Sikhism in Greater Boston

1965    The Immigration and Nationality Act is signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, eliminating immigration quotas created by earlier legislation. Immigration from Asia and the Middle East increases dramatically, marking the beginning of one of the greatest demographic transformations in American history. Greater Boston sees a marked expansion of minority religious groups, including the Sikh community.

1968    The New England Sikh Study Circle (NESSC) is established. Initially, only a handful of families participate, meeting in members’ homes on a monthly basis.

1970    Members of the national Happy Healthy Holy Organization (3HO) begin meeting in Boston; later, the group will form the Guru Ram Das Ashram and Gurdwara in Millis.

 1979    The New England Sikh Study Circle officially receives non-profit status.

1981    Members of the Happy Healthy Holy Organization (3HO) purchase a former Jewish resort in Millis; the property is converted into a gurdwara, known as the Guru Ram Das Ashram and Gurdwara.

1984   A series of deadly attacks against Sikhs in India, particularly in Delhi, results in a second major wave of Sikh immigration to the United States.

1990    The New England Sikh Study Circle acquires a former Kingdom Hall in Milford; the property is converted into the Milford Gurdwara Sahib.

1997    The Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar is founded. Services are held in members’ homes.

2003    After several years of meeting in members’ homes and rented properties in Somerville, the Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar purchases a building in the heart of Medford for use as a gurdwara; the space opens for worship in early 2004.

2005    The Sikh Sangat Society Boston is formed as an offshoot of the Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar. Services are held in rented space in Somerville.

2008    The New England Sikh Study Circle (Milford Gurdwara Sahib) purchases sixteen acres of land in Berlin, MA, where a new gurdwara will eventually be built to accommodate increasing numbers of worshippers.