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Jewish communities in Marblehead

Lucy New
Special to the Journal

It’s nice being raised in a town where the Jewish community is strong. For sure, Marblehead sports a large group of citizens who put a pine tree in their living room during the winter and hunt for eggs during April. What is special about Marblehead is that the town is also home to a group of people who attend services on Friday nights and dip apples into honey during September.

With only about six percent of the population in Marblehead being Jewish, how can the Jewish community be this strong? Having multiple synagogues in town is only one example of the strength of the Jewish community in Marblehead.

The town attracts Jewish families with its Jewish Community Center, Temple Emanu-El, Temple Sinai, Cohen Hillel Academy, and a Jewish style deli in town. It seems that a number of neighborhoods in Marblehead lure in Jewish families to be a part of a section in town where everyone shares a common factor, Judaism. These pockets in town are particularly close to the temples and the Jewish Community Center, offering easy access to the inhabitants. Living in a place where you can be sure that you are surrounded with people who are passionate about the same things that you are can mean that you are out of harm’s way, if necessary.

Living in areas of town that also house other Jews can make a sense of a community. Although these neighborhoods are not advertised as being a Jewish community, these places in town can be a welcoming spot for a retiring Jewish couple or for a family with children. Children can play with other kids that are in a similar position. Kids can feel a part of a community with other people like them, and feel that they are not missing out on popular holidays that other children in town may celebrate.

The sense of a Jewish community is presented with the overwhelming amounts of cars lining the streets during the Jewish holidays or the lack of Christmas decor during the winter season. It is apparent when someone has passed away within these areas due to the increase in parked cars for several days as they are clearly sitting Shiva.

Feeling a part of a group can allow for comfort, which these smaller areas in Marblehead allow for.

Lucy New is a student in Marblehead. She is a seventh grader at the Marblehead Veterans Middle School.

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