechoslovakia that were to be saved and presented as historical artifacts once the war ended. Since being discovered, these scrolls have been restored and distributed to congregations around the world. We are fortunate that through the Memorial Scroll Trust we are able to hold fast to collective memory and use our Torah in times of celebration and in times of hardship. Hevreh member and videographer Michael Shocket has brought this story of The Messenger to our community so that we may share the honor and remember our history. Watch the video below.



Hevreh of Southern Berkshire is a welcoming and inclusive Reform Jewish congregation. Our goal is to build relationships within and beyond our community that embrace and enrich our lives. We strive to bring purpose through sacred and secular activities, worship and rituals, sharing our stories, education, community service, and social action.


We will accomplish in our Mission:


  • by welcoming all who seek a place in our Southern Berkshire Reform Jewish congregation.
  • by offering a culture and a community that strives for connection, support, and creation of relationships for a strong sense of belonging.
  • by being inclusive, comforting, and joyful.
  • by being a place where our stories are shared and honored.
  • by providing means for the broadest participation of our members in our religious, spiritual, educational and communal life.
  • by healing the world (tikkun olam), through an active program of social action, acts of righteousness (tzedakah) and loving kindness (gemilut hasidim) through ongoing participation in the local, national, and world-wide Jewish communities.
  • by marking the seasons of the year and life’s transitions through meaningful Jewish ritual and worship.

Rabbi’s Blog

This week, our Torah offers us a double portion— literally, with two parshiyot assigned for this Shabbat. Acharei-Mot, hyphen, Kedoshim.  Acharei Mot— after a death… hyphen — Kedoshim–comes holiness.   It’s a nice set up. If we stay on top of the surface, and don’t dive too deep,......

This past Sunday, our Religious School families gathered together on Zoom for a special, virtual Yachad Yom Ha’atzmaut! As we celebrate Israel’s birthday today, here are a few ideas for ways to celebrate at home: Check out this beautiful slideshow of pictures of members of......

Parashat Tazria-Metzora 5780 We are issued two passports at birth, wrote Susan Sontag, one takes you to the Land of the Well, the other to the Land of the Sick. We hope to use the first passport right away, for as long as possible, and......

Legacy Circle


“I believe the Synagogue is the very heart of Judaism and must be supported and sustained always. From that vantage point and more, Hevreh is very important to me and the Jewish community it serves, and I want it to continue to do so in the near and distant future.” – Phyllis Weiss z”l


Hevreh’s Legacy Circle is comprised of those individuals who have made gifts to Hevreh through their wills or other estate plans. Our goal is to increase participation in the Hevreh’s Legacy Circle by expanding this group of individuals.


On May 23, 2018, Hevreh will be hosting an informational luncheon and discussion. You are invited to join us to hear from a panel of financial experts on the important things to consider regarding planned giving. The purpose of the meeting will be to explain the advantages of legacy and estate planning and to answer any questions that you may have. This event is open to all.


Hevreh’s Legacy Circle welcomes all forms of gifts (e.g. stocks, bonds, etc.). Pledging a legacy gift to Hevreh is easy to do. Please contact Matt Mozian at 917-626-1034 or Larry Frankel at 413-645-3246 if you are interested in including Hevreh in your estate plans.


As a member of the Hevreh Legacy Circle you will insure the future of Hevreh for generations to come. Your legacy gift will further serve as an example to your children and heirs of the importance of Tzedakah.


Hevreh’s Legacy Circle is made up of the individuals below, whom we thank for their generosity and participation:


Marion F. Adler
Mel Greenberg z”l
Beth Laster-Nathan
Amy Linder-Lesser
Sharon and Matthew Mozian
Deborah and Stephen Schreier
Phyllis z”l and Joel Weiss z”l