Jonathan Kraft, New England Patriots’ Vice Chairman, To Speak At Havurah On The Hill Kick Off Event

Boston, MA, October 25, 2002 - Jonathan Kraft, Vice Chairman of The New England Patriots, will be the guest speaker for the official “kick off” of Havurah on The Hill, on Friday Oct. 25, 2002 at The Vilna Shul, located at 18 Phillips Street on Beacon Hill, Boston. The event starts at 6:30 PM with a Friday night Shabbat learning service followed by Mr. Kraft’s keynote address and a light Shabbat dinner. Advance admission for the event is $18 with all proceeds going to Havurah on The Hill.

Mr. Kraft will be speaking about his Jewish values and how they inform his managing a professional sports team. As Vice Chairman of The New England Patriots, Mr. Kraft oversees the overall development of each department within the organization and assists in their strategic planning. Mr. Kraft spearheaded the team’s efforts to build the new privately-financed $325 million Gillette Stadium that was designed to be the most fan-friendly facility of its kind. In 1994, Mr. Kraft played an integral role in the negotiations that led to his family’s purchase of the Patriots, saving the team from an inevitable move out of New England.

The gala event follows a series of successful Friday night programs with engaging speakers in an effort to revitalize the Vilna Shul, Boston’s oldest synagogue and Boston’s future historic, Jewish museum. Havurah on The Hill has established a group of young leaders in the community or “Havurah” to support the Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture in this revitalization project.

On one Friday night each month, as well as on some special occasions, Havurah on the Hill participants gather for learning services, speakers, songs, hors d’oeuvres and meals at The Vilna Shul. In the past, Havurah on The Hill has featured Stephen Simons, Eric Giesser, Mike Ross, Michael Bohnen and Anya Farber as speakers.

For Reservations: Mail checks payable to Vilna Shul/Havurah on the Hill to:
Janet Giesser - Havurah Kick Off Event
62 Kirkland Circle
Wellesley, MA 02481

About The Vilna Shul The Vilna Shul was built in 1919 by Jews from Vilna, in what is now Lithuania. It is the last intact example of over fifty synagogues that once flourished in Boston. The building, located on Phillips Street on the north slope of Beacon Hill, was modeled after medieval European synagogues but also incorporated in its construction, the elegant simplicity typical of colonial New England meetinghouses. Distinctive features of the two-story brick building are the multi-colored stained glass Star of David, the hand-stenciled art covering the walls and ceiling, and three skylights flooding the sanctuary with natural light and imparting a spiritual quality to the space.

About The Boston Center For Jewish Culture The Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture, Inc. is restoring the Vilna Shul as Boston’s future historic Jewish museum and cultural center. The mission of the BCJC is to ensure the preservation of the Vilna Shul and its sanctuary for cultural and educational programs and exhibits to foster awareness and appreciation of the Jewish experience in Boston and the ongoing contributions Jews have made to the history of the city. The history of Jews in Boston will be used as a vehicle to promote understanding and respect for diversity in contemporary society, focusing on the differences and values of the immigrant communities that unite us all as Americans.

About The Havurah on The Hill 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 historic Vilna Shul in an effort to continue the traditions, values and heritage of Jewish culture, create a sense of community, and have fun. Once a month on Friday nights, the Havurah meets for Kabbalat Shabbat learning services, speakers, and a communal Shabbat dinner. The group also hosts dinners, lectures, classes, and other events on varied basis throughout the year. People of all backgrounds are invited to attend. Havurah on the Hill is the young leadership group of The Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture. For more information, please go to

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