Brookline finds its immediate border with Boston and much of the town feels quite urban. It is home to over 50,000 residents among whom over 20,000 identify themselves as Jewish and numerous Jewish synagogues, stores and restaurants make their home here. Along with a strong Jewish population it is also home to a high number of medical professionals because of its direct proximity to the Longwood Medical Area. Brookline is also situated very close to large student populations. Boston University, Boston College and Northeastern are all nearby which collectively draw in tens of thousands of college students every year.
Brookline has a rich history. There are many places of historical significance here but probably none is more celebrated or known than the house where John F. Kennedy was born. In fact, the school in which our church worships served as his elementary school for three years with his boyhood home just down the street.
It is also a very beautiful town and apparently has been for more than a century. In the 1841 edition of the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Andrew Jackson Downing described the area this way:
“The whole of this neighborhood of Brookline is a kind of landscape garden, and there is nothing in America of the sort, so inexpressibly charming as the lanes which lead from one cottage, or villa, to another. No animals are allowed to run at large, and the open gates, with tempting vistas and glimpses under the pendent boughs, give it quite an Arcadian air of rural freedom and enjoyment. These lanes are clothed with a profusion of trees and wild shrubbery, often almost to the carriage tracks, and curve and wind about, in a manner quite bewildering to the stranger who attempts to thread them alone; and there are more hints here for the lover of the picturesque in lanes than we ever saw assembled together in so small a compass.”
Even today, despite much development, Brookline remains a beautiful part of the larger Boston landscape. It has beautifully tree-lined streets, well maintained parks, numerous historical sites and a host of locally owned businesses.
Our church meets at Devotion Elementary School. While this name sounds quite spiritual it is actually named in honor of Edward Devotion, an early Brookline resident from the 17th century upon whose land the school now stands.
If you would like to read current news about Brookline you can find it here.