Jewish Groups Facing Change
September 20, 2009, The Boston Globe — Since she was a child, Lauren Cherkas couldn’t wait to get to Temple Tifereth Israel.
“It’s home,’’ said Cherkas, who has attended the Reform temple in Malden for 45 years. Here, her parents married in 1959; in the sanctuary she held her bat mitzvah. And now, as the temple president, she’s charged with making the most important decision since the congregation formed in 1930: selling the building and finding a new home for members.
“We don’t really want to move but the building is too big for our size,’’ said Cherkas, who added that changing demographics, an aging membership, and a need to remain fiscally solvent are forcing the congregation’s hand. Cherkas said the temple could stay in Malden at a smaller building, merge with another nearby congregation, or move to Medford, Wakefield, Stoneham, or Revere.
As Jews north of Boston prepare to celebrate the second day of their new year, Rosh Hashana, many are thinking about how the local Jewish community will survive in light of a recently released independent report that calls for sweeping changes in area synagogues, community centers, camps, and the largest Jewish charity north of Boston.