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Old 05-06-2012, 08:04 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,425 times
Reputation: 10
Exclamation Working-class Jewish communities?

Hello everyone,

I'm a young Jewish adult who grew up poor, and am no longer living in poverty but very much identify with the working-class. I'm looking for working-class Jewish communities. Sadly, the working-class Jewish communities in Boston (Mattapan, Dorchester, West Roxbury, the no-longer-existent "West End") have all been wiped out, as far as I know (if you know something different, let me know!)

There are tons of working-class Jews, but most of them are very alienated from Jewish communities for various reasons, so I'm trying to seek out some working-class Jewish communities in creative ways.

I'm looking for working-class Jewish communities in Massachusetts and elsewhere! Orthodox, non-Orthodox, it doesn't matter. Any information you can give me about the communities (what do people do for work there? how old is it? is it a vibrant community in terms of participation in Jewish life or fledgling? a mix of young and old people? what is it like religiously? etc)

Thank you for so much for any help you can offer! Even if you cannot offer me information about *exactly* you think I want, please offer what you know!
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Beverly, Mass
939 posts, read 729,368 times
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A working class Jewish community sounds like an oxymoron to me, because most Jewish communities tend to be quite wealthy. The most thriving and obvious would be Swampscott/Marblehead and Brookline/Newton. For more info you can see JCC website.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:38 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 12,915,229 times
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I think the working-class Jewish communities OP named moved "up" in the world, and those people now live elsewhere, as mentioned.
A friend of mine who is 60 grew up in Dorchester, the son of Holocaust survivors. He now lives in Wakefield. Etc.
My guess is that working-class Jewish communities would be where there were lots of recent immigrants, and there hasn't been such a flood in some time. In the Boston area, there are a lot of Russian former-Soviet immigrants, but I don't think they form a community, and not a working-class one.
Maybe finding a Reform temple in an urban neighborhood? Boston never had the influx of people like New York and Philly did back in the day (when my Ukranian grandparents got outta Dodge!).
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:21 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
3,827 posts, read 5,535,726 times
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Randolph used to have a fairly large working-class Jewish community. I'm not sure if that's still the case.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Behind You!
1,059 posts, read 1,213,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konfetka View Post
A working class Jewish community sounds like an oxymoron to me, because most Jewish communities tend to be quite wealthy. The most thriving and obvious would be Swampscott/Marblehead and Brookline/Newton. For more info you can see JCC website.
I'm gonna agree with this, oxymoron. Any area with a large Jew population will be doctors, lawyers etc. Whats it matter if your in a Jewish area or not? Assuming we both have the same definition of working class, a Jewish area would be the last place you'd blend in. Come move to a non uppidy area were us people who bust our a$$, mow our own lawns and drink to much
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:12 AM
Status: "dans le Marais" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Commiewealth of Mass.
463 posts, read 428,394 times
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I'm not sure of any stats on this, but I lived and worked in Framingham in the mid 90s, and worked with some Jewish people that weren't doctors or lawyers (middle class). They had grown up in Dorchester, and had been in Framingham for quite a few years. Again, no idea if there was/is really a Jewish community there.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Camberville
6,715 posts, read 7,981,881 times
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Framingham, Natick, Waltham. There's also the young professional crew (who are moving up, but still quite poor) who live in Somerville.

I come from a middle class-turned-lower class Jewish background and have struggled to find a Jewish community here. It seems like most Jewish events for young adults are geared to those doctors and lawyers - I'm a struggling nonprofit professional who will be struggling for the foreseeable future due to cancer treatment (where the Jewish community failed in offering any kind of help when I reached out for it). I've turned to UUs, where I find many other working class Jews.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:34 AM
 
18 posts, read 21,669 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charolastra00 View Post
Framingham, Natick, Waltham. There's also the young professional crew (who are moving up, but still quite poor) who live in Somerville.

I come from a middle class-turned-lower class Jewish background and have struggled to find a Jewish community here. It seems like most Jewish events for young adults are geared to those doctors and lawyers - I'm a struggling nonprofit professional who will be struggling for the foreseeable future due to cancer treatment (where the Jewish community failed in offering any kind of help when I reached out for it). I've turned to UUs, where I find many other working class Jews.
I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles I hope your health improves, and you find your new faith community more supportive.

I was just checking out this thread, as we are relocating to Mass soon and struggled to find a Jewish community where we've been living. We are middle-class, but always felt sort of "priced out" of synagogues in our area and never really found a place to belong - it seemed like most organizations reached out to empty nesters or young professionals without children.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:41 AM
 
Location: North of Boston
1,365 posts, read 1,885,591 times
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Peabody
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Camberville
6,715 posts, read 7,981,881 times
Reputation: 7725
Quote:
Originally Posted by cailin_rua View Post
I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles I hope your health improves, and you find your new faith community more supportive.

I was just checking out this thread, as we are relocating to Mass soon and struggled to find a Jewish community where we've been living. We are middle-class, but always felt sort of "priced out" of synagogues in our area and never really found a place to belong - it seemed like most organizations reached out to empty nesters or young professionals without children.
That hasn't been my experience at all. I think if I had a young family, it would be quite easy to get involved. Every synagogue I have tried to get involved in is so focused on families that it pushes young adults who are not yet married like me out. With the exception of the Riverway Project (where I certainly feel priced out), families seem to be the name of the game.
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