This historic structure was built in 1919 to serve as an Orthodox synagogue for Jews who immigrated to Boston from Lithuania. And while neither the building’s architecture nor its history is noteworthy, Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture, is widely-recognized as Beantown’s most iconic Jewish landmark, as it is one of the only remaining synagogues in the city’s downtown that was built by immigrants.
Travelers can take guided tours of this historic building and learn from locals about the rich history of Vilna Shul. It is also possible to tour the cultural center, community center and in-house museum of this Beacon Hill building alone. Visitors who want to get a deeper sense of Boston’s Jewish roots can visit Vilna Shul as part of a Jewish history and cultural tour that makes stops at other key landmarks like the Holocaust Memorial and West End House.
Vilna Shul is located at 18 Philips Street in Boston. It is open Wednesday through Friday from 11am-5pm, and guided tours take place at 1 pm and 3 pm. Hours change slightly in the summer season so it’s best to check Vilna Shul’s calendar. It is accessible using public transportation at the Charles/MGH MBTA Red Line station.