Newton, MA— Jan. 14: After receiving a $50,000 matching grant from the Massachusetts Preservation Project Fund and a $30,000 allocation from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, the JCAM Charitable Foundation is now moving forward in its restoration of the Ohabei Shalom Chapel in East Boston. The 1903 neo-gothic structure is the oldest surviving Jewish chapel in Massachusetts. The first phase of the restoration work will be to ensure the structural integrity of the exterior building and repairs to the century-old roof and gutters will be underway in the spring, 2008. The goal of JCAM’s Mystic River Jewish Communities Project is to transform the Chapel into an educational and community resource center that will tell the story of Boston’s early Jewish immigrant experience to thousands of visitors and school children each year that will journey to this historic site. This is a major endorsement from the Massachusetts Historical Commission lauding the merits of JCAM’s historic preservation efforts for the Ohabei Shalom Chapel.
The Chapel sits at the grand entrance of the first consecrated Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts, (Temple Ohabei Shalom, 1844) and is situated in the heart of the immigrant communities of East Boston and Chelsea on Wordsworth Street. The Chapel is also listed with the National Register of Historic Places. East Boston was the second largest port of entry into the United States outside of Ellis Island in New York and was home to the largest Jewish population in-turn-of-the-century New England.
Various community programs such as lectures, concerts, educational tours, life-cycle events, and interactive displays are in the development stage. JCAM looks forward to the Chapel being one Boston’s new premier historic destination points.
The goal of raising $2 million for this historic site cannot be accomplished without your help. We invite you to join us in this unique, far-reaching community project by making a tax-deductible contribution to the JCAM Charitable Foundation and becoming a supporter of the Mystic River Jewish Communities Project.
To learn more about naming opportunities at the Chapel for major gift donors, please call the JCAM Charitable Foundation at 617-244-6509 and a member of our development team will schedule a time to meet with you.