Newton, MA— June 20: The Massachusetts Historical Commission awarded a $50,000 matching grant from the Massachusetts Preservation Project Fund to the JCAM Charitable Foundation. The funds will enable restoration work to begin on the exterior building and roof structure of the historic Ohabei Shalom Chapel (right) in East Boston--future home for the Mystic River Jewish Exhibit Hall. “This is a major endorsement from the Massachusetts Historical Commission lauding the merits of the JCAM Charitable Foundation’s historic preservation efforts for the Ohabei Shalom Chapel,” says JCAM Executive Director, Stanley Kaplan.
The JCAM Charitable Foundation’s restoration plans for the 1903 Jewish chapel, situated at the grand entrance of first Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts (Temple Ohabei Shalom Cemetery, 1844) will transform the Chapel into a state-of-the art exhibit hall dedicated to the early Mystic River Jewish communities of East Boston, Chelsea, Revere, Somerville, Medford, Malden, Everett, and Winthrop. The initial restoration work will focus on re-establishing the structural integrity of the building, repairing the century-old slate roof, and replacing windows and doors.
Through interactive displays and computerized imagery, the interior of the new Mystic River Jewish Exhibit Hall will bring to life the oral histories, artifacts, commercial growth, and lives of Boston’s early Jewish immigrants who settled and prospered along the Mystic River. A $2MM capital campaign was launched in September of 2006 with a targeted completion date for the exhibit hall to be in late 2008. Click here to learn more about the JCAM Charitable Foundation and the Mystic River Jewish Communities Project.