Jewish Educational and Cultural Center Makor was established in 2005.
For years Jewish immigrant families from the former Soviet Union (FSU) in Greater Boston realized the existence of a tremendous need for quality Jewish educational and cultural programming. Young and elderly people alike believe that they are missing an integral part of their cultural heritage because there is no program solely dedicated to providing Jewish cultural and educational enrichment for them at a specific centralized community setting. With the closing of Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center in Brighton in December of 2004, this issue became even more pressing. In response to this need, several Boston area based FSU Jewish community groups got together and after an extensive planning and community consultations Jewish Cultural and Educational Center Makor was born.
The Mission of the Center Makor is to stimulate and grow a strong Jewish identity through enthusiasm for the Jewish culture among the FSU Jews and integration with the mainstream Jewish community in Massachusetts.
Since FSU Jews are mostly unaffiliated with mainstream community institutions, this objective should be accomplished through their strong desire for Jewish culture and the need to educate their children about traditions of their ancestors, building pride for belonging to the Jewish nation in their identity.
Expanding upon the success of the FSU Jewish Community School 2001-2010, which is geared primarily for families with young (age 3-12) children, The Center is offering a plethora of new cultural opportunities and educational programs affecting nearly every segment of the FSU community. Center is open every day of the week except Shabbats and major Jewish holidays.
The Center Makor acts as a community center and provides space, technical assistance and help with organizing cultural events to numerous local FSU Jewish organizations that also participate in the development of programs for Center Makor. Center Makor is supported by Combined Jewish Philanthropies and partnering with numerous FSU organizations.
Right now Center Makor is operating at Campus on 384 Harvard St. Brookline, MA 02446; there Center Makor became a part of a very new formation and partnership opportunity with more than ten different organizations residing at this Campus. The major partners are Congregation Kehillath Israel, Congregation Mishkan Tefila, Washington Square Minyan, “Yachad” and others. The idea of the Campus is coexistence and close partnership of different religious and non-religious formations under the same roof there each partner is treated equally and could keep it is own identity.
The Center has been serving as a cultural home for our community since 2005 in a number of ways.
- Supports musicians, singers, authors, and other talents;
- Provides concert space, auditoriums, meeting rooms, and technical support, often at a significant discount, sometimes even for free;
- Provides an audio/video recording studio;
- Supports Holocaust education and commemoration initiatives, especially initiatives about the Holocaust by Bullets – on the territories of the former USSR occupied during WWII.
- Provides professional help to organize event: fundraiser, concert, literature evening, theater play, holiday celebration, community arts and culture festival, recital, etc.
- Runs programs for families, such as
- the unique “Family to Family” exchange program between Boston and Haifa, which continues since 2007;
- “Jewish Parents Academy Boston” startup program
- Children’s programs: Purim festival, Hanukkah, Tu B’Shevat, and other events became must-attend events on families’ calendars;
- Annual Artistic Hanukkah Festival is the longest-running Hanukkah festival in the USA for 24 years;
- Babi Yar commemoration of the tragedy is going for 21 years;
- Community Second Seder is celebrated since 2002;
- Center Makor is the only organization in our community that’s holding the Yom Haatzmaut celebration.
Our events are now attended by the FSU Jews as well as by English-speaking and Hebrew-speaking Jews.