The Adams Street Shul

Congregation Agudas Achim Anshei Sfard

A view of the  neighborhood of Nonantum in 1879, then called the North Village.


The Location...

Newton, Massachusetts is a three-hundred-fifty-year-old community with over 85,000 people.   Historically, and in the minds of nearly everyone who lives there, it is a collection of fourteen distinct villages and neighborhoods.   Each came into being at a different time for a different reason.

This unusual pattern of development is the result of Newton's location.  Newton is just ten miles from Boston, and is almost completely surrounded by the Charles River.  Some villages of Newton were developed around mill complexes, taking advantage of the river as a power source.  Others developed around stops on rail service to Boston.  By the 1840s, Newton was the leading edge in the development of what we today call suburbia and commuting.

The Adams Street Synagogue is located in the neighborhood called Nonantum.  Nonantum is a Native American word that means "rejoicing."  In 1646, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony gave this name to "the village for the Praying Indians,"  which was about a mile from today's Nonantum.  (It was in what we now call Newton Corner).

The current neighborhood of Nonantum was originally called the North Village.  Click on the 1879 view of the North Village (at left) to see the full-sized image.  On it, you can spot the mill on the Charles River, the empty lot that is the future site of the shul, the homes of some of the shul's founding families, and even the homes of some of our current members!

Nonantum Worsted Company, operator of the Dalby Street Mills  on the Charles





The North Village started to be called Nonantum only after the Nonantum Worsted Company bought the Dalby Mills on Chapel Street in 1880.   (This photo of the mill was taken in the 1890's.)

Next:  The Gateway to Newton

A Modern Community

We hope you will visit us when you visit Boston. If you live here, we hope you will participate in our educational classes, religious services, and holiday celebrations. 

For a quick overview of what's going on, visit our News page and our Calendar.

A Historic Shul

The Adams Street Shul is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We are now in our second century of service to the Jewish community.

Part of our mission is to preserve and maintain this historic building, with the help of many supportive friends.

Rabbi Mark Glass

The Adams Street Shul

(617) 630-0226

168 Adams Street
P.O. Box 600371
Newton, MA 02460

You can make a donation right now, using a credit card, electronic check, or the balance in your PayPal account.

Shabbat Times

Candle-Lighting in Nonantum for Friday, October 19, is at 5:39 pm.    Shabbat concludes at 6:37 pm on Saturday, October 20.  

Torah Portion

This Saturday is Shabbat Lech L'cha.  
(The Torah Reading is Bereishit 12:1-17:27;   and the Haftarah is Isaiah 40:27-41:16.)