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  • Boston city councilor sees Israel in a new light

    This Op ed originally published in The Jewish Advocate

    On Thursday morning Dec. 18, I returned from a very moving and educational trip to Israel that was organized by the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council ( JCRC). Joining me on what was officially called the “Israel Study Trip” were JCRC staff and over a dozen elected officials from across Massachusetts, including fellow city councilors and state representatives. Together we traveled across the country meeting with Members of the Knesset, community leaders, and activists. Some of our most powerful experiences were exploring the Jewish and Christian holy sites. I felt blessed to be able to say Kaddish for my father at the Kotel on his 15th Yahrzeit.

    As a group we toured Yad Vashem and heard the stories of Holocaust survivors. Despite my three prior trips to the country, twice with my family, and once on Birthright, this was a truly unique experience. The itinerary that Jeremy Burton and his staff at JCRC created for us provided a broad view of Israel and its current political, cultural, and economic climate.

    For my colleagues who had never been to Israel (and I believe I was the only participant who had been before), this was an eye-opening experience – a rare opportunity to get beyond the headlines and learn more about a country and a region that we often see only on the news.

    Full Op ed available at