"TD BankNorth Garden" Boston, MA - Site of the 2004 DNC!
Looking at Boston from the Cambridge side of the Charles River,
from which liberty and democracy flow!
6 Self-Guided Walking/Bicycling Jewish Boston History Tours
Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge
Softcover 198 pages with maps &
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The Ten Commandments Guidebook
Self-Struggle with Classic Morals
In Song, Poetry, and Prose
Covers 10 Commandments Plus One Other!
Softcover 153 pages with
practical suggestions pages!
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The Jewish Friendship Trail
A Walking or Bicycling
Sites of Jewish
Sites Related to Harvard University
Immigrants of the Twentieth Century
Email: BostonWalks' The Jewish Friendship
We've been leading walking tours of Boston for about ten years.
So, when we were asked to devise a Jewish walking or bicycling
tour of Cambridge,
the home of Harvard University, we knew that we would walk many of
Cambridge's streets before suggesting this friendship trail.
Cambridge's Fresh Pond
Once known as Newtowne, it wasn't until the mid-1800s - after various
legal and attitudinal barriers were lowered, that Cambridge
began to attract a community of Jews.
During the years
1875 to 1925, approximately three to five thousand Jewish immigrants
arrived and stayed in Cambridge. The City - which, before the late 1800s,
consisted of three villages, East Cambridge, Central/Inman, and Harvard
Square (Old Cambridge) - by 1900, was becoming a unified city, linked
within (and without) by landfill, bridges, and the new, electrified,
public transportation system.
The bulk of Cambridge's
three to five thousand Jewish immigrants settled
in the Central and Inman Square areas. A small but important
number of Jews affiliated with Harvard University, as students or as
faculty members, settled in the Harvard Square area.
This BostonWalks' "The Jewish Friendship Trail" in Cambridge is designed
as a 2.5 hour bicycling tour. Try bicycling it yourself by printing out this website. Better yet, purchase our Guidebook, BostonWalks The Jewish Friendship Trail Guidebook by clicking here!
Let's bike, then, to these sites of Jewish Experience in
Around Inman Square were located:
- (1) Our first stop is at the far end of Brattle Street - or rather
that portion of the former Brattle Street now known as Elmwood Avenue. It
was here that Felix Frankfurter, Harvard Law School professor and Associate
Justice, United States Supreme Court, rented a house between the 1920s and 1960s.
- (2) We'll now bike up Reservoir Road where another Harvard Law School
professor today makes his home. Alan Dershowitz is well known for his
writings, television appearances, and famous clients. His concerns about
the continuance of the Jewish people in America have been expressed in
his "Chutzpa" and "The Vanishing American Jew."
- (3) We're heading toward and through Inman Square, once the heart
of Cambridge's Jewish community.
- Cambridge's first shul - Congregation Anshe Sfard on Webster Street,
- Cambridge's first Jewish community center on Elm Street,
- Cambridge's second shul - Congregation Beth Israel on Columbia Street, and
- Cambridge's third shul - Temple Ashkenaz on Tremont Street.
As we pass through Inman Square, we'll note (a) the large
Jewish style delicatessen there, a survivor in the spirit of two others
no longer extant in Brookline and Mattapan and (b) the old shop where
the Swartz family once maintained their furrier business.
- (4) The Congregation Anshe Sfard (1898-1957) building, a former wooden building
with a mikvah, no longer exists.
- (5) Cambridge's first Jewish community center (1913-1954) building does
exist and today is a Portuguese Club. As a Jewish community center, it
served a literary association, a YMHA, and a Zionist center.
- (7) The Congregation Beth Israel (1900-1962) building also exists and
today contains residential apartments. The congregation here followed a
Sephardic minhag. This wonderful, brick shul building of Congregation Beth Israel
was built during 1901-1902 and dedicated in 1903.
- (8) The Temple Ashkenaz (1910-1962) building likewise exists but in
a new reincarnation (since the 1962 merger of Congregation Beth Israel and
Temple Ashkenaz) as Temple Beth Shalom. Today, Temple Beth Shalom, often
referred to as the Tremont Street Shul, is best known for its vibrant
Simhat Torah celebrations which spill out onto Tremont Street.
- (9) Heading Southwest now, toward Central Square, we'll pass by a later Jewish Community
center (1951-1977) building on Harvard Street and then rediscover another
shul on Howard Street. The Congregation and Talmud Torah Yavna (1918-1934)
building today is quite run down, having been used as a harpsicord workshop
and residences for many years.
- (10) Heading toward the Charles River from Central Square, we'll stop by
an active congregation which evolved from a children's Hebrew school of the
1970s, Congregation Eitz Chayim.
- (11) On to the Harvard University buildings and area, where we'll bike
by the so-called Hebrew Room in Harvard Hall; Thayer Hall where
Brandeis lodged in his Harvard law School days; the corner of Kennedy and
Winthrop Street, where once stood the home of Judah Monis, Harvard's
first full-time Hebrew instructor; and, finally, we'll conclude this bike
tour at the vibrant Harvard University Hillel House on Mt. Auburn Street.
Hope you enjoyed our tour of sites of Jewish experience in
Walks Around Boston Links
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Links to Boston and New England