The Walnut Street Minyan, located in Newton Centre, is an independent, traditional egalitarian, lay-led, participatory community that is loosely structured but tightly connected.
- Independent: We are unaffiliated with any other institution or Jewish denomination.
- Traditional egalitarian: Our services are all in Hebrew, we use Orthodox as well as Conservative siddurim and chumashim and we read the weekly Torah portion in its entirety. Women and men participate equally.
- Lay led: We have no rabbi and no paid staff. Members with the requisite skills lead services, read Torah and give brief drashot. We are led by a moderator and governed by town meetings.
- Participatory: Members volunteer for organizational tasks, plan social and educational events and sign up for weekly duties, such as kiddush setup and cleanup.
Minyan members come from a wide range of Jewish backgrounds, and our culture is distinctly informal. We celebrate happy occasions together and support one another through difficult times.
Our Minyan grew out of the well-established Newton Centre Minyan, which split in 2021 after Hebrew College, its longtime home, decided to relocate, and no consensus could be reached on an alternative space. While roughly half the members chose to join Temple Emanuel and continue to hold independent services there, we chose a new location at 858 Walnut St. and became the Walnut Street Minyan.
We warmly welcome guests to our Shabbat services, which start at 9:30 a.m. Note that we continue to meet at Hebrew College until renovations at Walnut Street are completed toward the end of 2022.