The Vilna Shul Turns 100

The Vilna Shul will celebrate its centennial anniversary with a gala event on Sunday, April 28, at 5:30 p.m. at WGBH at One Guest St.

“I think it’s important for Beacon Hill residents to know this [synagogue] has been part of their neighborhood for over 100 years,” said Rosa Kramer Franck, director of development for Boston’s center for Jewish culture.

The façade of the Vilna Shul’s historic building at 18 Phillips St., which is currently undergoing renovations.

Billed as a “festive evening featuring a delicious, turn-of-the-century feast, theatre-style seated program followed by a decadent dessert reception,” the event will honor Dr. Liana Braun, a Massachusetts General Hospital psychiatrist, and Jed Weiss, portfolio manager for Fidelity Investments, both of whom discovered the Vilna via Havurah on the Hill services for young professionals and serve on the Young Parents Committee; architect and historic preservation specialist Lynne Spencer; and

 Shari and Dr. Robert Thurer, a psychologist and surgeon respectively, who helped establish Adult Learning programs while the latter also serves as vice president of the board of directors and co-chaired the Vilna’s first international program – the 2018 mission from Lithuania to Poland.

“The one thing they all have in common is their long histories with the Vila…having been dedicated for at least a decade to help us reach this point,” Kramer Franck said.

The celebration will also feature “live klezmer music,” an auction and a “streamlined selection of the Vilna’s photographic exhibition, ‘The Way They Lived’ highlighting images of those who helped build Jewish culture 100 years ago.”

Meanwhile, the Vilna’s historic building at 18 Phillips St. is now undergoing an extensive rehabilitation to mark the milestone while the community center continues to host off-site events.

“The cornerstone was laid in 1919…and having been abandoned and fallen into disrepair in the ‘80s, the building is now being revitalized,” Kramer Franck said. “But our programs are open to anyone from any background so if you can’t come to this event, join us for another one.”

Visit for more information on the event.

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