Stoughton's Shaloh House plans expansion

Seth Jacobson

For families in Stoughton, Canton and surrounding towns, Shaloh House has always been a great place to worship and learn about Judaism. But there are some changes on the very near horizon.

By the beginning of August or thereabouts, Shaloh House will have a new 2,000 square-foot addition, making room for three large classrooms and more office space.

There are also improvements being made to the existing building, which covers 4,000 square-feet of space.

“We were finding that we had no place to put things anymore,” said Rabbi Mendel Gurkow, regarding why the construction was needed. “We were holding classes in the synagogue and we desperately needed more office space. Now, we’re at the tail-end of the construction.”

He added the groundbreaking for the project was in April and noted the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new building will probably be held sometime near Labor Day.

Gurkow said the construction on the building was done by Paris and Associates of Easton and said the cost of the project was $750,000.

“We have raised $250,000 of that cost,” Gurkow said, noting the project was covered initially by a loan. “But we need to raise another $500,000 so we can cover the cost.”

Gurkow said Shaloh House had a very “active” fundraising campaign for the project, which is still going on. He said donations for the project would be welcome.

“The bottom line is efficiency,” Gurkow said. “Now that we’re doing this, things will run more efficiently at Shaloh House. It’s a wonderful addition.”

He said the construction project has not been a hindrance in terms of keeping everyday programs running at Shaloh House.

“By working with our staff and the construction team, our operation has been in full force since the construction began,” Gurkow said. “It hasn’t been a problem at all.”

Gurkow has invested the last 20 years building Shaloh House from the ground up. Though Shaloh House has been around for 30 years in its current location, Gurkow had the task of building his own congregation when he started there.

“We have grown quite a bit over the years,” he said, adding when he got there, there were no members, no programs and very limited outreach. He said now, Shaloh House has more than 200 families as members and offers educational programs, a Hebrew School and a synagogue.

“We started with zero members and zero dollars,” Gurkow said. “We built Shaloh House one person at a time. We built it up slowly and now it’s a very vibrant, enthusiastic place. You get a great feeling when you walk in. I am very proud of what we’ve been able to do. And our community is very excited about it.”

Gurkow said anyone interested in Shaloh House should feel free to come by and have a look at what’s going on there.

“We’re an outreach organization,” he said. “We’re very different than a typical synagogue.”

Anyone interested in donating to the current Shaloh House construction fund should contact the development office at (781) 344-6334. People can learn more about Shaloh House by logging on to

Stoughton Journal