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5772, 495, and Beyond: New Communities in Jewish Boston

by Dan Brosgol on behalf of Prozdor: The High School of Hebrew College / October 03, 2011


created at: 2011-10-03Medway.  Andover.  Bolton.

Chelmsford.  Winthrop.  Gloucester.

What do all these towns have in common?  Read down a bit for the answer.

Jewish Boston used to be a small semicircle.  In the days of our grandparents you could draw a ring around Dorchester, Mattapan, Brookline, Newton, Chelsea, Revere, and Lynn and capture a whole lot of Jews.

In recent years that circle widened to include Randolph, Sharon, Framingham, Lexington, Peabody, and Marblehead.

Now, it’s even wider.  This year alone Prozdor is pulling in kids from all six of the towns that were listed at the top of this page.  While Newton and Brookline remain the core of our student population, in addition to large centers in Needham, MetroWest, the South Shore, and Lexington, we are branching out farther out, beyond 495, to meet the needs of Jewish families in teens who live far away from the traditional centers of Jewish Boston.

It’s a new demographic reality, and one which is reflected in the growth of smaller synagogues located on the periphery.  While many of these communities might be struggling to build a teen community for their youth, Prozdor offers them something that they can’t find at Wachusett Regional High School or Merrimack High School in New Hampshire: a vibrant community of Jewish learning and teen engagement.  By offering them dynamic teachers and role models and access to both a peer community and opportunities to see the world through Jewish travel experiences, we are helping to inspire a new generation of future leaders to take both pride in their Judaism and ownership over their Jewish education.

As we prepare for Yom Kippur this weekend, a holiday at which community is almost a prerequisite, Prozdor is proud to be serving the needs of a Jewish teen community whose borders continue to expand westward, northward, and southward.  While the days of an insular, urban Jewish community are behind us, Prozdor is well-positioned to serve the needs of a Jewish "Boston" that extends from the southern tip of the White Mountains, to the hills of Worcester Country, down to Narragansett Bay.

On behalf of the Prozdor and Hebrew College community, please accept my wishes for a shana tovah u’metukah and a tzom kal this coming Yom Kippur.  We hope to see you in our hallways in the coming year.


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