Fenway neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

Let’s celebrate Chanukah together

Temple Israel of Boston has a full line-up of Chanukah events slated through Friday, Dec. 18.

Join them every evening for live candle-lighting together on Zoom, join them in your parked car for a special Chanukah experience, participate in a virtual dreidel tournament, party with other families with young children, enjoy an evening with a magician… and more.

Find all the details and links at www.tisrael.org.

FCC Book & Movie Club

The Book and Movie Club at the Fenway Community Center will meet at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12 to view and discuss Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.

The film adaptation is directed by Alex Garland and stars Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh. In the not-too-distant future, four women form an expedition team and venture into the dangerous "Area X."

Go to FenwayCommunityCenter.org or more information and registration.

Boston Baked Books

The Fenway Community Center will host the Boston Baked Books group from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the second Monday of each month via Zoom. All are welcome to join.

On Dec. 14 the group will discuss Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information.

2020 Marine Toys for Tots Campaign

The US Marine Corps Reserve (Greater Boston) will be collecting new, unwrapped toys as Christmas gifts for those children less fortunate in the counties of Suffolk, Norfolk and Northern Plymouth.

Toys can be dropped off at the Toys for Tots Warehouse at 21 Drydock Ave., 8th Floor, Boston; at any State Police barracks, fire stations or police departments; and at an array of host sites listed on their website.

Donations via check should be mailed to: Toys for Tots Coordinator, 21 Drydock Ave., Box 21-810W, Boston, MA 02210. You can also make a donation online.

All donations should be submitted through Tuesday, Dec. 15 to ensure enough time to complete sorting and distribution prior to Christmas.

Due to the size of the area they serve, they provide toys exclusively to churches, qualified charitable organizations and social service agencies. Individual families can register at any of the types of places listed above and request toys from the program.

Go to boston-ma.toysfortots.org for more information, including the link to donate and the list of host sites.

Exploring Impressionism: The Art of Claude Monet

Immerse students in the Museum of Fine Art’s collection of French Impressionist paintings by Claude Monet while learning to identify elements such as the study of light and weather, depictions of everyday life and a new style of painting that made Impressionist art unique.

This program, recommended for students in Grades 1-5, will be offered from 2:10 to 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Visit www.mfa.org/programs/online-events for more information and registration.

Beethoven's complete works for piano

Back in the pre-pandemic days, the New England Conservatory kicked off its Beethoven250 concerts, a yearlong initiative to commemorate the composer’s birth by playing every one of his solo piano works. The unique series, a world’s first, returned in virtual form on Tuesday, Oct. 13 and will culminate in a sweeping, 11-hour concert of all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas on Feb. 6, 2021.

Beethoven’s Complete Works for Piano will be presented at 8 p.m. as follows:

Tuesday, Dec. 15: Part XII

Saturday, Feb. 6: The Sonatas

Approximately one-third of each concert program will feature rarely performed sets of variations that may offer insight into Beethoven’s own performances as an improviser.

Go to necmusic.edu/beethovens-complete-works-piano for more information. including a Program and the link to watch the video stream.

‘The Magic of Chanukah’

Join Temple Israel of Boston from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17 on Zoom for a special eighth-night Chanukah celebration. “The Magic of Chanukah” promises to be a unique, interactive and laugh-filled magic show, designed from the ground-up for this virtual world. Appropriate for kids and adults.

Robert Strong has twice been voted San Francisco’s “Best Comedian” and three times voted San Francisco’s “Best Magician.” He has performed in more than 40 countries, in all 50 states, on every major TV network and twice at the White House.

Visit www.tisrael.org/light for more information and registration.

Donate blood and save a child’s life

Donating blood is the easiest way to save a child's life.

Donate blood or platelets at their Blood Donor Center at 333 Longwood Ave.

The Children's Blood Donor Center is an independent collection facility serving the needs of the pediatric patients in the Longwood Medical Area.

Appointments preferred, but walk-ins are welcome (subject to staffing and availability) during hours of operation (every day except Mondays).

To schedule an appointment, go to www.halfpints.childrenshospital.org or phone 617-355-6677.

'Brighter Connected:' Public Art

Brighter Connected will bring the light of Hanukkah to eight Boston-area neighborhood windows through works of art created in partnership between a local artist and the community.

Historically, the Brighter installation series has been installed at the Museum of Fine Art as part of Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights. This year, they're taking it out of the museum and bringing it into the community - in line with the mitzvah (good deed) of “publicizing the miracle” of the oil that lasted eight days.

These eight works of art (designed and installed for socially distanced viewing), highlight the Hanukkah story, connecting it to the present-day miracles of the strength, resiliency and vibrancy of the Boston community and will be on view through Friday, Dec. 18.

For more information, including a mapped list of the eight places to view, go to jartsboston.org/hanukkah-2020.

LRC: Unity

The power to come together within similar and across diverse communities seems more and more elusive. The alienation from the people around us manifests in ever-growing depression, addiction, physical and psychological abuse, crime, violence and suicide – indicators of spirits in distress and despair. People are caught in giant social and political arguments about the symptoms of dis-unity that ignore the heart-felt desire for harmony and peace with one another and the earth.

In the face of all this, the gift of the power of unity calls everyone to find our way back to a deep knowing of interconnection and community. The challenge is to trust in unity, even if there is a history of experiences that lead people to distrust and feel separate from others.

Join the facilitated living room conversation from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18, where participants can practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration.

East/West Fens food distribution

Fenway Cares will hold its bi-weekly fresh food distributions from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 23 in West Fenway at the Fenway Community Center (1282 Boylston St.) and East Fenway at Symphony Community Park (39 Edgerly Rd.).

If you are immunocompromised or physically unable to pick up a box at either location, you can request a produce box be dropped off at your building by a Fenway Cares volunteer.

Sign up at bit.ly//FenwayCaresFood. The same form can also be used to sign up to volunteer.

Give the gift of membership

Give the gift of membership this holiday season. This gift will ensure that the beloved parks - the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall - remain icons of Boston and continue to receive the protection, care and management that they need.

Donations can be made at friendsofthepublicgarden.org/2020/11/06/give-the-gift-of-membership-now-through-january.

Critical shortage at Kraft Family Blood Donor Center

The Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis St. is approaching a critical shortage of Type-O positive and negative whole blood.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, visit the Kraft Center website or phone 617-632-3206.

You can also schedule a blood drive in your community or business by emailing blooddonor@partners.org or calling 888-LETS-GIV (538-7448).

When you donate blood or donate platelets at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, or give blood on board the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Blood Mobile, you are making a life-saving difference for patients in need.

Visit brighamandwomens.org/patients-and-families/blood-donation/blood-donation-center and/or dana-farber.org/how-you-can-help/get-involved/donate-blood-and-platelets for more information.

Village Parent’s Happy Hour

Village Parent’s Happy Hour will be held from 8 to 9 p.m. on Sundays. Struggling to manage the new normal? Exhausted from full days juggling the needs of your little ones and your professional life while stuck at home?

Make yourself your favorite cocktail or mocktail and connect with parents who are in the same boat. Though we can’t gather in person, we can find strength in community.

Join Zoom at: https://zoom/us/j/7282752816 or visit tisrael.org for more details.

World of Wonder

The Fenway Community Center will host World of Wonder for children, ages 3 through 8, from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. on Mondays via Zoom.

This program delves deep into our connection with nature. It is founded on the premise that direct experience in nature is essential to children's physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development. Time spent experiencing and exploring during childhood begins a practice that can bring lifelong openness to the wonder nature can spark.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org and/or Eventbrite.com for more information and registration.

Seventh-Inning Stretch slides into Monday

After completing 120 consecutive daily live shows on July 23, Fenway Park organist Josh Kantor will, for the duration of the 2020 Major League Baseball season, move his “Seventh-Inning Stretch” show to 3 p.m. on Mondays.

Tune in live at www.facebook.com/7thinningstretch2020 and continue to take a stretch, sing along and enjoy some favorite traditional and contemporary songs.

Although the show is still fun and free, he suggests that viewers make a donation to their local food bank.

Voice and Justice

The Voice and Justice program at the Fenway Community Center seeks to open communication about issues of social and racial justice. They offer a weekly list of resources via a variety of media for you to explore, including an estimated time for each resource and a weekly action for you to take to combat racism.

Join the group at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month to share your voice with your neighbors and work toward racial justice one step at a time.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org and/or Eventbrite.com for more information and registration.

Navigators USA

The Boston Chapter of Navigators USA will meet from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays via Zoom. The Boston Chapter offers free a uniform, membership, and outings. Currently, the Fenway Community Center will provide the material and admission for outings, and families will complete activities independently.

Navigators USA is a progressive international program whose mission is to broaden the scope of scouting through inclusion. By encouraging all families and individuals of all ages to participate in meetings, activities, and trips, Navigators USA goes beyond youth development to community development.

Navigators USA is open to all people, regardless of their gender, race, lifestyle, ability, religious or lack of religious belief. They believe the greatest challenge for the future of our planet is to learn how to get along with people different than ourselves.

Visit FenwayCommunityCenter.org and/or Eventbrite.com for more information and registration.

Guided meditation

Interested in reducing stress, bettering your emotional health or practicing self-compassion? Join the Fenway Community Center’s free guided meditation class, led by Fenway residents and licensed instructors, Pallavi and Vaibhav from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Visit www.FenwayCommunityCenter.org for the Zoom links and more information.

Trivia Night

All ages are welcome to join the Fenway Community Center for a casual, noncompetitive fun night of trivia – music, Harry Potter, movies and more – from 8 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Visit www.FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information, including a quick link to Zoom.

Arts and Crafts Club

An intergenerational Arts and Crafts Club at the Fenway Community Center will meet from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays on Zoom. Explore the elements of art with paints and markers, bead a backpack buddy or try hand lettering.

Free materials which can be picked up at FCC monthly or delivered within the Fenway neighborhood will include everything people need for these projects.

Go to fenwaycommunitycenter.org for more information.

#NECMusicHub

The New England Conservatory of Music musicians are sending messages of hope and connection from all parts of the globe – follow the series at #NECMusic Hub.

Visit necmusic.edu for more details.

Game Night

Fenway Community Center hosts a casual noncompetitive fun game night at 8 p.m. on Thursdays. All ages are welcome to join in the fun.

Visit www.FenwayCommunityCenter.org for more information, including a quick link to Zoom.

Tot Rock Shabbat: Home Edition

Celebrate Shabbat with your TI community. Light candles, say blessings over juice and challah, sing favorite Shabbat songs and bring the joy of Shabbat into your homes from 5 to 5:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Visit tisrael.org for more information, including the Zoom link.

TGIS at Home

A special live service with Wayne Potash and a member of the Temple Israel clergy will present “Thank Goodness It’s Shabbat!” from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

If you are between the ages of 6 days to 6 years and you love to dance, sing, play and pray – this is for you.

Visit tisrael.org for more information, including the Zoom link.

Boston Baroque Live 2020-2021 season lineup

Join Boston Baroque for a season of livestreamed concerts, virtual interactive events, full-length concerts and operas new-from-the-archives, and more on Boston Baroque Live, their first-ever live recorded performance streaming platform, on Amazon Prime or Boston Baroque Radio.

The 2020-2021 virtual season schedule includes:

Handel’s Guilio Cesare (November); Handel’s Messiah (December); New Year’s Celebration (January); Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (February); Highlights from Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione Di Poppea (March); Handel’s Water Music Suite (April); Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 (May); and Handel’s Jephtha (June).

Tickets for the pop-up concerts will be available three weeks before each performance. The first pop-up program will include Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

Visit https://baroque.boston for more information, including Virtual Season Subscriptions.

First Mondays at Jordan Hall – Returns in March

Join New England Conservancy as they celebrate 36 years of First Mondays: well-loved classics and new compositions performed by some of the world’s best chamber musicians at 7:30 p.m., free and open to all, and streaming to your home.

March, April, and May programs to be announced.

Go to https://necmusic.edu/first-mondays-jordan-hall.

The Boston Cyclists Union

The Boston Cyclists Union invites people to get involved and join a working group or committee.

Volunteer working groups (Activist Group and Programming Group) meet monthly and play an important role in planning and organizing the Bike Union programs and campaigns. Participation in these groups offers a more active, “on-the-ground” influence than traditional volunteer opportunities.

The three board committees (Development, Finance and Operations, and Governance) support the staff in long-term planning and strategy. Each committee meets monthly.

All meetings are open to all interested parties. Dates and locations along with other information can be found on their website at https://bostoncyclistsunion.org.

YMCA of Greater Boston fall preview

The YMCA of Greater Boston is offering all members and non-members an opportunity to preview their Fall 2020 programs with a free preview week at all 13 YMCA of Greater Boston branches. The fall preview will provide parents and children the opportunity to experience a program with the Y and see how fun and safe it can be.

Fall programing will run through December and will consist of two sessions. Each session will include soccer, basketball, t-ball, sports sampler, swim lessons, semi- private & private swim and physical education. The Jr. Celtics skills and drills program is back and will run for10 weeks through Dec. 20.

All sports clinics and group swim lessons will be included in family memberships through the end of the year. Members of the East Boston YMCA can take advantage of group swim lessons at any other YMCA of Greater Boston locations.

For more information about memberships, visit ymcaboston.org.

Registration for all YMCA fall programs can be booked online at https://ymcaboston.org/active-programs. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify.

Free ‘grab-and-go’ meals/food resource information

Boston Eats will continue to provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth –

18 years of age and under – through Thursday, Dec. 31. No ID or registration required.

Visit www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/boston-eats or phone 1-800-645-8333 for a list of meal locations and other information. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens is also included.

Visit foodpantries.org for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.

If you need additional food resources, contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.

Game Changers exhibit

The group exhibition, Game Changers at MAAM explores artists working at the confluence of contemporary art and video games. Whether highlighting under-explored narratives, pushing technological boundaries, or imagining alternative worlds through game aesthetics, the artists featured in Game Changers are discovering new possibilities for what game-related art can be and do.

Visit https://maam.massart.edu for more information about this exhibition on view through 2020.

Ghost of a Dream: ‘Yesterday is Here’

For the grand opening of the MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), artist collective Ghost of a Dream transformed the new lobby with a site-specific installation titled Yesterday is Here, which will be on view through 2020.

Ghost of a Dream's artwork centers on people’s hopes and dreams and is made from the ephemera they create in pursuit of those aspirations. In Yesterday is Here, the collective uses the past to create a new future for the Museum; the duo has cut up, combined, and spliced together images from over 30 years of exhibition catalogs and announcements from the MassArt Bakalar & Paine Galleries to create a kaleidoscopic look through the history of the Galleries and create an experience that speaks to MAAM’s future.

Valkyrie Mumbet exhibition

Renowned Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos premiered a new monumental site-specific installation at MAAM, which will be on view through 2020. Known for her unprecedented multimedia works, Vasconcelos, in her first U.S. solo show, will honor Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, an enslaved woman whose court battle for her freedom in August 1781 helped make slavery illegal in Massachusetts. The large-scale installation titled Valkyrie Mumbet, is the newest in her Valkyries series, named after Norse female war goddesses, which pays homage to inspiring women.

Visit https://maam.massart.edu/event/mumbets-declaration-independence for more information including a list of activities that honor the life of this courageous woman.

Free Lifeboat Food Pantry

The Lifeboat Food Pantry will be at 105 Jersey St. from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Food distribution will be held outside, providing 1 to 2 bags of a mix of fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable pre-bagged food in a door-dash format following health and safety guidelines. All community residents experiencing food insecurity are welcome. New clients can register at bit.ly/lifeboatbostonregistration.

Email LifeboatBoston@gmail.com, phone 617-383-9864 or visit Facebook.com/lifeboatboston for more information.

BSO and Pops at home

The BSO offers a wide variety of audio and video options of some of their greatest performances in Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood.

There will also be video tutorials with BSO musicians created to support students and at-home learning along with some behind the scenes videos from BSO musicians and conductors (sharing life off-stage) featuring anecdotes, personal reflections and insights, and short informal performances.

These offerings are all available at www.bso.org/athome and the BSO YouTube and Social Media Channels.

MFA is open

The Museum of Fine Arts will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays following health and safety protocol and utilizing advance-purchase timed tickets.

A limited number of galleries and exhibitions will be open, and temporarily closed galleries will continue to reopen as they reconfigure spaces and traffic routes for safe and socially distant visits. See Gallery Updates for the most up-to-date information.

Members: free | Nonmembers: $25 | Youths, ages 17 and under: free | *Modified admission pricing ($5 minimum) during the 3 to 4 p.m. entry slot every Wednesday.

Visit www.mfa.org for more information.

Museum of Fine Arts at home fun

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world with a collection that exemplifies the breadth, richness, and diversity of artistic expression, prehistoric times to modern day.

Follow #MuseumFromHome hashtag for videos of gallery tours, lectures and artists interviews.

And for fun facts check out twitter.com/Victoria_S_Reed courtesy of MFA’s curator.

Visit mfa.org for more details.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum hours changed

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will be open at 10 a.m. on the weekends beginning in December.

Visitors will be required to pre-purchase, timed tickets (up to 30-minutes before closing) and follow health and safety guidelines

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on *Thursdays; Closed on Tuesdays; Holiday hours vary with some dates closed.

*Free admission on the first Thursdays of the month from 3 to 9 p.m.

Visit gardnermuseum.org for more information.

Gardner at Home

To explore the Gardner Museum while staying cozy at home, check out their virtual museum tours, collections and courtyard along with a suite of free digital programs.

Visit gardnermuseum.org and follow them on their social media platforms.

‘What the World Needs Now’ – Virtual Orchestra

What started as an idea on a student’s flight home from Berklee College ended in collaboration with some incredible people.

Boston Conservatory at Berklee student Shelbie Rassler convened a virtual orchestra of 74 of her peers to create connection in a time of social distancing. Watch this moving performance of “What the World Needs Now.”

Visit www.berklee.edu/news/berklee-now/what-world-needs-now-student-made-video or YouTube.com for a little something special to brighten your day.

Fenway Cares

Fenway Cares is a joint effort by local organizations (Fenway Alliance, Fenway CDC, Fenway Civic Association, Fenway Community Center, Operation P.E.A.C.E. / Peterborough Senior Center) that gathers and shares information with the Fenway neighborhood as well as pairs volunteers and services with those in need.

To learn more visit fenwaycommunitycenter.org, email FenwayCares@fenwaycommunitycenter.org or phone 617-446-3949.

Visit bit.ly/FenwayCaresIntake to offer support, request assistance or share information.

This is from a past "Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights" celebration at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. Visit www.mfa.org to learn about more at the museum.