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Everything For and About the Jewish Community in Greater Boston and Beyond
 
Jewish Sites of Interest

Jewish Sites of Interest in Greater Boston

The New England Holocaust Memorial
 

     Take the Orange or Green line to the Haymarket stop, and you'll find the New England Holocaust Memorial next to Quincy Market in Boston. Six tall glass towers reach up to the sky. Six million numbers are etched in glass in an orderly pattern, suggesting the infamous tattooed numbers and ghostly ledgers of the Nazi bureaucracy. Evocative and rich in metaphor, the six towers recall the six main death camps, the six million Jews who died, or a menorah of memorial candles.


Harvard Street Area
 

     The quintessentially Jewish neighborhood in Greater Boston, this Brookline street includes kosher and Jewish-style restaurants, bakeries, and take-out establishments. The Judaica shops offer extensive collections of ritual objects, crafts, books, music, and videos. This is a special experience anytime, but especially on a Friday afternoon, a Sunday morning, or before a Jewish holiday.  Take the Green Line of the MBTA, B or C trains, and get off at Harvard Street.  A pleasant walk on a nice day!


Brandeis University
 

     Brandeis University is the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored college or university in the country. Founded in 1948, in Waltham, Brandeis is ranked in the top tier of the nation's universities. It has a student population of approximately 4,200 and an internationally acclaimed faculty. The attractive suburban campus consists of 235 acres and includes many interesting artistic and architectural sites. Some of these are:

The Three Chapels - Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic

  • Goldfarb Library - home to over 100,000 volumes
  • Rose Art Museum - permanent and special exhibits of modern and contemporary art
  • Spingold Theater Center - three theaters for undergraduate and graduate productions

American Jewish Historical Society
 

     The nation's oldest and largest archive, library, and museum interpreting the American Jewish experience. The New England headquarters of the AJHS is located in the Gann Library of Hebrew College in Newton Centre. It collects and makes available to researchers and the public programs and materials relating to the New England Jewish experience. Call 617-559-8880 for more information.


Hebrew College
 

     Located in Newton Centre, Hebrew College is committed to educating students of all ages and backgrounds to become knowledgeable, creative participants, educators and leaders in the Jewish community and the larger world.  Its many programs include the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, the Rabbinical School, the Cantor-Educator Program, Me'ah and Me'ah Graduate Institute, Prozdor (Jewish education for teens), and various Hebrew language and adult education programs.  The Rae and Joseph Gann Library houses an extensive collection of Judaica including over 125,000 volumes of Hebrew and English text. The collection includes numerous rare books, manuscripts, curriculum materials, and special collections from abroad.


Semitic Museum of Harvard University
 

     Founded over one hundred years ago, this is the only Semitic museum in New England. Located at 6 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, the museum is home to exhibits of ancient artifacts and more. Call 617-495-4631 for information regarding gallery tours and special exhibits.


Old Vilna Shul
 

    The Vilna Shul was built in 1919 by Jews from Vilna, in what is now Lithuania.  It is the last intact example of over fifty synagogues that once flourished in Boston.  Located at 18 Phillips Street, on the north slope of Beacon Hill, this extraordinary building is modeled after medieval European synagogues, yet it evokes the elegant simplicity of a colonial New England meeting house, synthesizing the old world with the new.  Distinctive features of the two-story brick building are the multi-colored stained glass Star of David, the hand-stenciled art covering the walls and ceiling, and three skylights flooding the sanctuary with natural light and imparting a spiritual quality to the space.  Telephone: 617-523-2324


Congregation Agudas Achim Anshei Sfard,
The Adams Street Synagogue

    The Adams Street Shul, as it is affectionately known, is the first and oldest synagogue in Newton, a close suburb of Boston.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was built in 1912 and looks as it did then.  Its ark, designed and built by famous ark builder Samuel Katz, is a masterpiece in mahogany and gilt, representing the deeply religious and very patriotic members of Newton's first Jewish community.  Beautiful arched windows and a stained glass Star of David are only some of its special features.  A traditional congregation, Adams Street welcomes Jews of every background, as it was built as and remains a community synagogue.  Telephone: 617-630-0226.

Walking Tours of Jewish Boston
"The Jewish Friendship Trail"

The Jewish Friendship Trail is a walking tour to sites of Jewish experience in Boston's West and North Ends circa 1870s through 1920s, presented by Boston Walks.  Boston Walks also offers visits to Jewish sites in Cambridge and South Boston.  Tours can be arranged for groups of 25 through 55.  Telephone: 617-489-5020.

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