Discover Jewish History in Some of America's Greatest Cities!

Jewish Friendship Trail Guidebooks, as of 2020, only are available directly from the author/publisher. To purchase a Jewish Friendship Trail Guidebook, Email: BostonWalks

NOW AVAILABLE - (1) Phoenix Scottsdale Jewish Friendship Trail GuideBook
with 7 Tours of Sites of Phoenix Scottsdale Jewry!
Was $19.95 USD Now $8.00 USD + $3 Media Mail
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(2) BostonWalks Jewish Friendship Trail GuideBook
with 6 Tours of Sites of Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge Jewry!
Was $19.95 USD Now $8.00 USD + $3 Media Mail
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(3) BostonWalks The Ten Commandments GuideBook
with creative suggestions for approaching our Ten Commandments!
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Discover a progressive Jewish interpretation of Maimonides' 13 principles here!

Celebrating 361 Years

of Jews in America

BRIDGE to understanding

Jewish Friendship Trail offers walking guide of sites in Boston

By BARBARA FISH The Patriot Ledger

As a South Shore resident, chances are good that you've traveled the Freedom Trail. And you've probably
walked along Boston's Black Heritage path as well. But have you experienced the Jewish Friendship Trail?

A tour of Jewish historical sites is available through BostonWalks' "Jewish Friendship Trail Guidebook."
The book is a step-by-step journey throughout Boston, Brookline and Cambridge to significant and often
unknown landmarks in Jewish history.

A walk down Salem Street in Boston's North End, for example, will show the street's past, lined with
kosher butchers, synagogues and Jewish schools. In fact, the book leads the reader to
a narrow alleyway where, in small and fading letters above a doorway, it still reads, "Hebrew School."

Michael Ross of Bedford, the guidebooks self-published author, set out to show "stories that can be
discovered by walking around Boston."

Ross' Jewish Friendship Guidebook includes six self-guided tours in various sections of the city,
and each site listing has historical information as well as stories and anecdotes.

Ross says he wants readers to gain "the joy of discovery that I had" while researching.

On one tour, Ross leads the reader to the Charles Theater Playhouse, which was a synagogue in the
mid 1800s, he says.

He suggests the reader visit Filene's, the famous department store started as a small clothing shop by
Jewish German immigrants William and Clara Filene in 1890.

Another trip leads to 114 Mount Vernon Street, the former home of Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish member
of the Supreme Court.

A struggle that Ross describes as a "balancing act between self identity and assimilation" is also seen
through stories in his book. He includes a few locations that were home to organizations
created to help Jewish immigrants adjust to American life.

He says memories like these helped him include "friendship" in the title of his guidebook.

"The Jews, wherever they've gone, have tried to adapt (to that culture) and they
wanted to be accepted," he said.

The cover photo of Ross' book, which includes the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, reflects this as
well. Zakim, the former head of Boston's Anti-Defamation League, "reflects our strong, late-20th
century, Jewish commitment to respectful multi-culturalism here," he said.

The stories and facts in the book are based on Ross' nearly ten years of research,
both on foot and through books.

An avid reader, Ross began finding information about past and present Jewish landmarks
in books.

"I was curious to see whether these sights actually existed, and some of them do," he said.

He began to group them into different sections of the city and led walking tours highlighting some of
those sites. He still does, and often leads groups of 40 or more, he says.

The tours evolved into the first edition of the guidebook in June 2000 and to his publishing and
walking tour company, BostonWalks.

Ross quickly learned that his walks could be a "vehicle for learning."

A lawyer and landlord by vocation, Ross views his guidebooks as an "avocation. This is a way for me
to continue to learn and participate," he said.

He hopes others will participate in Jewish history by following the guidebook's paths.

"I tried to make it possible for individuals to take these tours on their own to sites of
Jewish experience to give the opportunity for Jews and non-Jews to discover some of the sites of that history," Ross said.

For more information, contact Michael Ross [via]
[ ]

Copyright The Patriot Ledger September 20, 2003.

Connecting Links to Boston Walks

On-line selections from Michael Alan Ross' new,
The Ten Commandments Guidebook

Now available!

The Jewish Friendship Trail Guidebook

6 Self-Guided Walking/Bicycling Jewish Boston History Tours

Covers Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge

Softcover 198 pages with maps & b/w photos

Click here
Book Order Form
to order now!

Now available!

The Ten Commandments Guidebook

Ways to 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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Book Order Form
to order now!

"West End House" circa 2004
Begun by 35 Jewish boys in 1903!
Click here to connect with more of
Boston's Best!

img FileneimgBest of BostonimgNYC UWSimgBrandeis imgLove Your NeighborimgWatertown, New Town, & Muddy RiverimgWalk Near WaterimgRefute Hate imgWalk West/North Ends imgWe're One imgPray HereimgMeditationimgClubsimgBrooklineimgSensual WalksimgMore LoveimgReportingimgJewish BooksimgTENimgSouth End imgWhat's a political mensch? imgMore "What's a political mensch?"

The Jewish Friendship Trail in Boston's West and North Ends includes the homes of
Brandeis and Filene

Click here for an original, creative, re-interpretation for progressive Jews of Maimonides classic Jewish prayer of affirmation of Jewish faith, "Ani Maamin,"


by Michael Alan Ross

To be satisfied with life

perhaps, one might consider this raspberry!

Should orthodox women have the same opportunities to participate in learning, davening, and minhagim as men?

Click here for an original, creative, poetic elaboration of such a question,


Click here for 10 reasons for more bike trails!

When was the last time you really laughed?

We're featuring good Jewish jokes!
Check out this month's featured humor
by clicking here!

We know that there are other belly laughs our there.
Email us at with your contribution!

Isn't time to make unhealthy hospitals history?

Here's 10 ways to make our hospitals healthier!

Sing Sense to America

Remember the 21st century 1st decade presidential elections by singing some salivatingly satirical and serious song lyrics.
To do so, try these on your tongue:

Question: What's a political mensch?

Answer #1
Answer #2


Integrating the urban, modern Jewish American city experience with its historical sites and themes in such locales as Boston, MA, Portland, ME, East Bay and Providence, RI, and the Upper West Side of Manhattan, NYC.

Table of Contents of Boston Walks The Jewish Friendship Trail

Copyright Michael Alan Ross, 2004-2015. All Rights Reserved.