Our History

Kerem Shalom began with four families in 1968, as the Concord-Lincoln Study Group and later became the Concord-Lincoln Jewish Group. During the 1970s, programs grew to include adult education and non-religious social events, and the group renamed itself the Concord Area Jewish Group (CAJG). In the late 1970s, CAJG held its first Shabbat service, led by a Brandeis student. The success of the service deepened the community’s hunger for a richer, consistent community life including High Holy Day services and a permanent Hebrew School. The decision was made to hire Rabbi Michael Luckens who went on to serve the congregation for more than thirty years.

By 1980, the 80 member families of CAJG were holding Bar/Bat Mitzvah services, High Holiday services, and occasional Shabbat services and had created their own prayer book. Outgrowing the community center they had rented, in 1981, CAJG began renting space from First Parish in Concord. The next year, they purchased their first Torah—and in 1987 they purchased land in Concord to build a synagogue.

The completed synagogue was dedicated in 1989, and to commemorate this transition, CAJG formally became Kerem Shalom, Vineyard of Peace, as it is known today. The dedication was celebrated community-wide with hundreds of families, carrying a Torah,  accompanied by a Klezmer band,  walking through the center of Concord, from the First Parish, along Elm Street,  to their new home, Kerem Shalom. 

Kerem Shalom is a vibrant congregation, serving Concord and the surrounding area. In 2020, KS  joyfully celebrated 30 years of providing a center for Jewish life in the Concord community. (See the Concord Journal for details on our weekend celebration.)

We are known for our warm and caring services, our excellent one-day-a-week Hebrew School, and our rich and meaningful offerings for adults and families at every stage of life.

Come visit our beautiful synagogue, attend our Shabbat services and holiday events, meet with our Rabbi and staff, and talk with our members!

The groundbreaking for Kerem Shalom’s synagogue on Elm Street, Concord
The dedication parade for the new Kerem Shalom synagogue was celebrated community-wide in the center of Concord in 1989.