Third Annual Vilna Shul Descendants’ Day and Community Celebration

When: Sunday, November 8 2015, 11:00 am

Third Annual Vilna Shul Descendants’ Day and Community Celebration Image

In keeping with our mission to honor our past, educate future generations, and create community we are thrilled to announce our 


Three years ago, the Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture re-launched a huge genealogical project to locate living descendants of the 400 congregants whose names appear on our plaques. At our first-ever Descendants' Day in November, 2013, we welcomed 100 descendants of the founders of the Vilna Shul. Many did not know that their grandparents/great-grandparents lived in the West End of Boston before they moved to Dorchester, Mattapan, Revere or Brookline. Seeing people’s faces light up and eyes brim with tears as they connected directly with their heritage was incredibly meaningful for us. Last November, we welcomed yet another 250 descendants from other founding families. This initiative has proven to be a resounding success, earning acclaim from The Boston Globe and The Forward.


On Sunday, November 8,  2015, at 11am, we invite descendants of many of the founding members of the Vilna Shul in the early 1900's to join us for our Third Annual Vilna Shul Descendants' Day. This year, we have added a light lunch following the short program. You will have the opportunity to tour the Vilna, see your ancestors' names on our walls, and learn more about the history of the West End and what life was like for Boston's early Jewish immigrants. Also, we are thrilled to invite you to stay until 1 pm, when our Mosaic Project gets underway. We are recreating with tiles one of the murals on the first floor, and you will have the opportunity to “re-build” the Vilna by placing a tile in the mural, just as your ancestors who contributed to the building did almost one hundred years ago. So, with the program at 11am, lunch, and your participation in the Mosaic Project at 1pm,  the day promises to be fascinating, educational, and emotional. We encourage you to bring other family members and friends as well.


If you respond promptly, we will do our best to research historical documents for your family.

Please RSVP by clicking on the "Register Now!" button below by October 8th and follow the instructions as you are redirected to further resgistration and payment of $18.00 per person. Contact us at with any questions.

As we bring in the year 5776, we hope that you will honor those who came before you and join us on November 8th.

Marilyn Okonow and David Rosen, 

Board of Directors and co-chairs, The Vilna Shul Genealogical Project 

That you might recount it for a future generation, Psalms 48:14



Public Transit, Driving, and Walking Directions:

The closest T subway stop is Charles/MGH. Validated parking is also available for $5 per car is available nearby and ONLY for the underground parking at the Charles River Plaza/ Cambridge Street Garage at 165 Cambridge Street nearby. Please be advised that drivers must validate your green ticket at the Vilna Shul for validated parking.

For detailed directions to the Vilna, please click the following link to our Hours, Directions, and Parking page of our website. If you have any questions, email or call (617) 523-2324.

Share this Post: