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Jewish Community Center of the North Shore (Mass.) Records

Identifier: I-596

Scope and Content Note

The records of the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore primarily consist of group and event photographs and various publications produced by the organization. The photographs depict group shots of the Boards of Directors, as well as youth activities, annual dinners, meetings, and events such as the Marblehead building's groundbreaking ceremony in 1969 and dedication in 1972. The publications include newsletters, program guides, yearbooks, and commemorative books, as well as programs and invitations to a variety of events.


  • undated, 1922-2004


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact

Historical Note

The Jewish Community Center of the North Shore was established in 1911 as the Lynn Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA) by David Haskell, Abraham Haskell, Israel Margolskee, Benjamin Musinsky, and Charles J. Goldman. It was founded as a place where young Jewish men and the Lynn community at large could come together through athletic competition and organized activities with the goal of fostering a better understanding between Jewish and non-Jewish neighbors. The Lynn YMHA’s charter was accepted by the national YMHA in 1912, and a mass meeting was held to elect permanent officers to the Board of Directors.

Initially, the Lynn YMHA met in the vestry of Congregation Ahabat Shalom in Lynn, but in 1913 they moved to their first location at 120 Market Street. As the organization grew, they moved three more times before settling in their current location in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1972.

In 1913, the Lynn Young Women’s Hebrew Association (YWHA) was established and joined with the YMHA. This women's group reorganized in 1932 as the Women’s League and sponsored social and cultural programs through the organization.

In 1943, the YMHA was renamed the Lynn Jewish Community Center (JCC). Programs at the center continued to expand through the years, adding services such as English and citizenship classes for new Americans, meeting facilities for public lectures and Zionist group discussions, guidance counselling, an employment service, Sunday School classes, a nursery school and a day care, New England’s first Jewish day camp called Camp Simchah, and a choral society, in addition to the athletic facilities and teams present from its inception. After moving to a new building in 1946, the Simon Cohen Library and the Scout Cabin were added to the facility, and clubs for the blind and senior citizens were founded to further include members of the community.

As the population gradually started to shift away from Lynn to the surrounding suburban areas in the 1950s, the JCC began to envision their mission as serving the larger North Shore community. The JCC purchased eleven acres of land in Marblehead to offer extension services in 1958, and when an urban renewal project threatened the Lynn building, they decided to move their headquarters to Marblehead. The new building was dedicated in 1972.

Since that time, the JCC has reorganized and streamlined, serving as a wellness center that offers early-childhood education, fitness facilities, and day camp services for children.


  1. Material from the collection.
  2. Rosenberg, Steven A. “Celebrating 100 Years of JCC North Shore,” The Boston Globe, July 15, 2012, />.


The Lynn YMHA is established.
A permanent charter is issued by national YMHA.
The YMHA moves to its first home in Lynn.
The YWHA is established.
The YMHA moves to 10 City Hall Square.
The YMHA moves to the Prescott Building.
A day camp is established.
The Knights of Pythias Building is purchased and dedicated as the Lynn JCC.
The nursery school opens.
The Golden Age Club is founded.
The Center C-Sharp Club (for the blind) is established.
Land in Marblehead is purchased for extension services.
The JCC celebrates its Golden Jubilee.
A groundbreaking ceremony is held at the site of the new Marblehead building.
The JCC moves to the new Marblehead building and hosts a dedication ceremony.
The infant-toddler day care program begins.
The JCC sells its campground in Middleton.
The JCC reorganizes and creates a new business plan.


1 linear feet (2 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized folder)


The Jewish Community Center of the North Shore was established in 1911 as the Lynn Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA). In 1943, the YMHA was renamed the Lynn Jewish Community Center, and in 1972, the organization moved to their current location in Marblehead, Massachusetts, at which time they changed their name to reflect their dedication to the entire North Shore community. The collection mostly consists of group and event photographs and various publications produced by the Center, primarily between 1960 and 1999.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the Jewish Heritage Center of the North Shore, 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by Xingyan (Jessie) Xu and Shannon Struble, 2017

Guide to the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore (Mass.) Records, I-583
Processed by Xingyan (Jessie) Xu and Shannon Struble
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at American Ancestors Repository

99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States