Boston - Friday January 28, 2003 - The Havurah on The Hill, a branch of The Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture, held its ninth monthly learning service at The Vilna Shul, Boston’s oldest synagogue located in the heart of Beacon Hill. Over 150 of Boston’s young Jews attended a Friday night learning service, followed by guest speaker and a Kosher Shabbat dinner served in the Shul’s function room.
The service, led by soulful Aaron Greenberg, filled a sanctuary that has lied dormant for 20 years with sounds and songs of Jewish tradition. The Vilna Shul was built in 1919 and remained as a Shul until 1985, when it fell into disrepair and the last surviving member closed it down. The Shul, worn with years and awaiting renovations, nevertheless overflows with spirit as young Bostonians enjoy Shabbat evenings in the tradition of their forebears.
The Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture, an organization dedicated to preserving and passing on Jewish history and culture in Boston, has found a wonderful way to carry out its mission. It has turned the historic Vilna Shul into a living museum where a new generation of Boston Jews can experience the warmth and spirituality of Jewish history.
In Hebrew, Havurah means a gathering or community of friends. Havurah on the Hill is a group of young Jewish Bostonians who gather at the Vilna Shul for classes, Jewish programs and learning services in an effort to bring young Jews in Boston together. Havurah on The Hill can be found on the web at http://www.vilnashul.org.