About US

Historical Background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaloh House has been in the Greater Boston area for over forty years. 

It was founded under the auspices and instruction of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who envisioned the creation of a Jewish school in Boston that would serve the needs of the children from non-observant families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Since its inception, Shaloh House Day School has educated thousands of Jewish children.  For many of these children, Shaloh House Day School was their only exposure to Judaism.

In 1989 Shaloh House expanded, opening the Jewish Russian Center and as well as the first Russian Jewish synagogue in Boston.  In 1994 the school, the synagogue, and the Jewish Russian Center all moved to its present location on 29 Chestnut Hill in Brighton.

 

In 2000 Rabbi Moshe Gurkow, the founder of our organization, passed the torch to the new management under the leadership of Rabbi Dan Rodkin.

Unique Character of the Institution

Today, the Shaloh House Jewish Russian Center & Synagogue is a truly unique Jewish institution in Boston.  It is the only organization dedicated exclusively to the needs of the Russian Jewish community.

This is an extremely important mission since Russian Jews represent over 30% of the total Jewish population in the Greater Boston area.  From the cradle to the grave, Shaloh House is the cultural center for Russian Jews in Boston.

Organizational Structure

Under one roof and one management, Shaloh House effectively
combines three important organizational branches: 

  • Jewish Pre-School and Day school grades K-6  

 The school has set for itself the goal of attracting Russian Jewish children by providing a traditional Jewish education combined with advanced studies of mathematics.  The Russian Jewish community is well known for its outstanding contribution to math and science.  World renowned scholars such as Harvard professor David Kazhan and MIT professor Akiva Yaglom enthusiastically supported the new direction of the school. 

Today, students of Shaloh House are winning top prizes in math contests and chess competitions.  The school has acquired a name for academic excellence.

At the same time, the quality of its students Torah education has not suffered.  Indeed, Shaloh Houses unique scholastic approach proves that it is possible to successfully combine an advanced secular education with a profound learning of the Torah.

  • Jewish Russian Synagogue

Russian Jews who are not usually comfortable with the environment of an American synagogue have nevertheless embraced the Shaloh House Synagogue as their home. This is the place they come for brissin, bar mitzvas and weddings. This is the place they come on Shabbos, and it is where they learn about the meaning of the Jewish Holidays.  From toddlers to World War II veterans, Russian Jews feel welcome in the Synagogue.  It is a place of worship established specifically for Russian Jews, built and operated by Russian Jews.  During High Holidays the Synagogue hosts hundreds of people.

  • Jewish Russian Community Center

The Jewish Russian Center attracts lots of young Russian Jewish professionals, business people, and students.  The Center focuses on its support of Israel.  Russian Jews have participated in every event in Boston involving the support of Israel.  Indeed, most often the Jewish Russian Center and its Land of Israel Committee are the leaders in organizing the involvement of the rest of the Jewish Community---by bringing in important speakers, and organizing demonstrations, protests and other actions in support of Jewish causes.  It is little wonder that Center also serves as the center for political involvement on the local, state, and national levels.  The Center is committed to educating its members about their civic duties as Americans.  The Russian Jewish vote is a crucial demographic for many city and state elections, and its strength lies in the unity of its members.  Political representatives are frequent guests at the center.  Once silent, Jews of Russia are leading the rest of the Boston Jewish community in political activism under the leadership of the Jewish Russian Center.


What people say about us

Professor Michael Sherman,
Boston University School of Medecine

"... At first, both my wife and me were very hesitant about placing our son at Shaloh House. However, Professor Kazhdan, who was on the Shaloh House school Board, strongly suggested that we should take the risk. From the first days we realized that we made the right choice.

During the first year our son made an enormous, almost unbelievable progress. By now our third-grader reads fluently and likes it, his spelling improved dramatically. In mathematics our son can do tasks at the level of 5-6 grade, and even higher.

A very important aspect of the school is Jewish education, which is at excellent level.

Children at the school not only observe Jewish laws and traditions, but also are taught to understand their meaning..."

 

Professor Akiva Yaglom,
Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics, MIT

"...The level of mathematical fluency demonstrated by the children was way higher than in American schools, and in many aspects higher than in Europeran schools. The teacher is bright, knowledgeable, and has great teaching skills. I was also very impressed that the children were eager to answer my questions and to solve quite challenging non-standard problems that I gave to them..."

 

Dr. Eugenia Steingold,
Laboratory for Developmental Studies Harvard University

...I am writing to express my gratitude for Shaloh Houses hospitality in accommodating the research projects conducted by the Laboratory of Developmental Studies at Harvard University.  

On a more personal note I would like to add that I was highly impressed by the quality of the care that the center provided.  The center created an excellent environment with impressive range of nurture, from nourishing meals to the outstanding educational activities, adjusted not only for each age, but also for each childs unique needs and capabilities.   I am very happy that my daughter started your center this year, and I am confident that she will highly benefit from the loving care and nurture that your center provides& 

 

Brian P. Golden,
State Representative

".. the Shaloh House serves as the largest center in New England region for Russian Jewish immigrants. Included amongst the valuable services that the Shaloh House provides are cultural events, resettlement educational services, senior services, as well as as pre-school and day school..."

 

Historical Building

Wendal Kalsow, architect,
from comprehensive assessment of McGinley Hart and Associates

"The former Bennett School at 29 Chestnut Hill Avenue fills a strategic spot in the Brighton Historic Center landscape. A stones throw from the heart of Brighton Center, the intersection of Washington Street and Chestnut Hill Avenue (which is rapidly being renovated), it is also opposite the beautifully renovated Brighton Courthouse.

Designed in Victorian Gothic style and built in 1873, with red brick topped with sandstone and a central projecting bay topped by a battlemented parapet, the Bennett School is the only building of its style in the district.

It is described in detail in Section 7, Page 5 of the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for Brighton Center.

Unfortunately, the building is hardly what it should or could be even in appearance alone. The bricks are flaking extensively and the building is marred with eyesores four metal and/or plywood doors leading nowhere which dot the front and side fades, the last remnants from fire escapes which are no longer in existence and which were likely installed during the buildings use as a nursing home. In view of both its prominent location and its historic significance, the building deserves attention".