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22 College Ave, Somerville, MA 02144

Artifaktori is a densely packed treasure trove of vintage items, quirky pieces and eye-catching trinkets. The storeMore is saturated from floor to ceiling with fascinating finds, each carefully selected by owner Amy Berkowitz. After graduating from MassArt, Berkowitz opened the shop as a venue to bring together art, antiques and originality. The store contains a selection of vintage clothing--each piece carefully selected for quality--as well as a wide selection of furniture, jewelry, prints, shoes and various accessories.

While most items in the store hail from bygone eras, Artifaktori's selection also focuses on work by local artists. An artist herself, Berkowitz is knowledgeable and informative about her inventory, and the staff happily assists customers with any questions or inquiries about their shopping experience.

Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers
92 Union Sq, Somerville, MA 02143
Founded in 1970, this nonprofit organization provides heath and human resources for Portuguese speakers all acrossMore eastern Massachusetts. The Alliance strives to break down linguistic and cultural barriers between Portuguese speakers and health care, education and fiscal opportunities. This Somerville office is just one of several set up across the state, and the bilingual employees here hail from Portuguese-speaking countries including Brazil, Cape Verde and Portugal.  The Alliance works with issues ranging from HIV to drunk driver awareness to breast cancer screening. Be aware that this office is only open part-time during the evening by appointment only. 
Amelia's Kitchen
1137 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

Marble-topped tables, soft Italian music and espresso machines set the scene at this Italian bistro, which serves theMore southern Italian-style cooking of the Abruzzo region where owners the Susi family hail from. Regional specialties are also featured, including a wide selection of homemade pastas, pizzas and panini sandwiches mad with fresh focaccia bread baked on the premises. Pictures of generations of Susis, along with original Ellis Island entry letters and 15 years worth of positive reviews, adorn the walls too. In the warmer months, outdoor dining is available.

Interestingly, there have been sightings of Governor Patrick tucking into osso buco at this quiet eatery. 

Temple B'nai Brith
201 Central St, Somerville, MA 02145

This Winter Hill synagogue opens its doors to members of all branches of Judaism. Self-described as "an independentMore egalitarian congregation with historical roots in the Conservative movement," they add, "Our membership reflects the wide variety of choices people make in living Jewish lives, and we are respectful of those differences." Their children's school program also reflects their "commitment to a traditional Judaism informed by progressive thought."

Though built in 1922, the temple's hand-carved mahogany ark (an ornate cabinet where the Torah scriptures are stored) is even older. It hails from the former North End synagogue, Beth Israel Congregation, founded in 1887, which makes it one of the oldest arks in New England.

Weekly Friday and Saturday services are held, as are holiday services. A small but active congregation, they also hold Shabbat dinners, organize lectures and events focused on a broad range of social issues and offer occasional courses for adults (such as a survey of world religions or a class on Israeli poetry). A "Tea and Torah" study group is hosted as well. To help provide groceries for those in need, the temple is partnered with kosher food pantry Family Table.

Currently the temple is not wheelchair accessible, but plans are in development to create access and build an addition with elevator.

Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church
155 Powder House Blvd, Somerville, MA 02144

At the core of Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church is a profound belief in openness and inclusion. "We are a realMore progressive, open and affirmative congregation," says Rev.  Karl Gustafson. "We are all about art, peace, justice, inclusiveness and wide open thinking. We have lots of space for all kinds of people."

Sunday services are followed by coffee hours and thoughtful discussions about the day's sermon. Music for services comes about in a casual manner. Gustafson says their "fabulous" pianist often writes original pieces to go along with other musical selections that are practiced directly before the service "by whomever shows up."

"I like to say we are a half a bubble off plumb here…meaning we're not quite ordinary," he says.

A limited Sunday school program is offered, and a Peace, Justice and Mission Committee organizes events to address local and global issues. The Church also provides space to The Nave Gallery, and in collaboration with ARTSomerville they sponsor exhibitions and concerts there and in the church sanctuary.

Founded in the 1920s, today the congregation is small—about 40—but its multicultural membership hails from across the globe.

First Church of Somerville UCC
89 College Ave, Somerville, MA 02144

The United Church of Christ was founded in 1957 as a union of the evangelical and reformed branches of the protestantMore church and now comprises 6,100 churches and 1.4 million members—including President Barack Obama. The Somerville UCC states that members "believe many different things about God, and about the person of Jesus Christ. Many of us hail from other traditions…We find common ground in our yearning to build beloved community."

The church is noncreedal, stating "there is nothing you have to believe in order to belong," and also has a strong commitment to diversity. Rev. Molly Baskette is pastor and Ian Holland is support pastor, but nonordained persons also lead prayers and sometimes preach as part of the church's commitment to share everyone's religious experience.

Music is a key part of services. In addition to adult and children's choirs, members also play in the Strings of Glory bluegrass band, the First Church Marching Band, the Project SOUL funk band, and occasional brass or classical ensembles. A coffee hour and potluck follows Sunday services. Nursery and Sunday school are offered, as are Night Outs, where parents drop off kids for evening activities at the church so they can have a free evening.

Events and volunteer activities are strongly focused on social justice issues. The church participates in and supports a number of efforts to help feed the homeless and others in need.

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