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Reflecting Brookline's Jewish Culture: Featuring Boston 3G, Inc. and Jewish Women's Archive

By Kristen Bosse

Anyone who's anyone knows that Greater Boston has a huge Jewish presence that only seems to be growing as times goes on. According to an American Jewish Year Book survey, approximately 6.4 million Americans are Jewish, or 2.2%. The 275,000 Jews living in Massachusetts constitute 4.3% of our state's population, almost double the national percentage. Brookline, along with the nearby Boston neighborhood of Brighton and the city of Newton, is a cultural hub for the Jewish community of Greater Boston. Wearing this title proudly, Brookline has instituted and hosted many Jewish organizations geared towards acceptance and raising awareness of past history. Both the Jewish Women's Archive and Boston 3G, Inc. have done wonders for the Jewish population of Brookline and surrounding towns, bringing together those of Jewish religion and those who want to learn more.

Boston 3G, Inc.

Boston 3G, Inc. is a non-profit organization that creates an outlet for Holocaust remembrance in Greater Boston, focusing on the perspective of the third generation. Their mission is to explore their shared history to keep the memories of survivors alive and to bring together anyone who is committed to their five pillars, which focus on "Never Again" and "Never Forget". The organization holds events throughout the year, which promotes Holocaust awareness and education. One of their upcoming events includes a "Holocaust Survivor Holiday Visitation" program, where volunteers can go and spend an hour with a Holocaust survivor taking a walk, doing a crossword puzzle, or even sharing their story. Boston 3G, along with other local Jewish organizations have collaborated together to create a real support system for Holocaust survivors, and their offspring.

Some might wonder, why is it so important to preserve the memories of these survivors? As time goes by, the actual amount of survivors is rapidly dwindling. Members of the 3G organization realize that they are the grandchildren of the surviving generation, and therefore must listen to these stories in order to uphold their timeless nature and life lessons.

Elizabeth Bobrow, President of Boston 3G, Inc., explained further how her organization is helping conserve these stories.
"We have encouraged members to write down their own family stories which we would ultimately like to compile in a book someday. Additionally, many of our members have been asked to speak in classrooms in local schools sharing their grandparent's stories." Although survivors may pass on, it is of vital importance that their stories and memories live on through their friends and family.

The Boston 3G organization continues to believe that spreading awareness will continue to be the most effective way to educate others about this tragedy and promote tolerance. One of the amazing ways they do this is with their Remembrance Day event held each year in Downtown Boston. With this event, over 100 people gather in Fanueil Hall to partake in a "silent flash mob". Each person stands still for six minutes to commemorate the six million Jews that lost their lives during the Holocaust. The public act obviously gains the attention of those walking by, often resulting in conversation between members and pedestrians about the Holocaust and the organization's mission. Look above to see a great picture of the event.

Jewish Women's Archive

Another Jewish organization making waves in the Greater Boston community (and all across the States) is the Jewish Women's Archive, a national non-profit devoted to making known the stories, struggles, and achievements of Jewish women in North America and beyond. The website offers the world's largest repository of material about and voices of Jewish women allowing site visitors to explore their bravery and legacies, honor and learn from their lives, and ignite a capacity to change the world. With over a million visitors a year, the JWA has had a wide online impact through its lively blog, Jewesses with Attitude; bold presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms; and strategic partnerships with several other online organizations and publications. Apart from their website, the JWA offers teacher-training workshops and conferences, empowering teachers to present a more inclusive curriculum.

Tara Metal, Director of Engagement & Social Media over at JWA, brings up a good point about the way Jewish history is most commonly relayed to others. "History has traditionally been told as a record of male accomplishment, through stories in which the agents are men", Metal says. "One of the first online organizations of its kind, the Jewish Women's Archive ensures that Jewish women's contributions to history are made known and chronicled in an accessible forum- one that informs and inspires today's generations about the women who came before them and the women they can become."

The powerful thing about JWA is that it tells stories of strong Jewish women, women who are great role models for young girls. Being exposed to stories about Joan Rivers, or Gloria Steinem has the ability to inspire women and see that if others can do it, so can they. The site allows for normally unrecognized individuals to be brought to light and have their story shared for years to come. JWA has, and will continue to create tangible change and have a lasting impact on the Jewish community of America.

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