Boston’s oldest Jewish cemetery to become immigrant center

Ohabei Shalom's burial chapel concerted into immigration center.

JTA and Arutz Sheva Staff ,


The oldest Jewish cemetery in Boston is set to become a community center for the newest immigrants on the city’s east side.

The Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts announced plans to convert Ohabei Shalom’s Gothic Revival burial chapel into the East Boston Immigration Center four years ago. Partnering with advocacy groups, JCAM is in the midst of a $2.5 million campaign to cover the restoration and retrofitting of the space.

The center plans to host citizenship and naturalization classes, along with English lessons, while offering guidance on operating a small business.

East Boston remains the city’s immigrant enclave, welcoming most of its recent newcomers from Colombia and El Salvador. According to JCAM officials, the center will assist some of the underserved neighborhood’s most vulnerable residents.

JCAM also hopes that the creation of the center may draw more local Jews to visit Ohabei Shalom.

Although East Boston once maintained an active Jewish community, Ohabei Shalom is all that remains of this past.