As we celebrate the twentieth year of the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy, we also celebrate the values that inspire our work. Values such as:
Tikvah – creating hope, including for youth and their future.
Tzelem Elohim – believing that all our children are created equally in the divine image, and;
Areyvut – our sense of mutual responsibility, including to all our neighbors’ children.
These values have inspired us to connect volunteer tutors to kids, and they inspire all the work that we at JCRC are proud to do every day.
They inform the three abiding imperatives that drive our commitment to the relationship building, partnerships and advocacy that define community relations work:
- We believe in the promise of America, in the hope and potential of our nation, despite our challenges, and in the idea that our nation is at its best when we are creating opportunity and equality for all who live here.
- We believe in the national hopes and aspirations of the Jewish people, in our collective future and the contributions we have made and will make to the world. And those aspirations include a vibrant future for the state of the Jewish people, Israel.
- And we believe that, despite whatever differences we have within our own community, we have to work together; because we cannot achieve our hopes alone. And, we have to work in the public square of civil society to build support for our priorities and our shared values.
This is why JCRC, as a broad network including 42 organizations, partnering with synagogues, rabbis and community leaders, each leading in their own way reflecting their unique skills and passions – comes together as one community, working for the brightest possible future, including for our own children and the children of our neighbors.
Clockwise from top left: JCRC Celebrates Honoree Mark Friedman with Barry Shrage, CJP President; Mark’s tutee, Ohrenberger School 4th grader Adam, speaks at JCRC Celebrates; JCRC Executive Director Jeremy Burton; Event Chair and Co-Chair Stacey Bloom (left) and Debbie Isaacson
Because every child has the potential to contribute to the strength of our nation. That is why earlier this year we brought together seventeen of the most influential Jewish organizations in Boston to say that we must keep our doors open to immigrants and refugees, and that we will protect and support our neighbors regardless of their immigration status.
Because every child, every girl - and boys too - should know that if they study hard and work an honest day they’ll be treated fairly. That is why we worked to pass the Equal Pay Law last summer.
Because every child should be able to go to their synagogue, their mosque or to a JCC without fear. That is why we advocate that our government provide the resources necessary to ensure the safety and security of non-profit institutions.
Because every child should be able to follow their passions – sports, arts, whatever - and be able to go to public venues knowing that they will be welcome. That is why we fought to pass the Transgender Public Accommodation Law and we will defend it if challenged on the ballot next year.
And because the children of Israel should have a future of peace in a Jewish and democratic state. They should be able to live in co-existence with their neighbors, and with the security that all people deserve.
That is why we engage civic and religious leaders in support of Israel. Over the past five years we’ve taken over fifty Christian clergy and civic leaders and fully one-third of the Massachusetts legislature to Israel to deepen their appreciation of the Israel we love and the people we believe in.
That is why we work to prevent the demonization of Israel in Boston and around the world. And it is why we build support for Israelis and Palestinians who are coming together on the ground to create the conditions for a future of two-states living side by side in peace.
We do all this rooted in the same values that inspire us to reach out to young adults, to synagogues, to student groups and others, inviting them to do service – in soup kitchens and youth programs, with seniors and with kids needing tutoring.
Because every child deserves a quality education and the chance to acquire the skills needed for success. And we believe it is our responsibility to help those children realize their dreams. That is why, twenty years ago, with the leadership of so many of you, JCRC established the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy, and it is why we are so proud to celebrate this and all of our work.
Thank you to all of you for your partnership. You make this work possible.
And thank you for allowing JCRC to be an effective vehicle to offer an inspiring vision of our Jewish community’s values in the public square every single day.