Chelsea was a thriving center of Jewish life during the last century. Located just four miles northeast of downtown Boston, Chelsea had the densest concentration of Jews outside of New York City. The Jewish immigrants to Chelsea established about two dozen orthodox synagogues and one conservative temple. Temple Emmanuel was formed in the 1930s and continues with a dedicated congregation from the local area and across the US.
As a commitment to Temple Emmanuel and Chelsea, the members raised almost $100,000 and just completed an extensive renovation. The sanctuary was built in the 1840s as a Methodist-Episcopal church with high ceilings and excellent sight lines to the ark. In the 1950s the sanctuary, which seated almost 500, was often full for the high holidays. We still attract crowds to our major functions. A few years ago we mounted a Jews of Chelsea Exhibition that attracted more than 500 visitors.
The re-invigoration of Temple Emmanuel reflects a loyal membership and a dynamic tireless president, Sara Lee Saievetz Callahan. Sara Lee learned effective leadership from her mother and grandmother, who were very active in the community including the Chelsea Soldiers Home and the Assumption Church. Rabbi Oksana Chapman has been very creative in preserving some religious aspects of conservative traditions while adapting to embrace a diverse community. For example, services now include a chorus and musicians; interfaith and same-sex weddings and congregants are celebrated. The temple renovations include a large social hall and an updated kitchen, which can accommodate up to 135 for both religious and secular functions.
Chelsea is in the midst of a renaissance and is growing with the construction of government, commercial, and residential buildings plus a new transportation hub. Temple Emmanuel welcomes new residents, those with roots in Chelsea, and anyone seeking a welcoming and warm environment (haimish in Yiddish). We invite visitors and prospective members at any service or function.
Temple Emmanuel is throwing a party and invites you to celebrate our recent renovations and continued commitment to the renaissance of Chelsea.
June 16, 2018
60 Tudor Street in Chelsea
Enjoy our food stations!
Dance and enjoy our entertainment!
View our exhibit: a century of Chelsea cultural life!
Just $100 per person, which includes two tickets for beer and wine. Call 617-889-1736 for more information.
Come see the preservation of Chelsea history. The Temple Emmanuel building dates from the 1840s as a Methodist-Episcopal church with high ceilings, excellent sight lines, and solid elegant woodwork.
As a commitment to Temple Emmanuel and Chelsea, we raised almost $100,000 and are completing an extensive renovation. We continue as enthusiastic supporters of our community by investing in the renewal of Chelsea. Come see our progress and celebrate with us!
Painting a Picture of Generosity:Temple Emmanuel Honors Barry and Darleen Kirshon for Their Philanthropy
By Cary Shuman
Temple Emmanuel honored Barry Kirshon and his wife, Darleen Kirshon, in a surprise ceremony Sunday morning at the historic house of worship on Cary Avenue.
The Kirshons thought they were there to present flowers to Rabbi Oksana Chapman on a day celebrating the near-completion of an extensive renovation project at the synagogue.
But Barry and Darleen were the true honorees as the congregation bestowed flowers and gifts upon the Kirshons, including the high honor of having a permanent, inscribed plaque placed on the bimah.
During his remarks for the rabbi, Barry noted that as a young boy he attended Hebrew School at Temple Emmanuel under the tutelage of Mr. Maurice Pearlman and took his bar mitzvah lessons there.
“It was a terrific time of my life back in the 1960s and I remember it well,” said Kirshon, owner of Kirshon Paint on Park Street. “It’s just an amazing thing that this temple has been able to survive and so many haven’t. It’s due to people like Sara Lee Callahan and Richard Clayman and others that have led this temple for many years. I’m just honored to be here. We’ve gone through a lot of work to get this place revitalized and there’s a lot work to do still but we’re getting there. It will be a wonderful place to be and enjoy and pray.”
That’s when Rabbi Chapman and Temple President Callahan turned the spotlight on the Kirshons for their continuing generosity and many acts of kindness.
“This temple has many angels who care deeply about the community and are sent to us by God to create and recreate this beautiful space that brings joy to all who enter,” said Chapman. “The two specific angels that we are celebrating today are our own Darleen and baary Kirshon. Your dreams with your hard work became a reality for all of us to celebrate and enjoy.”
State Rep. Dan Ryan presented a congratulatory citation from the Mass. House of Representatives to the Kirshons in recognition of their contributions to Temple Emmanuel.
“We offer our sincerest congratulations to Barry and Darleen Kirshon for their selfless generosity toward the renovation of Temple Emmanuel,” said Ryan. “Your hard work and unwavering dedication is a credit to both Temple Emmanuel and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
Callahan then presented a proclamation from City Manager Tom Ambrosino and the City of Chelsea recognizing the Kirshons for “their volunteer work and extraordinary generosity that has helped Temple Emmanuel continue to thrive as a welcoming place for worship, reflection, and refuge.”
The next tribute to Barry and Darleen Kirshon came in the form of a special plaque inscribed with their names that will forever shine on the wall behind the pulpit. The guests responded with warm applause for Barry and Darleen, a final nod of appreciation to a couple that has meant so much to Temple Emmanuel and the community of Chelsea.
“Thank you very much, Barry and Darleen,” said Callahan before the congregation moved in to the function room for a collation.
The Great Shofar is sounded; a still, small voice is heard. This line from the High Holy Days liturgy, more than any other, captures the power of the approaching Days of Awe. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur call out to us through the piercing sound of the Shofar, inviting us to renew our connection with ourselves and with God.
As we prepare to greet New Year 5776, we urge each and every person in the Chelsea Jewish
community – to come hear the sound of the Shofar. The Great Shofar will be sounded…join with us so that it will be heard. Shanah Tovah. Temple Emmanuel Chelsea’ congregation wish you and a joyous and healthy New Year. Pictured above Sunday at Temple Emmanuel are some members of the congregation, from left, Edward Rosenzwaig, Jay Rosenzwaig, Sandra Maddeford, Lou Abrams, Adrean Abrams, Stephen Vider, Rabbi Oksana Chapman, Cindy Millman, Gloria Gerrig, Charlie Drector, Sharon Minkovitz, Carl Minkovitz, and Michael Hoffman.