Holding Community Events to Celebrate the Oral History Project

Last week, we participated in a community event for the completion of an oral history project of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center, a program of New England Historic Geneological Society (now American Ancestors), which is based in Boston.  Hundreds (though I did not count) of people showed up to celebrate.

Rachel King and Sarah Quiat, the WFJHC people who shepherded the project, spoke and led a panel of narrators.  I gave a brief talk on oral history. Food, great food – sweet and savory treats that reminded people of their childhood homes (latkes, rugelach, etc.) – made it lots of fun.

It was a good reminder:  Celebrate!  When we finish a project, or a phase of a project, we can invite those who were involved, and those who care, to gather and enjoy each other.  That was what happened at the Williams School, in Chelsea,  one of the communities featured in this project.  Other Boston neighborhoods and nearby cities in the project include Roxbury, Dorchester, and Lynn.  (Above, Rachel King opens the event.)

I was asked to be humanities advisor for this project, which had partial funding from Mass Humanities, when WFJHC archivist Stephanie Call was involved with initiating the project.  It  has been such a pleasure and a honor to work and celebrate with such diligent, caring, and enjoyable people.

Here is a link to the project, now online, too.

Jewish Neighborhood Voices

–Judith Monachina

Written by Judith