Boston Sights

Vilna Shul

  • 14–18 Phillips St. Map It
  • Beacon Hill
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 07/13/2016

Fodor's Review

This historic treasure, one of the oldest synagogues in the region, is the focus of both ongoing renovation and research. The two-story brick building was completed in 1919 by Jews from Vilna (or Vilnius), the capital of present-day Lithuania. Modeled after the great synagogue of Vilna, it's the last remaining immigrant-era synagogue in Boston and stands in a neighborhood that was once deeply Jewish. The building, abandoned in 1985 after the congregation dropped to a single member, was bought by the Boston Center for Jewish Culture, which is overseeing its restoration. Above the doorway gleams renewed gilded Hebrew lettering; the hand-carved ark and the stained-glass Star of David are worth a peek; and murals depicting traditional themes are being uncovered from beneath seven layers of paint. Three skylights flood the space with natural light. Guided tours are available; call ahead to arrange.

Sight Information

Address:

14–18 Phillips St., Boston, Massachusetts, 02114, USA

Map It

Phone:

617-523–2324

Sight Details:

  • Donations accepted
  • Wed., Thurs., and Fri. 11–5, with guided tours at 1 and 3, Sun. 1–5, with guided tours at 2 and 4

Published 07/13/2016

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