This data was last updated on 2 July 2018.
Address: Cambridge, MA 02138
History: In the past, the Bahá'í community in Cambridge centered around MIT's Bahá'í community. However, since 2013, the focus of the community has shifted from the university to the Area IV neighborhood in Cambridge. The Cambridge Bahá'í focuses on youth empowerment initiatives.
Description of Center: Although the Cambridge Bahá'í community currently has no official center, the community gathers each week in a member's house for a traveling devotional. Currently, devotionals take place on Thursdays. Children's classes are taught in the Area IV Community Center in Cambridge. For large events and worship days, which occur every nineteen days, the Cambridge community often joins other Bahá'ís from the Greater Boston community at the Bahá'í center in the South End neighborhood in Boston.
Leadership: In keeping with the Bahá'í community's practice of not having an established clergy, Bahá'ís in Cambridge do not have official leaders; rather, the community is run by volunteers who organize devotionals and youth empowerment activities.
Activities and Schedule: The Bahá'í community participates in four main activities: devotionals, children's classes, junior youth programs and study circles. Within the Cambridge Bahá'í community, devotionals are held every Thursday night at different members' homes. Each devotional has a particular theme and consists of members both Bahá'í and non-Bahá'í. To learn more about becoming Bahá'í, click here. The space welcomes all faiths and practices as a part of the Bahá’í belief in respecting the validity of all faiths. During the devotional, individuals recite poems or readings, sing songs, or listen to music. The devotional itself is welcoming and encourages both individual faith and community. Children’s classes are offered every Saturday and are taught at the Area IV Youth Center in Cambridge. The children are encouraged to read various Baha’i writings and develop a sense of giving back to the community. In the past, the children have participated in community service activities such as hosting charity fundraisers and visiting nursing homes. The Junior Youth Program, currently run by members of the Cambridge Baha’i community, is held in Jamaica Plane and is open to all youth in Boston willing to go to Jamaica Plane. While the Cambridge Baha’i Community joins with the Greater Boston Community for large events, the most frequent interactions between the two communities are among the youth. During Study Circles, participants read Ruhi books designed to empower the individual’s faith and their ability to actively participate within their community. For more information on the Bahá’í Study Circles, click here.
Demographics: The Cambridge Bahá'í community consists of over 100 members with 30-35 regular attendees. Over the past year, the group has shifted from a university to a more residential community, with a particular focus in the Area IV neighborhood of Cambridge. The community consists of members from all different ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds and focuses on providing support for young families by opening up youth programs to both Bahá'í and non-Bahá'í children.