Creating Space

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This Sunday we will observe the fast of Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the lunar month of Av, on which we commemorate the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago.  I have no doubt, especially this year, that you will be inundated with various messages concerning this day, the tradition …Continue reading »

Testimony on An Act Regulating Use of Credit Reports by Employers (as prepared)

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Testimony on House Bill 1736 and Senate Bill 123 – An Act Regulating Use of Credit Reports by Employers (as prepared) Delivered by Aaron Agulnek, July 21, 2015 Good Afternoon Chairman Wolf and Chairman Scibak and members of the Committee. My name is Aaron Agulnek and I am from the Jewish Community Relations Council and I am …Continue reading »

Hey JCRC, How Did You Decide To Do That?!

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Last week we publicly celebrated the Massachusetts legislature’s agreement to increase the state’s share of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) (a refundable tax credit to help low-income workers, particularly those with children) in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget.  Upon seeing that news, you may have wondered, how did JCRC decide to make a statement recognizing …Continue reading »

Independence for All? A Message from Our Associate Director

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Just as our Executive Director Jeremy Burton left for his much-deserved vacation, we had a full taste of summer in the form of July 4th celebrations, back yard barbeques, fireworks, and almost-warm swims in the lake. After all, what better time to celebrate summer than Independence Day weekend? This year, as we gathered around the …Continue reading »

JCRC Highlights FY16 State Budget Conference Committee Report

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Late yesterday, the Budget Conference Committee led by Ways and Means Chairs Brian Dempsey (House) and Karen Spilka (Senate) released their compromise FY16 budget proposal after long deliberations.  Even while the state continues to struggle with its budget gap, this report included some signs of hope, other signs of progress, and more room for improvement. …Continue reading »

Self Righteous Simplicity in a Complex World

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I need to tell you that I’m angry as I write this.   By now you’ve probably heard the news that the United Church of Christ (UCC) voted on Tuesday at their national synod to divest from companies that “profit from the occupation of the Palestinian territories by the state of Israel.” In the same vote, …Continue reading »

Meeting the Moment

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My grandmother, Sarah Faust Burton, was a proud Southern Presbyterian woman who moved from North Carolina to Indiana to build a life with her Jewish husband. Years after her passing, my grandfather encouraged me to embrace a heritage including our family connection to groups like the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of …Continue reading »

Daring to Dream

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I’m writing this week’s message from Dnepropetrovsk as I prepare to make my way back to Boston, after spending a week representing the Boston Jewish community on an important Jewish Federations of North America mission. I hope you’ve been following my posts throughout the trip on Facebook. I’ll admit, I’ve been struggling with what to …Continue reading »

Examining the Continuing Crisis in Ukraine

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This Sunday, I will be flying to Ukraine to represent CJP and the Boston Jewish community on an important Jewish Federations of North America mission.  We make this visit in the second year of an ongoing crisis that has not abated. The economy there is struggling, with inflation at about 40%. Tensions continue with Russia and pro-Russian …Continue reading »

The Backbone of JCRC

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I think of myself as one of the luckiest people in the world. I have the amazing privilege of working at an organization that deeply connects with my sense of purpose. It is my conviction that amongst the more urgent tasks we face as a Jewish people is to participate actively in the great public …Continue reading »

was last modified: May 19th, 2015 by JCRC