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Rabbi Emeritus Mark Dov Shapiro z"l

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 was 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 was 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 was another interest for Rabbi Shapiro.  Several years ago, Sinai received national recognition from the Reform Movement for its extensive social action programming. In 2007, Rabbi Shapiro was honored by the National Conference for Community and Justice with its annual Human Rights Award.

Outreach was also of interest to the Rabbi.  He worked with a number of people interested in conversion. In addition, he chaired the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) 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.

Rabbi Shapiro 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 Committee of the CCAR as its recording secretary. In addition, he 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 continued to reside in our community until his passing in 2020.

Articles and Op Eds

Elizah's Gift    Rabbi Shapiro reads aloud.  Published by the Union for Reform Judaism, May 9, 2019

Made to Hug    Made to Hug    Rabbi Shapiro reads aloud.  Published by the Union for Reform Judaism, February 28, 2019

Chaim's Heart     Rabbi Shapiro reads aloud.  Published by the Union for Reform Judaism, February 14, 2019

In Times of Darkness and Anger    Published in the Springfield Republican, January 20, 2019


Proud to introduce you to Chloe Cooley  Published in the Springfield Republican, July 26, 2018.  


National Aboriginal Day: In Canada, June 21 Offers a Holiday with History  Published in the Springfield Republican, June 21, 2018.

Israel Turns 70    Published in the Springfield Republican, May 11, 2018.

​Painting Peace    At an event at Christ Church Cathedral, Springfield commemorating seven years of war in Syria Sunday, April 29, 2018 

Imagine A Brand New World: Greeting a New Year    Published in the Jewish Ledger, September 15, 2017

More Than a Grandmother:  Memories of the Yiddish Stage Published in the Canadian Jewish News, July 31, 2017​​






Mon, July 15 2024 9 Tammuz 5784