The Ohabei Shalom Chapel, built in 1903, is the oldest surviving mortuary chapel in Massachusetts and is currently undergoing stabilization and restoration.
JCAM assumed responsibility for the 1844 Ohabei Shalom Cemetery, the state’s first legally established Jewish cemetery, in 1996. Inspired by the research of students at the Boston Architectural College, JCAM decided to save and rehabilitate the dilapidated 1903 chapel building. Their efforts over many years, and especially through the completion of a recent phase of restoration, have saved this treasure from loss with plans for it to become the East Boston Immigration Center. The Center will house a permanent exhibit chronicling the immigration history of greater Boston and will provide space for a variety of programs.
The Chapel will be transformed into The East Boston Immigration Center and will be restored to house traditional Jewish life cycle events as well as an interpretive exhibit on the history of immigration through the Port of Boston during the late 1800s – early 20th century. The Chapel will provide an inspiring context for exhibits exploring the experiences of Jewish, Irish, Italian and other immigrant groups. The goal is to connect this shared history to the newly established immigrant communities from Latin America, Asia and Africa. JCAM will collaborate with local community organizations, such as MIRA, to provide the restored chapel facilities to organizations serving the immigrant communities living in the surround neighborhoods today as a resource and cultural center.
The Chapel stands at the grand entrance of the first Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts, Temple Ohabei Shalom Cemetery, founded in 1844. Primarily focusing on Boston’s early Jewish immigration, the chapel will feature audio oral histories, photos and artifacts of what Jewish life was like during those early days. The Center will also host concerts, presentations and educational programs.
We invite you to join us in this far-reaching historic project. Make your tax-deductible contribution to the “JCAM Charitable Foundation” for the restoration of the Ohabei Shalom Chapel, and future home of the East Boston Immigration Center.
To learn more about naming opportunities at the exhibit hall for major gift donors, please call the JCAM Charitable Foundation and a member of our development team will schedule a time to meet with you.
Thank you for your support. Together, we will succeed in creating an educational environment to house our shared history and preserve the legacy of our Jewish roots in the Boston area.
Learn what makes Jewish cemeteries Jewish!
Speakers from the JCAM Charitable Foundation are now available to your synagogue, brotherhood/sisterhood, day school, or adult/informal education programs to present cemetery educational tours. This unique educational opportunity will open a new chapter in all aspects of Jewish cemetery education.
Call Lisa Berenson, Director of Educational Programming & Development at 617-244-6509 and discover why we believe that Jewish cemeteries are for the living!
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