JCRC Blog

In times of crisis and in times of hope, JCRC brings our community together

Posted on July 21, 2014 by JCRC, on behalf of Jeremy Burton, under Israel

Earlier today, an article in Haaretz reported that J Street withdrew their sponsorship of last week’s Boston solidarity rally in support of Israel’s defense of innocent civilians. After initially accepting an invitation to be a sponsor of last Thursday’s event, J Street Boston director Shaina Wasserman informed me the night before the event that they were withdrawing their sponsorship for reasons only J Street can explain. She then sent me the letter excerpted in the Haaretz report as a follow up to our phone conversation.

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JCRC Statement Supporting Massachusetts Governor's Plan to Host Migrant Children

Posted on July 18, 2014 by JCRC, under Government Affairs

Today, JCRC stood with Governor Patrick in support of his plans for Massachusetts to host migrant children, many of whom have left Central America. The details of the request are being worked out, but the Governor has committed to working with federal officials to find a humane solution

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Jewish Leaders Call for Increased Public Support of Israel

Posted on July 17, 2014 by JCRC, under Israel

By Penny Schwartz
Special to the Journal

BOSTON — On a day that began with dashed hopes of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and ended with Israel’s first civilian casualty as a result of a Hamas-fired rocket, Boston’s leading Jewish communal organizations announced plans Tuesday for increased public visibility in support of Israel.

Tonight, Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Jewish Communities Relations Council will hold a rally in support of Israel at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill.

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Update: Solidarity Rally for Israel - Thursday, July 17

Posted on July 15, 2014 by JCRC, under Israel

Stand together as we support Israel's defense of innocent civilians.

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Congregation Mishkan Tefila
300 Hammond Pond Parkway, Chestnut Hill


Doors open 6:30 p.m.
Event begins 7:30 p.m.

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Progress - JCRC | MAJF Celebrates State Budget Victories

Posted on July 14, 2014 by JCRC, under Government Affairs

On Friday, July 11, Governor Deval Patrick signed the FY 2015 budget for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We are proud to report that many of our priorities were increased, continuing our gains over the past several years. We have pulled out highlights to showcase some of our successes. This represents but a fraction of our work during the budget debate. Please take the time to thank our champions, Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Murray and Governor Patrick for continuing to work with JCRC to create a better Commonwealth. 

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Now Is Not The Time For Silence

Posted on July 14, 2014 by JCRC, on behalf of Jeremy Burton, under Israel

There are some in the American Jewish community who are arguing that tomorrow (Tuesday July 15th, also the Fast of 17th Tammuz) should be a day for us to withdraw from social media. They argue that, with all the unhelpful public discourse about Israel in this crisis, we should take a day to withdraw from social media and not engage - even as Israel is under fire.

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Gun Violence Prevention Bill Passes Mass House

Posted on July 11, 2014 by JCRC, under Government Affairs

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) applauds the Massachusetts House of Representatives for passing An Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence by an overwhelming margin.

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Governor Patrick Signs Fiscal Year 2015 Budget

Posted on July 11, 2014 by JCRC, under Government Affairs

Today, Governor Deval Patrick signed the FY 2015 budget for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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We Must Think About All the Innocent Victims of Terror

Posted on July 10, 2014 by JCRC, on behalf of Jeremy Burton, under Israel

Waking up this morning to two news alerts, both of which should trouble and concern anyone with any ounce of human decency: the continued barrage of rockets that have millions of Israelis hiding in shelters, and over 60 Palestinians dead in Gaza as Israel responds against terrorist operations.

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CJP, JCRC Joint Statement on Operation Protective Edge

Posted on July 8, 2014 by JCRC, under JCRC General

Early Tuesday morning Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Protective Edge against Hamas, aimed at stopping what had become a relentless and intolerable barrage of rockets launched from Gaza at innocent civilians in southern Israel.

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A briefing on the current situation in Israel

Posted on July 7, 2014 by JCRC, on behalf of Jeremy Burton, under Israel

Since the discovery last week of the murders of our three kidnapped boys - Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrach and GIL'AD  Shaar, Z"L  - the news cycle from Israel has conveyed a rapid cycle of horrors, dismay, moments of hope, and serious challenges that demand our attention.

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We Can't Afford to Mourn Any Longer

Posted on July 3, 2014 by JCRC, under Israel

Two weeks ago, Boston’s Jewish community joined together in hope and prayer that three Israeli teens kidnapped by terrorists as they headed home after school would be safely returned to their families.

This week, we came together as a community to mourn after our worst fears were realized.

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CJP, JCRC Joint Statement on Justice and Vengeance

Posted on July 2, 2014 by JCRC, under JCRC General

"Israel is a state of law, everyone needs to conduct themselves according to law." 
-Prime Minister Netanyahu

We do not yet know who is responsible for the apparent brutal murder of a Palestinian boy near Jerusalem this morning, nor the motivation for this despicable act.  It does not matter. In the words of Mayor Nir Barkat - regardless of who the perpetrators were - this is “a horrible and barbaric act.”

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UPDATE: CJP, JCRC Mourn Our Boys

Posted on July 1, 2014 by JCRC, under Israel

CJP, JCRC Host Community Memorial Service for Our Boys
Make Sure the World Knows

"A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
-Jeremiah 31:15

Please join us to remember our boys at a community-wide memorial service at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesey. Doors open at 6pm.

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JCPA Statement on SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Ruling

Posted on June 30, 2014 by JCRC, under JCRC General

The national network of JCRCs, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, joined an amicus brief in the Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court. Here is their statement from June 30 on behalf of our field.

Washington, DC – The Supreme Court’s decision today in Kathleen Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores that employers with religious objections can opt out of the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act is a setback to public health needs, said the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).  The JCPA joined the American Jewish Committee in an amicus brief written by AJC's Marc Stern that supported the mandate as an appropriate balance between religious liberty and the state’s compelling interest in equality and public health.

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JCRC Applauds New Massachusetts Minimum Wage Law

Posted on June 26, 2014 by JCRC, under Government Affairs

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) applauds the Legislature and Governor Patrick for adopting and signing the new Massachusetts Minimum Wage act into law. This new law creates the highest state minimum wage in the nation and increases it from $8 an hour to $11 hour over 2 ½ years, supporting over 600,000 low-wage earners throughout the Commonwealth.

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Boston Won't Turn Away From Our Family: A Message to the Dnepropetrovsk Kehilla

Posted on June 25, 2014 by JCRC, under Dnepropetrovsk Kehillah Project

This past weekend, CJP/JCRC Post Soviet Jewry Project Chair Ann Levin and JCRC Director Jeremy Burton had the privilege of visiting our partners in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine (where we operate the Dnep Kehillah Project). The following remarks were delivered by Jeremy in the synagogogue of Shabbat morning.

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Statement on Divestment Decision of Presbyterian Church USA

Posted on June 23, 2014 by JCRC, under JCRC General

We are outraged and saddened by the national Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) decision to support divestment from Israel, though we have deep affection for and partnership with our local church leaders.

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Praying for the safe return of #EyalGiladNaftali

Posted on June 23, 2014 by JCRC, on behalf of Jeremy Burton, under Israel

We are faced with the difficult reality that the search for three Israeli boys kidnapped by terrorists (both Israel and Secretary Kerry are saying that this is connected to Hamas) is now in its fourth day. Concurrently, news of escalating cross border rocket attacks from Gaza and Israel’s response in defense of her citizens is heightening anxieties and the possibility for escalation.

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Mass. House of Representatives Adopts Job Training Program for People With Disabilities

Posted on June 19, 2014 by JCRC, under Government Affairs

Crossposted from RudermanFamily.org

June 11, 2014 (Boston, MA)- Today the Massachusetts House of Representatives adopted an innovative job training program for people with disabilities in their Economic Development bill. This program is modeled after the Transitions to Work program, currently operated by Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) in partnership with Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston and the Ruderman Family Foundation.  The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) led the advocacy efforts and worked with House leadership, including Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, House Chair of the Committee on Economic Development Joe Wagner and Representative Tom Sannicandro to ensure that the high rate of unemployment for people with disabilities was addressed in efforts to build a stronger economy.

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