East Boston was the port-of-entry for thousands of European Jewish immigrants during the early 20th century – and it is where they established the first Jewish cemetery in 1844 in the Greater Boston area. In the following decades, they surged into the communities surrounding the Mystic River! A few decades later, the numbers dwindled as the flow moved outward in all directions to suburban communities. But their roots were in these cities and towns. There lie stories of determination, endurance and success in America. Lisa Berenson of the Jewish Cemeteries Association of Massachusetts (JCAM) will be visiting us and presenting a slide show on this and other projects that the Association is involved in as well as talking to us of the social, cultural, historic and artistic elements of Jewish cemeteries in Massachusetts. JCAM is preserving this history with the Mystic River Jewish Communities Project that will be housed in the famous chapel at East Boston's Ohabei Shalom Cemetery. It will be dedicated to teaching the skills and inspiring the values of the Jewish pioneers. This project aims to transport you back in time to where life along the Mystic River – the towns of East Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Revere, Medford, Malden, Somerville and Winthrop – was bursting with Jewish culture, music, and business. Our speaker aims to bring to life the sights, sounds and stories of these early Jewish immigrant communities to educate, promote, and strengthen the ongoing work of transforming the Ohabei Shalom Chapel in East Boston into the Mystic River Jewish Community Exhibit.