Neighborhood Roundup

Upcoming Programs Sponsored by The Vilna Shul

The Vilna Shul, located at 18 Phillips St., presents ‘Dinner and a Movie: A Night Out for Young Professionals

Boston Jewish Film at The Vilna:  “Moos”’ on Thursday, Feb. 15, from 6:30 to  9 p.m.

Join The Vilna for dinner and an engaging conversation after we watch ‘Moos,’ a Dutch romantic comedy. It’s Hanukkah, and for Moos, nothing has changed: She’s still living in her hometown, taking care of her elderly father. But when her childhood friend Sam unexpectedly arrives from Israel, all of Moos’ decisions are called into question.  Tickets are $25 each.

Also, The Vilna presents ‘A Meeting of the Minds: Jay Michaelson and Noah Feldman’ on Wednesday, Feb. 21,  from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Best-selling author Michaelson and Harvard Law professor Feldman launch Jay’s newest book, ‘The Secret that is not a Secret, ‘with a timely conversation about finding meaning and strengthening identity. This head-to-head with two leading public intellectuals will get you thinking. Tickets  are $18 each.

On Friday, Feb. 23, from 6 to 9 p.m., The Vilna will offer ‘Havurah on the Hill: Pickle Making and a Deli Dinner’ –  an experience for young professionals, with good food and great company on the fourth Shabbat of each month. The event includes a short and spirited service, a deli dinner, and all the fixings for DIY pickles.  Tickets are $18 each.

On Thursday, Feb. 29, from noon to 1 p.m., The Vilna will sponsor “Israel Beyond the Headlines: Medical Clowning as Trauma Therapy’ – a free, virtual conversation with Rotem Goldenberg, a medical clown in the Dream Doctors Project in Israel.

Clowns of the Dream Doctors Project are dedicated to crisis intervention during times of emergency. In this talk, Rotem will shed light on the unique experience of being a Medical Clown in Israel and describe the clowns’ work with evacuees during the regional war in recent months.

Upcoming ongoing programming sponsored by The Vilna include ‘Israel Through the Filmmaker’s Lens,’ with Dr. Shayna Weiss, on Wednesdays, Feb. 28 though March 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 18 Phillips St.

This course will explore questions about Israeli life and identity in a global context. Dr. Shayna Weiss will examine contemporary Israeli film and what these movies teach about Israel today, covering timely topics including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mizrahi-Ashkenazi relations, ultra-Orthodoxy, Holocaust memory, and more.

The cost of admission is $120 per person for all five sessions, including dinner, along with an approximately $30 materials fee (for film viewing, paid directly to screening platforms [e.g. Netflix]).

The Vilna also presents ‘Climate Change and Tikkun Olam:  A Poetry Journey,’ with Professor Deborah Leipziger on Wednesdays, Feb. 28 through March 13 and on April 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 18 Phillips St.

This course will look at climate change through a Jewish lens, like what does Jewish tradition teach us about how to cope and respond to this environmental and humanitarian challenge?; and how can poetry and creative endeavors help build resilience while cultivating hope, empathy, and action? Professor Leipziger is a sustainability expert who is also a poet and co-founder of the New England Jewish Poetry Festival.

The cost of admission is $120 per person for all five sessions, including dinner.

Visit for more information for more information on The Vilna’s upcoming programming.

Upcoming Events Sponsored by West End Museum

The West End Museum presents ‘African American History in the West End: Resistance and Redlining’ on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 11 a.m. at The Hub on Causeway Community Room at 52 Causeway St.

Join the West End Museum and the Afrimerican Academy for a walking tour and lecture on African American history in the West End neighborhood. The program will move chronologically, beginning with a brief walking tour to discuss the 19th-century history of Joy Street (previously Belknap Street), where local Black Americans congregated to form the first populous West Boston (renamed from New Fields) community. Here, the community built the oldest standing Black church in the United States, founded a school, and developed a successful elite, including William Cooper Nell and Lewis Hayden. They, and many others, were instrumental in founding the Abolitionist movement. After the tour, Marlon Solomon, Founder and Senior Project Engineer of the Afrimerican Academy, will delve into the poignant history of Boston’s redlining and the consequential urban renewal projects.

Visit to purchase tickets and for more information.

Moreover, the museum will offer ‘The West End: 400 Years of Urban Development’ – a talk on the history of urban development in Boston’s West End – on Thursday, Feb. 29, at 6 p.m., both in-person at the Hub on Causeway Community Room at 52 Causeway St. (located along the alleyway next to Hub50House, across from the Tip O’Neill Building). Visit to purchase tickets for the in-person event, or to purchase tickets for the virtual event.

Boston Ward 5 Republican Committee to Make Presidential Endorsement

The Boston Ward 5 Republican Committee is scheduled to make its U.S. Presidential candidate endorsement during a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hilton Boston Park Plaza hotel at 50 Park Plaza.

Children’s Winter Festival Returns Feb. 21

Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department will present the annual Children’s Winter Festival on the Boston Common Parade Ground on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit for more information about this family-friendly school vacation week event.

The free festival is open to all and offers music, giveaways, winter activities, treats, and crafts. Featured attractions include large inflatable installations such as the All-Star Challenge, and a Fun House Maze. Kids and their caregivers can also enjoy rides in the park on the Trackless Train, a ski lift photo booth, the alpine slide, snow throw, and much more.

The event is hosted in partnership with title sponsor Highland Street Foundation and our contributing sponsors H.P. Hood LLC, ReVision Energy, and Xfinity. ReVision Energy, a 100-percent employee-owned solar company, will provide stored solar power for the event. Enjoy delicious hot chocolate courtesy of Rosa Mexicano and fresh local milk at the New England Dairy’s Mobile Dairy Bar.

The Boston Common Parade Ground is located at the corner of Beacon and Charles streets. Call 617-635-4505 or email [email protected] for more information. To stay up to date with news, events, and improvements in Boston parks, visit, join our email list at, and follow our social channels @bostonparksdept on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

BPDA to Sponsor Virtual Public Meeting on Feb. 27

The Boston Planning & Development Agency will sponsor a virtual public meeting to discuss an 11-story life science building proposed for 222 Friend St. in the West End on Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Woburn-based KS Partners is proposing the replacement of the existing, three-story commercial building and 32-space surface parking lot with a new building comprising approximately 160,195 square feet (gross floor area) and measuring approximately170 feet to the top of its highest occupied floor, with a mechanical penthouse occupying less than 30 percent of the roof area.

While no on-site parking will be provided due to the site’s convenient access to a variety of public-transit options, the project does include plans for a fully enclosed loading area on its ground level. The project will also incorporate numerous public-realm enhancements, including the elimination of approximately 109 feet of curb-cuts on Portland and Friend streets; a reduction in paved area; the widening of adjacent sidewalks; the addition of urban landscape elements; and the creation of new ground-floor retail spaces on Portland Street and at the corner of Friend Street and Valenti Way.

Register for the Feb. 6 online meeting at

Boston Ward 5 Dems Committee to Host Caucus on Saturday, March 2

The Boston Ward 5 Democratic Committee will host the 2024 Boston Ward 5 Democratic Caucus to elect delegates and alternates for the 2024 Massachusetts Democratic Convention on Saturday, March 2, at 10 a.m. at the Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., in Copley Square.  Participants may sign in beginning at 9 a.m.

This event is open to the public. However, only those persons who reside in Ward 5 and have previously registered to vote as Democrats, or are 16 years of age by Thursday Feb. 15, and have pre-registered to vote as Democrats, will be eligible to vote and be elected as delegates, or alternates, during the Caucus. 

Ward 5 includes Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Bay Village, the Fenway, and parts of Chinatown and the South End.  For more information, and to check your voter registration status (and whether you live in Ward 5), go to

Charles River Cleanup Set to Return April 19-20

Join the Esplanade Association for the 25th annual Charles River Cleanup – one of the largest Earth Day cleanups in the nation – on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20.

Registration is now open for individual and corporate/large groups; sign up for one or both days online at

Free Lessons in American Mahjong Offered at West End Branch Library

The Friends of the West End Library will be offering lessons in American Mahjong to new and experienced players at no cost.

The group meets on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month in the Community Room of the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

To sign up or for more information, email Audrey Tedeman ([email protected]) or Julia Forbes ([email protected]).

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