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Looking closely at the Jewish migration in and out of Dorchester

Posted: March 14, 2014

Last week, Amy Schectman was a featured speaker at the Boston Public Library series on Boston neighborhoods. Offering an overview of the growth of Boston's Jewish population, Amy highlighted the major immigration waves that spurred the Jewish communities to relocate. Her primary focus was the Dorchester/Mattapan/Roxbury area -- she began the presentation with an iconic photo of Blue Hill Avenue. That region had a solid Jewish population of 70,000 in the 50s, which began to decline in the 60s as people moved to Brookline and the Allston-Brighton area. By the 1970s, only 16,000 Jews remained in the "old neighborhood". This population shift prompted the forming of JCHE, which was incorporated in 1965. Our first three buildings -- Ulin, Leventhal and Genesis House in Brighton -- were opened beginning in 1971 and completed by 1975. The apartments were quickly filled with poor seniors who needed a place to go. 

We plan on sharing this compelling history as we celebrate JCHE's 50th anniversary in 2015. Stay tuned!! 

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