Community Service
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Weekly Status Line : 781-446-9797

  January 20 - Shabbat Bo - to be checked
Tu Bishvat

To make a contribution by Paypal or Credit Card - please use the Paypal link below:

Commemorative Refrigerator Magnet - 25 years of the Boston Eruv!

Our Mission: We operate and maintain the Greater Boston Eruv, one of the largest Eruvim in the United States. The Eruv allows people within its borders to carry on the Shabbat, an activity that would otherwise be proscribed by Jewish law.

Our Scope: The Greater Boston Eruv covers major parts of Brookline, Newton, and Brighton. An initial extension of the Eruv to include Nonantum (See the map!) was followed by expansion into most of South Newton. During Sukkot 5766, we completed a third extension to the Eruv that includes a significant portion of Boston University. In 5771, we added another small section in the Newton area. We also manage the Malden, MA (extended in December 2014) and the Brandeis University Eruv (which was extended into Waltham during the Fall of 2015). Beginning in 2014, we began two simultaneous projects, one to extend the Eruv into more of South Brookline and, for the first time, into West Roxbury, and a new Eruv on the North Shore (Marblehead, Salem, Swampscott). Our new South Brookline/West Roxbury extension was ready for service as of Erev Yom Kippur 5777. Our Swampscott Eruv (Phase 1) went online in the Fall of 2016.

Our Leadership: The Greater Boston Eruv is under the Halachik guidance of Rabbi Moshe Heinemann (Baltimore, MD) and local Rav HaMachshir Rabbi Naftali Horowitz. Dr. Jesse Hefter is lay leader of the organization and manages all aspects of the existing Eruvin (plural of Eruv) along with the expansion and/or construction of new Eruvin in the Greater Boston area.

To reach us: Send comments or questions this way!

Please join our list-serve (BostonShuls) to receive the weekly Eruv Status!

Eruv Chatzeros

April 5, 2017 - Rabbi Naftali Horowitz (Boston Rebbe) and Dr. Jesse Hefter perform Eruv Chatzayros for the Eruv.


Rabbi Moshe Heinemann (r) and Dr. Jesse Hefter surveying a portion of the proposed Eruv in the late 1980s

Fundraising for our 2018 campaign (our 25th year) started in December 2017; for 2018, our recommended contribution is $125.00. We are requesting that those that can help commemorate our 25th anniversary year consider a $250.00 contribution.

If you didn't hear from us by December 15, 2017, please contact us as soon as possible. We need everyone's participation! And remember... the Eruv is not a free service.

Our 2018 fund raising letter is available on-line. (Requires Adobe Reader, do you need it?: Get it here).

Need our physical street mailing address? Use the Contact Link to the left...

By the way, you can always use our secure Paypal link to send your annual dues (or make a contribution) to the Eruv!

If you have a Donor Advised Fund, you can contribute to the Eruv using the form below:


-July/August 2017 - Commonwealth Avenue Reconstruction Project - Boston

After two years of planning, the Commonwealth Avenue bridge replacement project (Eastbound lanes) started. The impact to the Eruv has been mitigated through months of close cooperation of the Eruv Corporation President and representatives from Walsh Construction, one of the prime contractors on the project. Our northern Eruv boundary has been maintained even as huge cranes and other heavy equipment has been positioned in the worksite, only 100-250 feet away. We are monitoring the border carefully each week to ensure that there will not be any interruption of Eruv availability.

-February 2017 - First Phase of Swampscott Eruv Completed

We have completed the first phase of the Swampscott Eruv (overseen by the Greater Boston Eruv Corporation) and it is now operational. Thanks for the terrific partnership between Daniel Turgel and Rabbi Yossi Lipsker from the Swampscott community in partnering with GBEC to see this project through to a successful completion. Thanks to the Town of Swampscott, National Grid, and Verizon for their licensing permits. The community is now enjoying a new kind of Shabbos experience! The map of the Eruv is located under the Boundaries link. Kinyan Kesef

Dr. Jesse Hefter and Gino Cresta (Town of Swampscott Department of Public Works) execute a Kinyan Kesef agreement on January 23, 2017.

-October 2016 - Southern extension to the Eruv complete!

On Erev Yom Kippur, we were able to complete the extension to the Allston-Brighton-Brookline-Newton Eruv.

Thanks to the following for their support and involvement as we had to get permits and licenses or collaborated with:

  1. Town of Brookline (Legal, Public Works, Parks, Selectmen, Traffic)
  2. City of Newton (Legal, Public Works, Mayor)
  3. City of Boston (Legal, Public Works, Mayor)
  4. Verizon Communications, Inc.
  5. Eversource Incorporated
  6. Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
  7. The Country Club
  8. Boston Catholic Cemetery Association
  9. Atrius Health, Inc.
  10. Chestnut Hill Realty Associates
  11. Strom Electric Company
  12. Reliable Fence Incorporated
  13. BrightView Landscape, Inc.
  14. Stanton Sheet Metal & Fabrication

Kinyan Kesef ceremonies in advance of having the South Brookline Eruv Expansion operational

The Honorable Mayor Martin Walsh, Boston, September 25, 2016

The Honorable Mayor Setti Warren, Newton, September 27, 2016

Brookline Board of Selectmen: Nancy Heller, Melvin Kleckner, Dr. Jesse Hefter, Neil Wishinsky, Nancy Daly, Bernard Green, September 27, 2016

-July 2016 - Mass DOT Meeting to address upcoming road changes that impact the Eruv

We met with representatives of the Mass Department of Transportation to discuss upcoming changes to the poles that the Eruv uses in Newton (the Oak-Christina Intersection). Part of the project involves road widening and movement of the utility poles to new locations. We have a common understanding of how we will be notified next year when the project begins. We anticipate no interruptions to the Eruv availability during this time.


There are several enhancements that are being made to this new extension and this Eruv segment will be temporarily unavailable until the enhancements are deployed. Stay tuned! (12/25/15)
-September 2016: Construction well underway again- the final push!
-August 2016: Working to get final agreements with Brookline, Boston, and Newton...
-July 2016: Tree-trimming project along Hammond Pond Parkway completed. Construction anticipated to start by end of the month.
-June 2016: Licenses obtained from Verizon, Eversource, DCR, Atrius Health, and Chestnut Hill Realty.
-March 2016: Application for permits

- On Erev Shabbat, December 4, the "Chabad of Chestnut Hill" addition to the Greater Boston Eruv was completed. This multi-year project was the product of the cooperative efforts of Chabad of Chestnut Hill's visionary leader, Rabbi Mendy Uminer, and Dr. Jesse Hefter of the Greater Boston Eruv Corporation. This new Eruv will significantly expand the southern border of the existing Brookline/Brighton/Newton Eruv into South Brookline and towards West Roxbury (even south of VFW Parkway). The expansion area is shown on the online Eruv map. You can use the Contact Us link with any questions.

-September/October 2015

- October 22 - 226 poles completed of the Salem-Swampscott-Marblehead Eruv!
- September 25 - 57 poles completed of the Salem-Swampscott-Marblehead Eruv!
- September 22 - Construction begins on the Salem-Swampscott-Marblehead Eruv!

-August 2015

- 8/28 - Shabbat Ki Teitze - Eruv extension into the City of Waltham up for the first Shabbat! Mazel tov to the entire community!
- 8/20 - Performed Kinyan Kesef with Mayor McCarthy of Waltham for the Extended Waltham Eruv!

Waltham Kinyan Kesef
Waltham, MA Mayor's Office - Dr. Hefter performing the Kinyan Kesef with Mayor McCarthy

Waltham Kinyan Kesef
Waltham, MA Mayor's Office - OU-JLIC Brandeis Rabbi David Pardo with Mayor McCarthy (and the Kinyan Kesef)

- 8/18 - Received Proclamation from the Town of Marblehead for the Eruv - WOW!
Marblehead City Hall
Marblehead City Hall - outside Council Chambers after successful vote!

- Mayor Jeanette McCarthy of Waltham met with Rabbi David Pardo (OU-JLIC Brandeis) to review a segment of the proposed Waltham Eruv, part of GBEC. This Eruv will allow off-campus graduate students near the campus and student visiting Chabad to carry in those areas on Shabbat. See an image on our Pictures page!

- Jesse Hefter presented a proposal to the Marblehead Town Council on August 12, 2015 for permission to construct a part of the North Shore Eruv through the Town. The proposal was unanimously approved. This is the final permit required to allow us to start construction. We have already obtained Proclamations from the Town of Swampscott and the City of Salem.

-January 2015

- Shabbat Shirah in Malden - Dr. Jesse Hefter and his wife, Brenda, were guests of the Malden Commmunity (Congregation Beth Israel) to celebrate the recent expansion of the Eruv. The first phase of the Eruv was implemented 10 years ago.

- December 2014

- Malden - 12/12 - Eruv Extension is OPERATIONAL!
- Medford - Proclamation and Sechiras Reshus completed with the Mayor and our Eruv Team!

Sechiras reshus
(L to R): Jay Lamport (Congregation Beth Israel - President), Dr. Jesse Hefter (Greater Boston Eruv Corporation - President), Michael J. McGlynn (Mayor - Medford), Rabbi Yitzchak Rabinowitz (Congregation Beth Israel - Rabbi), Matthew Garland (Congregation Beth Israel - Executive Director)

- Malden - 12/12 - Sechiras Reshus completed with the Mayor and our Eruv Team!
Sechiras reshus
(L to R): Matthew Garland (Congregation Beth Israel - Executive Director), Jay Lamport (Congregation Beth Israel - President), Gary Christenson (Mayor - Malden), Rabbi Yitzchak Rabinowitz (Congregation Beth Israel - Rabbi), Dr. Jesse Hefter (Greater Boston Eruv Corporation - President)

- Marblehead - Town working on Proclamation
- Swampscott - Town working on Proclamation

- November 2014

- Malden - Construction complete - planning on going live for Shabbat VaYeyshev!
- Waltham - Construction slated to begin on Eruv extension
- Swampscott - Final phase of proclamation process from Town
- Marblehead - Awaiting next meeting with Marblehead Power and Light, then with City Council for Proclamation
- North Shore Eruv fundraising meetings have begun

- October 2014

- Salem - Proclamation received from City!

- September 2014

- Malden - Construction complete - review and final paperwork in-progress...
- North Shore - Unanimous approval from Town Council - awaiting next meeting with full City Council for Resolution

- August 2014

- Malden - All permits and licenses obtained - construction planning underway!
- Waltham - All permits and licenses obtained - final determination of owner for forested area south of campus through which planned mechitzah will run; then on to construction!
- North Shore - All licenses obtained - setting up individual town meetings for final approval then on to construction

- February 2014

- Amherst - Completed second survey to review pole identification for Town Permit and to review alternatives for part of the UMass border

- January 2014

- Malden - Preparing TRA/MBCR/MBTA and Verizon/National Grid License Applications
- North Shore - Submitted Verizon/National Grid/Marblehead Power and Light License Applications
- Brandeis - Survey with TRA on railroad crossings in Waltham associated with Eruv expansion

- December 2013

- North Shore - Met with the Swampscott Commissioner of Public Works regarding a bridge crossing - we are a go there!
- North Shore - Met with MBCR and MBTA officials to discuss updated plan for crossing commuter rail tracks - positive outcome; submitted a new proposal to TRA for signature approval.

Meeting at MBTA

Staff from MBCR and MBTA meet with Dr. Hefter (right)

- UMass/Amherst - Face-to-face meeting with WMeCo officials in Hadley, MA very successful.

- November 2013

- UMass/Amherst - Conference calls with WMeCO progressing well; initial meeting with UMass positive. Reaching out to Amherst officials.
- Brandeis/Waltham - Awaiting meeting with City of Waltham for approval of off-campus segments.
- Malden - Written expansion planned reviewed; will need to contact city, MBTA, and utilities for permit extensions.
- North Shore - Updated proposal sent to National Grid for railroad crossing proposal. Awaiting response.

- October 2013

- Onsite review of Brandeis University Eruv and expansion plans. Completed definition of borders and next steps for meeting with the city, university and other licensing parties.

- Initial meeting with MBCR in Swampscott to review the Tzurat HaPesach needs that involve the commuter rail system. Expanding the discussion to National Grid for a possible simpler, permanent solution to crossing the rail tracks.

- Initial meeting with UMass/Amherst students to design an Eruv for the campus and nearby neighborhoods (under the GBEC umbrella). On October 27, 2013, Rabbi Yosi Eisen, the UMass/Amherst OU/JLIC Rabbi, and three volunteers students (right-to-left: Elisheva, Nathan, Ariel, Rabbi Eisen, Dr. Hefter) met with Jesse Hefter of GBEC to tour the campus and establish an initial design for an Eruv that could include nearly all the campus and extend into nearby neighborhoods. One day earlier, Dr. Hefter was invited to deliver a Shabbat morning d'rasha at the KHH/JLIC Minyan during which he explained the importance of an Eruv and the technical basics associated with establishing an Eruv in contemporary settings.

Amherst Eruv Survey Team

- Shabbat HaGadol 2012 - The 1000th Shabbat of our Community Eruv. Dr. Hefter was invited to speak at the Young Israel of Brookline on that Shabbat. Several weekends later, Dr. Hefter spoke to the Maimonides Kehillah after Shabbat morning davening about the history and genesis of the Eruv.

Shabbat Ha-Elef

- More news...

Repairs: The Eruv is repaired by Dan Strom of Strom Electric.
Follow the link to reach a reliable, friendly, and competent electrician!
Tree Services: We have been fortunate to work with the good folks at BrightView Tree Care Services when a hard-to-reach twine crossing (usually with tree branches in the way) needs to be rebuilt. If you ever need tree care services, please consider reaching out to them! Try them at BrightView. You can also reach Michael Bonner directly at 978-244-1083 or mobile at 617-839-7275.

Check Eruv Status history...      Eruv News!      Eruv Images!     

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