Boston Jewish Cultural Walking Tour

Boston CityWalks

Zerve Seller: BostonWalks
Activity #1706

Available Dates & Times Price Duration
All times listed are Eastern time zone

Customer Rating:

4.7 out of 5
View all 25 reviews  


Join us for a cultural heritage walking tour through Beacon Hill’s “back side,” where Jews and African Americans resided during the nineteenth century. Visit the historic Vilna Shul in the center of Beacon Hill and pass by Jewish homes and neighborhoods. See the West End House, a settlement house where West End Jews were provided social services, and the Puffer House Cigar-Rolling Factory, typical of the work locales of Boston’s Jews.

We’ll go through Boston’s impressive and impactful Holocaust Memorial in one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods and then conclude our tour at the entrance to the North End, which was a Jewish immigrant enclave before the arrival of Italians transformed the area into a “Little Italy” around the turn of the century.

Highlights include:
  • The Milk Street Café, a strictly Kosher Oasis in Downtown
  • The Famine Memorial
  • Home of The Jewish Advocate
  • The Jewish “Back Side” of Beacon Hill
  • Boston’s Historic Vilna Shul
  • The West End House
  • Puffer House Cigar-Rolling Factory
  • The Holocaust Memorial
  • Boston’s Immigrant Arrival Area, the North End

What Is Not Included?

Food and drinks are not included in the ticket price. If you would like to purchase lunch or a snack at the tour's meeting location (a kosher cafe), please arrive early and bring extra cash!

Meeting Location

Milk St near Devonshire St (Boston, MA) (Exact meeting location details will be provided immediately upon purchase of tickets.)


25 Reviews Rating: 4.7 4.7 out of 5.0
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# of Reviews Positive
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% Positive Average
Last 3 months 0 0 0 = 0 0% 0.0
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Last 12 months 3 7 0 = 7 100% 4.7
All 25 54 1 = 53 96% 4.5
25 Reviews
Displaying 1 - 10
Sort by: Date Attended Gender Age Where From Group Type
Rating: 4
guide did good job.
Mon, Nov 9, 15  2:30 PM Male 70+ Domestic Tourist(s) Other
Alan was most informative. Sites were of interest. Two hours passed too quickly. A brochure would have helped if available before tour.
Rating: 5
Excellant tour - we learned a lot.
Mon, Jul 13, 15  2:30 PM Female 60-69 Local Family With Children
The guide was very knowledgeable and we learned a great deal about the Jewish history in Boston we didn't know. The tour geographically requires stamina because of the hilly climb on Beacon Hill. We were a group of four and the guide so it was intimate and informal. We really liked it and wished we could have know about the tour sooner.
Rating: 5
Great Jewish Tour of Downtown Boston
Mon, Jun 22, 15  2:30 PM Male 60-69 International Tourist(s) Family Without Children
Our guide Alan, was knowledgeable and informative. He gave us a great tour of Boston's Jewish Heritage and what was especially important was that he put the Jews of Boston in the context of the City of Boston and its many immigrant groups.

Tour is highly recommended!
Rating: 5
Shaloam and you do not have to be Jewish to enjoy
Mon, Dec 29, 14  2:30 PM Male 60-69 International Tourist(s) Unspecified

Alan did a great job leading us and informing us of the cultural aspects of Boston with specific insights on the Jewish heritage. We had recently been in Poland and went to the concentration camps there. We are not Jewish, and we felt it would be important to follow-up on this tour of Boston with an opportunity to understand the Jewish culture and heritage in Boston. Alan did a terrific job of explaining, but since we had such a small group (Winter 204/15) he diversified the tour to meet our interests. The two hours passed quickly, so give Alan a hand.
Rating: 5
Informative and entertaining
Thu, Dec 25, 14  1:30 PM Female 50-59 Local Couple on a Date
The tour provided much more information than just the Jewish cultural experience and was very information and interesting. Our guide was knowledgeable and funny and we enjoyed a very entertaining afternoon.
Rating: 5
Alan provided lots of interesting facts.
Mon, Nov 24, 14  2:30 PM Male 60-69 Domestic Tourist(s) Family Without Children
Alan did a great job talking about Jewish and secular Boston history
Rating: 4
Informative pleasant walk
Mon, Sep 29, 14  2:30 PM Female 70+ Local Group of Friends
Guide has good commons of subject
Rating: 2
Not worth the money
Mon, Jul 14, 14  2:30 PM Female 50-59 International Tourist(s) Family Without Children
You cannot have a jewish walking tour of Boston by simply throwing in the word Jewish in every second sentence. Our guide was a very pleasant man but the tour itself was a waste. It was a nice walk around Boston. Would not recommend .
Rating: 5
Great Walking Tour
Mon, Jun 23, 14  2:30 PM Female 50-59 Local Other
We appreciated the vast knowledge of the guide and how he connected things that might not seem Jewish with the Jewish tour, as well as things obviously Jewish.
Rating: 5
Knowledgeable and Flexible
Mon, Dec 2, 13  2:30 PM Female 70+ Domestic Tourist(s) Individual
Alan was as good a guide/docent as I've ever had in many years of touring historic sites. He was knowledgeable and had a good grasp of what would be appealing to a tourist looking for an out of the ordinary walk though Jewish Boston. Detours along the way included a Revolutionary times cemetery, an old cobblestone street, and commentary about all the historical places we passed - plus Alan knew rare facts and interesting seldom told stories. All in all, worth every penny!
Displaying 1 - 10 of 25
Ratings and Reviews for:
Is advance purchase necessary?
You must purchase your tickets in advance in order to guarantee your space on the tour. Please book well in advance to maximize your chances of getting the date and time you prefer.
How long do the walking tours last?
Tours last approximately 2 hours, but can vary depending upon the number of people, questions asked, etc.
How far do we actually walk?
This tour is approximately 2 miles in length.
Do we walk at a leisurely pace?
There's just so much to see and talk about on this tour that we do stop frequently. We promise not to overwork you!! But we also really want to show off so many wonderful places that you'll be sure to see alot! We try whenever possible to stop in the shade when it's hot and in the sun when it's cool. And where there are benches, we'll point them out.
What specific Historic Sites will we see?
In addition to the sites already noted, we will pass by several Freedom Trail sites as well, including: The Massachusetts State House, Boston Massacre Site, the Old and New City Halls, the Old South Meeting House, the Old Corner Bookstore, King’s Chapel, Boston Common, and Beacon Hill. If you have questions on these sites or others, feel free to ask your guide.
What if I have a particular area of interest?
If you have a particular area of interest, like history or architecture, please let the guide know and they will likely be able to emphasize that area(s) for the enjoyment of the whole group.
Are there restrooms on the tour?
There are restrooms at both the start (Milk Street Cafe) and middle of the tour (at the Vilna Shul). While there are no prescheduled stops along the way, we will make every reasonable effort to meet requests for a stop.
Will we be able to purchase water along the way?
On most tours, we will pass by street vendors selling drinks. We will stop there upon request.
Will there be food available on the tour?
There will be food available for purchase at the tour's meeting location, a kosher cafe.
Can we shop along the way?
While the tour does pass through shopping areas, we request that you save all shopping until after the tour has finished. At the conclusion of the tour, we will be happy to give you directions to get back to specific shops and locations.
Can I ask questions?
YES!!! Questions are always welcome.
Do I need to purchase a ticket for my child?
Yes, please purchase a reduced price Child ticket for children ages 5 to 16. Children under the age of 5 may come on the tour for free, but please let us know if you are bringing any young children when you purchase your tickets. Remember to bring a stroller!
Will my toddler survive the tour?
Well, it's a long way for a toddler to go, so we can't recommend it. But you know your child best - if you think they'll enjoy it and they'll behave, go ahead and bring 'em along. We'll try and make it as pleasant as we can for both you and them.
Is the tour stroller accessible?
Most of the tour is accessible to strollers and we do recommend them for small children. Please keep in mind, however, that many areas are uneven and there is one set of stairs, but you should be able to carry your children over these short distances.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, we do not recommend wheelchairs on these tours because we pass through many old, historic areas with brick and cobblestone paving that can be uneven and make travel in a wheelchair difficult. There is one set of steps.
What happens if it rains or snows?
The tour runs rain or shine. If precipitation starts during the tour, rain ponchos are available from the guide. If really severe weather forces us to cancel the tour, you will be able to reschedule to another date or receive credit for a future event.
How do I get back to my hotel after the tour?
Your guide will give you specific directions following the tour. If either walking or taking the "T" subway are possibilities, your guide will describe both options for you. Maps will be provided upon request.
Where does the tour end?
This tour ends at the entrance to the North End, at the intersection of Salem Street and Cross Street. You may choose to continue on and sightsee or have a lovely Italian meal there.
What are the differences between the offered tours?
The Downtown Boston to Copley Square and the Copley Square to Downtown Tours cover many of the same sites. The first, as its name indicates, leaves from Downtown and the second from Copley Square. So you can choose based on which starting point is closest to your hotel or which time offered best meets your needs. The North End, Waterfront and Downtown Tour includes the original settled area of Boston and then proceeds to the North End and winds up on the Waterfront. This is a lovely historic tour that goes beyond where the others leave off. It includes Paul Revere's House, the Old North Church, Boston's Italian Area and the oldest commercial block in the city. If you want to sneak in some Italian food, you might want to consider that, too. We'll even give you our recommendations for restaurants!!
Does the tour have anything to offer a native Bostonian?
Absolutely! Boston is full of little known secrets and treasures. Its nooks and crannies provide a wealth of sights and stories that go along with them. The anecdotal history your guide will share with you is sure to add new nuances to what you thought you already knew. You'll see a side of the city you never knew existed!
Are gift certificates available?
Of course. You can reach Boston CityWalks with the "Contact BostonWalks" link.
Are Private Tours available for Boston CityWalks Tours?
We would love to create just the right tour for you or your group. Please click on the "Contact BostonWalks" link to make arrangements!


Boston CityWalks

Boston CityWalks provides scheduled and custom walking tours of Boston. We give just the right mix of history, architecture and culture to bring Boston’s personality alive and make you feel a part of the city. We share our love for the city with facts, stories and humor that reflect the quirky nature that IS Boston.

The Boston Jewish Cultural Walking Tour is our newest endeavor. We combined our knowledge of the prejudice and culture of the city from its very beginnings, the impact of the immigration of key other groups to Boston (particularly the Irish), and interwove those and other factors to set the stage for the Jewish settlement of Boston and its future growth.
Boston CityWalks also does customized tours to your specifications. These personalized walking tours are perfect for Weddings & Engagement Parties, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Reunions, Family Get-Togethers, Graduations, Business Meetings, Conventions and other Special Events.
Please call Zerve at
1 (800) 979-3370
to get more information or
book this activity now
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