History

Temple Shir Tikva is a vibrant, growing, inclusive Reform congregation in Wayland, Massachusetts. There are approximately 550 member families representing communities in Metrowest, Boston and its suburbs. We serve single people, young married couples, families with children, and sponsor active social and educational programming for children, high schoolers, families of all ages and seniors. For an overview of the history of Temple Shir Tikva take a look at the Historic Timeline.

Temple Shir Tivka began as the Jewish Congregation of Wayland in 1978. During our first year the congregation gathered in rented facilities at the First Parish Unitarian Church in Wayland to celebrate Shabbat services and holidays. Services were conducted by volunteer members of the congregation and an organizational structure was enacted. In 1979, Rabbi Michael Mayersohn was hired as our first rabbi, we celebrated our first Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services and our religious school was established. The congregation grew quickly to include members from all of the surrounding towns and it was not long before we outgrew our rented facilities.

Early Years

In December 1980, the congregation purchased the current Boston Post Road site. Formerly the Wayland House Restaurant (historically Seiler’s or Robin Hood Ten Acres, a roadside dance hall), the facility was renovated to provide six classrooms, an office, library and an all-purpose sanctuary/social hall. The new site was dedicated in 1981.

The next 10 years brought enormous growth to our temple. Our membership, religious school, adult education programs and social offerings expanded to the point of overflowing our facility. In September 1992, we completed the first phase of a major building project, creating a beautiful and dignified sanctuary for worship, a large social hall with a catering kitchen and greatly needed classroom space. In 1998, the second phase of the the building project, our Educational Center, was completed. This facility includes 13 classrooms, five of which were specifically designed for young children, a library, informal space, a youth room, expanded office and conference space and a beautiful light-filled Beit Midrash. The Beit Midrash is used as a chapel, meeting room and a sacred space to study Torah.

Rabbi Blumberg began his tenure as Rabbi in 1986. Under his leadership, from 1986-2005, the congregation flourished and our spiritual and educational programs expanded enormously. During this time we are also grateful for the services of Rabbi Andrew Vogel and Cantorial Soloists Norman Janis, now Rabbi Janis, and Marcie Jonas, now Cantor Jonas. In 2001, Cantor Hollis Schachner became Shir Tikva's first full time invested Cantor and in 2007, Rabbi Greg Litcofsky was hired as our Assistant, later Associate, Rabbi. In June 2012 Rabbi Litcofsky became the senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El of West Essex, Livingston, NJ. In July 2012 Shir Tikva welcomed Rabbi Jennifer Gubitz as Assistant Rabbi. Rabbi Gubitz became Associate Rabbi in 2015. Temple Shir Tikva has been blessed with clergy who share their love of Torah with joy, energy and deep insight.

Rabbi Blumberg retired and was installed as Rabbi Emeritus in 2005. His tenure at Shir Tikva was one of growth and harmony. To express our respect and admiration for his leadership, wisdom and kindness, the Beit Midrash was named in his honor. Upon his retirement, our search committee unanimously voted to hire Rabbi Neal Gold.

During his 10 year tenure Rabbi Gold inspired us with his gifted teaching and fostered a strong and organic connection with Israel. Groups of families, the adult Reyim group and 11th and 12th graders all have enjoyed meaningful and fun-filled Israel travel experiences under Rabbi Gold's guidance. Our Tekiah Tikkun Olam program received the national Irving J. Fain Award for outstanding leadership and contribution to social justice programming.  In July 2016 Temple Shir Tikva will welcome interim Senior Rabbi Douglas J. Kohn. 

Today at the Temple

Temple Shir Tikva continues to thrive.  We enjoy an uplifting Simchat Shabbat service filled with song and joy. Our high quality adult education program has brought some of the most renowned and diverse Torah teachers and noted scholars, artists, and activists and our recently established Early Learning Center for toddlers and pre-schoolers is full of happy children. 

As we look forward, we see continued beauty in our spiritual expression, exciting and fulfilling enjoyment of our stimulating education programming and comfort in our community support and sharing of life cycle events.

The early history of Shir Tikva was written and recorded in song by Cantor Jonas in commemoration of our 25th anniversary. Click the play button below to listen to a recording of the song.