Congregation Mishkan Tefila

No. 329 Postcard. Congregation Michkan Teflia, postmarked November 5, 1940.


Located on Seaver Street facing Franklin Park, technically in Roxbury, this temple served people from the Grove Hall area, which extended into Dorchester.

In 2003 the building is used by the United House of Prayer for all People.

Readers’ Comments

On August 28, 2005 Herculano Fecteau wrote

Re: Overview: Congregation Mishkan Tefila

It might be nice to mention that for a few decades the former Temple Mishkah Tefila was the home of the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts, a center for African-American music and culture in Roxbury, operated under the leadership of Ms. Elma Lewis. Her long-running adaptation of Langston Hughes’ gospel play, Black Nativity, is still a staple of Boston’s cultural scene at Christmas, now presented under the direction of Ms. Lewis’s longtime collaborator John Ross.


The Temple was very popular, and I went to it in the 1950’s.  The Cantor Gregor Shelkin was a Nazi survivor and later became Cantor Emeritus at the temple in Brookline . He was once on Ralph Edwards “This is your life.”  The Rabbi was Kazis who also ran the Hebrew school right behind the temple.  The temple was beautiful inside and was considered n those days as a conservative temple, even though some women were segregated to the balconies. On certain holidays, a small tented area to the of the Temple was opened and looked like a tree forest.  Most of the Jewish population left the area n the early sixties.


Posted on

April 15, 2020