Greater Boston Eruv Corporation
Celebrating 29 years of community service (1993-2022)
March 3, 2021 - Carlton Street Footbridge Project
The Brookline Muddy River Flood Risk Management Construction Project: Phase 2 Carlton Street Footbridge was updated on January 26, 2021 to provide the following update: "In addition, the Carlton Street Footbridge Rehabilitation project was re-advertised by MassDOT Highway this fall. Five bids were received and the successful low bid of $3,955,053.50 was submitted by Aetna Bridge Company out of Rhode Island. MassDOT, the primary funding and contract administrative agent for the project, held a Pre-construction COnference on Friday, December 18, 2020. A construction schedule and approach to dismantling and removing the existing footbridge is being developed by the Contractor, in close coordination with the MBTA, Boston Parks, Charter Contracting, and Brookline DPW. It is anticipated that the site preparation and mobilization, including tree removals, will commence in the winter 2021, with the project reaching substantial completion in spring 2022." Full Article
The Boston Eruv has been in discussions with the Town about the project since 2017 when it was first proposed. We met on-site with MassDOT, Brookline Town engineers, Aetna Bridge contractors, and the Brookline Tree Arborist on March 3, 2021 to review the impact that this project will have on the Eruv border. The tzurat ha-pesach at the south side of the footbridge has been in-place and relatively untouched since 1992.
We have agreements in-place with the contractors and the Town to handle maintaining our Eruv mechitza at this location both during the construction and the erection of the new footbridge.
October, 2020 - MDR Construction Helps Us Out!
The MDR Construction team, working on part of the Gateway East project in Brookline Village, reached out to us about impending changes to our aerial attachments as old light fixtures are removed and new poles are installed. They offered to make the necessary changes for us at a very busy intersection (Brookline Ave and Washington St). We met on site and reviewed the requirements. We also loaned them a spool of our Eruv twine. Within two days, they had modifed the pole finials to accept the necessary Eruv hardware attachments and removed the old aerial spans and installed the new spans. They really came through for us! You can find out more about MDR at their website.
July, 2020 - Educational tour for high-schoolers
Rabbi Eliezer Bercuson, Judaic Studies teacher at Maimonides School, reached out to us about a field trip for a "Summer Halacha Program" the first topic of which is Eruv. We met with a group of middle and high-school students at a point in the Eruv where we could see a Tzuras HaPesach made of poles and twine. We then walked along the border where a chain link fence serves as the Mechitzah, then to a short Tzuras HaPesach bridging over a sidewalk, then to typical Lechi construction along a street. Finally, we looked at an installation where the lechi is a length of black electrical tape as our Town was not ready to allow us full-size plastic Lechi strips on expensive, decorative light poles.
April, 2020 - Engineering planning update
A new walking/bike pathway is in the planning stages between Miner St and Overland St in the Fenway area. We met on site today to review the placement of our Tzuras HaPesach at the Miner St cross-over when the project goes into the construction stage.
November 2019 - Portugal Eruv - 1st in 500 years
The Jerusalem Post reports that an Eruv has been constructed and put into service in the Portugese town of Belmonte. This is the first Eruv built in Portugal in over 500 years. See the Links page to retrieve the JPost article.
November 2019 - Wellesley-Weston Chabad Center Eruv Erected
Rabbi Moshe Bleich of the Wellesley-Weston Chabad Center) reached out to us for assistance in completing their Eruv around two residential lots (one for the Chabad residence and one for the Shul/Activity center and playground). We are providing support to ensure this Eruv meets all Halachic guidelines and thus helps all the congregants when attending services at this Chabad. Rabbi Bleich, Ofer Levi (a Chabad congregant), and Dr. Hefter gathered at the properties on November 4 and completed the necessary repairs to establish the Eruv.
August 2019 - Pearl St/Washington St Construction
A lot of work is currently ongoing in the Pearl St. and Washington St. area in Brookline. Major construction has already disrupted our original Eruv border from the MBTA Brookline Village stop to Washington St. We are working closely with Suffolk Construction, MDR Contracting, MA State DOT, and the Town of Brookline to develop a permanent, alternate path for the Eruv boundary in this area. We are hoping for continuous Eruv service each Shabbat during this period. Our new border was constructed on Friday, August 16, 2019. The online map has also been updated.
February 2019 - Military Rabbi Checking Unit's Eruv Foiled Terrorist Attack
Read this inspiring article from the Jewish Press that proves that "truth is stranger than fiction".
August 2018 - Commonwealth Avenue Reconstruction Project - Mass DOT/Walsh Construction
For the second year in a row, the Eruv border in the area of the BU bridge was impacted by the massive reconstruction project at the intersection of the BU Bridge, Commonwealth Avenue, and the Mass Pike overpass bridge. The cooperation between the general contractor, Walsh Construction, and the Eruv Corporation was perfect and we were able to make adjustments to our border each Friday to maintain the Eruv. Below are some sample imaged of the beehive of activity there (night and day) and our own reconstruction work.
June 2018 - Boating on Chandler Pond Chandler Pond, located behind the homes on Kenrick St in Brighton, has been consistently used by residents along the Pond and by Dr. Jennifer Gordon (Kadimah Toras-Moshe) on a regular basis now for many months. Accordingly, the Pond is now considered within the Eruv and the Mechitzos that are present there are no longer required to exclude that area. This mean that walking on either side of Kenrick St, Lake Ave, and Undine Rd are fully allowed. If utilization of the Pond is curtailed at some point in the future, we will notify our constituency.
February 2018 - Boating on the Larz Anderson Pond
Although we generally use the Eruv Air (Swamp) Boat on the two pond sections at the Larz Anderson Pond in South Brookline for maintaining the Kashrus of the overall Eruv, we have experienced extended cold conditions and the pond has been frozen now for weeks. In order to use the surface of the Pond (and skating is not allowed by the Town), we have used two remote-controlled vehicles simultaneously on each side. Below are images of the Eruv "Monster" Truck [New Bright RC , More info...] and the Eruv Amphibious vehicle [Brookstone Rover Land and Sea , More Info...] out on the ice. The former is controlled via a small hand-held controller and the latter via a smartphone or tablet (using WiFi).
The Rover has come in especially handy when the Eruv boat and Monster trucks have become stuck while out on the pond - the Rover has had no problems in pushing them back to shore! It is a rugged and reliable unit. It also includes an onboard camera and we attach here a picture (far right) of Dr. Hefter operating the Rover from the shore while the vehicle is backing away from the shoreline while out on the ice. Technology in the service of humanity and the Torah!
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
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:
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.
December 2015 - SOUTH BROOKLINE ERUV - UNDER CORRECTIVE CONSTRUCTION - PHASE II
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)
- 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.
- October 22 - 226 poles completed of the Salem-Swampscott-Marblehead Eruv!
- 8/28/15 - Shabbat Ki Teitze - Eruv extension into the City of Waltham up for the first Shabbat! Mazel tov to the entire community!
Waltham, MA Mayor's Office - Dr. Hefter performing the Kinyan Kesef with Mayor McCarthy
- 8/18/15 - Received Proclamation from the Town of Marblehead for the Eruv - WOW!
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.
- 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.
- Malden - 12/12 - Eruv Extension is OPERATIONAL!
(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!
(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
- Salem - Proclamation received from City!
- Amherst - Completed second survey to review pole identification for Town Permit and to review alternatives for part of the UMass border
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.
September 2013 - Moving forward with permit application to MBTA for North Shore Eruv. Nearly ready to submit the Verizon application for pole attachments.
August 2013 - Restarting Brandeis Eruv expansion project with the new OU-JLIC rabbi, Rabbi David Pardo, on campus. More to come...
June 2013 - Took 6th grade Maimonides School class on the 2nd annual short walking tour of the Eruv - the students asked some good questions about mechitzah, Eruv repair, and Eruv design. Thanks to Rabbi Yakov Beker for setting up the invitation.
March 2013 - Interfacing with Engineering Firm working on the BU Law School facilities upgrade and the need to reroute the Eruv for several months during upcoming construction activities.
January 2013 - Working on Eruv extension in South Brookline
December 2012 - Working with Swampscott - Marblehead on Eruv
April 2012 - Took 6th grade Maimonides School class on a short walking tour of the Eruv - the students had great questions and were very curious. Thanks to Rabbi Yakov Beker for setting up the invitation.
November 2011 - Rabbi Heinemann visits Marblehead/Swampscott to review proposed Eruv; the plan looks good.
September 2011 - Final review of plan for Marblehead/Swampscott Eruv Design.
January 2011 - Working with a team in Marblehead/Swampscott on the initial stages of an Eruv design.
September 2010 - Newton, MA: Successful meeting held with representatives of the company that operates the Crowne Plaza. We now have a plan for re-installing our extension to the Eruv that will enable people staying in the hotel for Shabbat to carry from the hotel to Newton (the southern side of the hotel).
May 2010 - Boston MA - Rabbi Zalmen Leff of the Boston Academy of Talmudic Research requested a tour of the Eruv in order to provide a key practical link between the topics of Eruvin that the Kollel students are studying and an actual urban Eruv. See some pictures! We were able to review about 25% of the border - more to come...
May 2010 - New Bedford, MA - Met with Rabbi Barry Hartman, Mayor Scott Lang, and city officials to move the plan ahead for submitting an application for a Permit to erect an Eruv.
2009 - Camp Ramah - Palmer, MA
2009-2010 - Brandeis University
April 2009 - Initial conversations about an Eruv project in Bangor, ME.
November 2008 - Request to assist in the completion of an Eruv in Worcester, MA.
July 2007 - Initial discussion with Rabbi Barry Hartman of New Bedford about an Eruv for the city.
July 2007 - The community around Crystal Lake in Newton is now within the Eruv. The City of Newton now permits residents and guests to use Crystal Lake year-round. Car-top-carried boats (kayaks, canoes, small rowboats without engines) are permitted during the daytime. People have been and are now regularly using the lake more than a majority of the year. Thus, the residential areas around the lake are now considered part of the Eruv. One cannot wade into the lake on Shabbat but walking/carrying in the areas south of Beacon St., east of Walnut St., and west of Centre St. are now Halachically available for Hotza-ah/carrying. [effective 7/6/2007]
October 2007 - Newton Eruv border around Bulloughs Pond has changed, please see Maps page for more information.
June 2007 - Permits for Malden Eruv Expansion completed
February 17, 2007 - Invited talk about the Eruv to the Minyan Shaleym congregation in Brookline.
February 10, 2007 - Expansion planned for Malden Eruv
January 10, 2007 - Proposed Lynn Eruv described in Jewish Press.
December 6, 2006 - We receive a request on behalf of the Kollel community in East Berlin, Germany, for information to support their efforts to build an Eruv. Today, there are 100,000 Jews in Germany.
July 17, 2006 - Invited Eruv Presentation to the 2006 Gralla Fellows Program.
March 19, 2006 - Jesse Hefter, the president of the Eruv, spoke about the Eruv at a Shul Breakfast organized by Congregation Beth El-Atereth Israel, Newton, MA.
March 19, 2006 - Jesse Hefter, the president of the Eruv, spoke about the Eruv at a Shul Breakfast organized by Congregation Beth El-Atereth Israel, Newton, MA.