New home for Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills
The future is now for Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills, as it prepares to occupy and dedicate its new spiritual home at 18 Shoolman Way in Milton. For over four years the congregation has had the motto “Building Now . . . and for the Future” as it worked with great determination and perseverance to find a new home after leaving it’s too-large building on Blue Hill Avenue in Milton, and merging with Temple Beth El of Quincy. Led by Rabbi Alfred Benjamin and a dedicated group of lay leaders and volunteers, with members from Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, South Boston, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Milton and Quincy, that motto is coming to fruition as this regional congregation plans its opening and dedication events for the weekend of April 30-May 1, 2016.
On April 30th, from 9:30 – 1:00, the congregation will hold its final Sabbath service, a “Shabbat of Appreciation and Gratitude”, at The First Congregational Church of Milton, its temporary home since the Fall of 2011. Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills will give special thanks at the end of the service by honoring church leaders Reverend John Allen, Reverend Jeff Johnson and Elizabeth Mozek.
On Sunday, May 1st, the congregation will conduct a Torah Parade that will begin at the Milton Town Gazebo, continue up Reedsdale Road and conclude at the new Temple building. With permission from Marvin Gordon, the procession will be led by the antique tractor owned by his grandfather, Max Shoolman, who bought the land in the 1920’s to set up a kosher dairy farm, upon which Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills now stands.
A parade of Torah Scrolls is the traditional, joyous way of moving Torahs (aka Five Books of Moses) from an old location to a new home. Following a farewell gift presentation from First Congregational Church at 12:45 p.m., congregation members and all supporters are welcome to participate at 1:30 in the mile-long walk and ride to Shoolman Way.
The Sanctuary Dedication Ceremony will begin at 2:45 p.m., at which time Mezuzot, the traditional sign on the doorposts of Jewish homes, will be put up. Prayers will also be recited along with the presentation of proclamations from Governor Baker, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Milton town leaders. Father Steve Zukas of St. Elizabeth Church, the Congregation’s nearest spiritual neighbor, will offer a special welcome on behalf of the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association.
On the following Saturday, May 7th, the congregation will celebrate its first Shabbat service in its new building, with participation of the students who attend the K – 7th grade religious school. The service will honor the many volunteers who carried out the logistics required to keep the synagogue functioning during its four year sojourn.
The Dedication Ceremony on Sunday, May 1st will begin a new and long-awaited chapter in the over-70-year history of this area’s Jewish community. It will put the synagogue’s Rabbi Jerome Weistrop Religious School, offices, religious services, special events, holiday and family celebrations all under one roof, making this location the Jewish spiritual and cultural home to those who live in and around this part of the Blue Hills.
For more information or to request an invitation to attend the Dedication Ceremony (where seating is limited), contact Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills at 617-698-3394, email: [email protected], or go to: www.bethshalombluehills.org/2016/03/dedication-events