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Celebrating 361 Years
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
A tour of Jewish historical sites is available through BostonWalks' "Jewish Friendship Trail Guidebook."
A walk down Salem Street in Boston's North End, for example, will show the street's past, lined with
Michael Ross of Bedford, the guidebooks self-published author, set out to show "stories that can be
Ross' Jewish Friendship Guidebook includes six self-guided tours in various sections of the city,
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
He suggests the reader visit Filene's, the famous department store started as a small clothing shop by
Another trip leads to 114 Mount Vernon Street, the former home of Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish member
A struggle that Ross describes as a "balancing act between self identity and assimilation" is also seen
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
The cover photo of Ross' book, which includes the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, reflects this as
The stories and facts in the book are based on Ross' nearly ten years of research,
An avid reader, Ross began finding information about past and present Jewish landmarks
"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
The tours evolved into the first edition of the guidebook in June 2000 and to his publishing and
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
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
For more information, contact Michael Ross [via] bostonwalks.tripod.com
Copyright The Patriot Ledger September 20, 2003.
On-line selections from Michael
Alan Ross' new,
The Jewish Friendship Trail Guidebook
Self-Guided Walking/Bicycling Jewish Boston History Tours
Brookline, and Cambridge
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by Michael Alan Ross
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Question: What's a political mensch?
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.