December 2003 marked the release date of The Jewish Community of the North Shore, a 128-page photographic compilation of Jewish life in the cities and towns north of Boston during the first half of the twentieth century. This book, an effort of the Jewish Heritage Center of the North Shore, utilizes the treasure trove of photographic images of the Center, which have been archived in boxes and file cabinets in the Center’s Peabody offices. Except for periodic exhibitions such as “Judaica and the Early Jewish Presence in Marblehead” and “Peabody: Memories of a Jewish Community,” these wonderful glimpses of people, places and events of our recent and not-so-recent past remain available only to those who care to visit the Center and look through its materials.
After seeing similar books, including The Jews of Rhode Island, Center Board members Alan Pierce and Avrom Herbster, with the encouragement and support of the Board of Directors, contacted Arcadia Publishing Company. Arcadia is a division of Tempus Publishing of Great Britain, the leading publisher of books recording community history in the United States and across Europe. The editors at Arcadia reviewed Pierce and Herbster’s proposal, viewed a sampling of twenty photos and captions and enthusiastically agreed to publish the book. Contracts were executed in April and a firm completion date for the project was set for July 29, 2003.
Center President Dr. Alan Radack, Executive Secretary Sandy Weinstein, and Past President Dr. Richard Winer were instrumental in bringing this project in on time and coordinating the difficult task of removing and replacing the precious photographs and documents used in the book. All royalties from its sale will help fund the Center’s mission.
It should be noted that The Jewish Community of the North Shore is not an all-inclusive or comprehensive historical record of the rich tapestry of North Shore Jewish life. Arcadia’s format and space limitations required that the book be a representative sample of the people, religious institutions, and social and professional organizations that have defined the character of our community.
This window into our cultural past serves also as a lens through which to better appreciate our present legacy and the promise of our future.Click here to order The Jewish Community of the North Shore.