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June 2008

First Jewish Cemetery in Massachusetts
Voted to National Register of Historic Places

Newton, MA— June 12: At a public meeting of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, held on June 11, 2008, the Ohabei Shalom Cemetery – Boston’s first Jewish cemetery (1844) – received approval to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Washington, D.C.  The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of historic properties worthy of preservation and the acknowledgment of our nation’s heritage.

Title to the cemetery was granted to the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts (JCAM) in 1996 when Temple Ohabei Shalom could no longer care for the century-old grounds. Today, JCAM holds title to more than 100 Jewish cemeteries out of the 209 in the state. Jewish European immigrants, predominantly from Germany, established the cemetery located on Wordsworth Street in East Boston.

The Ohabei Shalom Cemetery is also home to the oldest surviving Jewish chapel in Massachusetts, dedicated in 1903. The JCAM Charitable Foundation is planning to completely restore the Victorian-era chapel, transforming it into a community resource center and interactive exhibit hall, dedicated to the early immigrant Jewish communities of East Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop.

To learn more about the JCAM Charitable Foundation and the Ohabei Shalom Chapel restoration project, please explore this Web site!


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