Central Reform Temple – Our History
Central Reform Temple of Boston had its beginnings in 2004, borne out of the recognition that there was a need for a progressive, Jewish experience for a variety of constituencies in the city’s central neighborhoods. “Boston Jewish Spirit” was conceived by Rabbis Howard Berman and Devon Lerner as a special outreach to interfaith and multicultural families, LGBT people, urban dwellers, and all spiritual seekers interested in an accessible encounter with the liberal ideals and traditions of Reform Judaism. On its journey from the first High Holy Day service as Boston Jewish Spirit (BJS), to a vibrant congregation, now Central Reform Temple (CRT), we have marked important milestones and occasions for this community.
Here are some of the highlights of CRT’s development as a new spiritual community.
- First High Holy Day services were held at the Arlington Street Church (September 2004)
- Sabbath Eve service celebrating the 1st anniversary of Marriage Equality, and BJS’s first baby naming (2005)
- BJS formally incorporates as a Classical Reform congregation (2005)
- Emmanuel Episcopal Church offers BJS “a home” for worship and programs (2005)
- Rabbi Berman becomes Rabbi-in-Residence at Emmanuel (2005)
- BJS receives its first Torah Scroll from Rabbi Edward Cohn of Temple Sinai in New Orleans (2006)
- Emmanuel Church and BJS establish Emmanuel Center, an interfaith partnership for shared programs at the intersection of spirituality and the arts (2007)
- Boston Jewish Spirit celebrates its 5th anniversary (2009)
- BJS builds its first Sukkah in front of Emmanuel Church (2009)
- BJS receives its second Torah (2010)
- Inauguration of “A Light through the Ages”, our Chanukah celebration (2010)
- Boston Jewish Spirit endorses its new and current name, Central Reform Temple of Boston (2012)
- CRT’s ‘Touring as Torah’ trips – Israel (2013), Cuba (2014), England (2015), Poland/Hungary (2016), Spain (2017)
- CRT’s domestic ‘Touring as Torah’ – Savannah (2015), Washington DC (2016), New York City (2017)
- CRT celebrated its 13th year with a Kehilat Mitzva Gala celebration. Click to watch a video of our 13 years.
- 10th Year Gala Video https://youtu.be/K-wRQaZGfbg