Our Rabbi Emeritus
Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro served Sinai Temple as Rabbi from 1988 until 2016. He came to Sinai after being the Rabbi of Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, N.Y. from 1983 to 1988. The Rabbi began his career as an Associate Rabbi for Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto from 1977 to 1982. Rabbi Shapiro was ordained at Hebrew Union College in 1977.
Rabbi Shapiro is interested in the full spectrum of Jewish expression. His interest in liturgy led to our congregation's developing a variety of worship styles. Four different prayer pamphlets were created over the years for use in our Shabbat services. We are now integrating the Reform movement's new prayer book, Mishkan Tefilah, into our worship experience and discovering new possibilities every week!
Jewish education is also important to the Rabbi. He was very much involved with our Religious School and Youth Groups. He also taught a very popular adult Torah Study Group that continues to meet every Saturday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. The Rabbi has also led several groups of adults through the process of becoming Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
Social action is another interest for Rabbi Shapiro. A few years ago, Sinai received national recognition from the Reform Movement for its extensive social action programming. In 2007, the Rabbi was honored by the National Conference for Community and Justice with its annual human rights award.
Outreach is also of interest to the Rabbi. The Rabbi is always working with a number of people interested in conversion. In addition, he chaired the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis) Committee on Conversion from 1982 to 1987. He was a member of and for several years chaired the Commission on Outreach for the Northeast Council of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). He was also a member of the National URJ Commission on Outreach for several years.
Rabbi Shapiro was a social work intern for Jewish Family Service in Cincinnati as part of his rabbinic studies. He also graduated from the Pastoral Counseling Program at the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health in New York City.
The Rabbi was president of the Interfaith Council of Western Massachusetts from 1996 to 1998. He was also Treasurer of the Interfaith Council for many years.
The Rabbi was also a member of and chaired the Convention Program Committee for the CCAR from 1996 to 2004. He has been president of NER (Northeast Reform Rabbis), a region of the CCAR. The Rabbi has also served on the Executive of the CCAR as its recording secretary. The Rabbi was also an Adjunct Professor at Springfield College for a number of years.
Rabbi Shapiro's publications include a book entitled: Gates of Shabbat, plus several articles such as "Defining Our Religious Message," "Rooting the Religion of Freedom in History: An Assessment of American Reform Judaism," "The Unfolding of Comfort: A Commentary on the Haftarah Cycle," "Becoming Jewish Through the Jewish Information Class," "The Second Book of Jeremiah: From Doom to Destiny," and "The God Survey."
Rabbi Shapiro and his wife Marsha continue to reside in our community.
© 2012/5773 Sinai Temple 1100 Dickinson St. Springfield Massachusetts 01108