Celebrations and New Beginnings

With Labor Day behind us and the High Holidays approaching, this is a season of new beginnings. Summer respites are behind us, the city feels vibrant with new arrivals (and a few “Storrowings”), our primaries this week have started to define a change in leadership here in our Commonwealth. For us at JCRC, we’re looking forward to a new season, and also celebrating the year we are wrapping up. 

Next week, for the first time in four years, we’re going to be having our annual JCRC Celebrates gala in-person as a JCRC community. The enthusiasm to be together is palpable – we’re already at capacity for this event; people are eager to be in community anew. We’ll be celebrating two amazing leaders who’ve done so much for our community – Jill Goldenberg and Adam Suttin. Jill and Adam have been a part of JCRC since before I joined this team (in fact, I met them both during my own interview process) and are known to so many of you through the leadership they have given our community across so many of our most important institutions and concerns. I am so grateful to them and to the team who are making this event a success. 

And as we celebrate, I’m also reflecting on this year of changes, challenges, and achievements. You know that long-time and valuable members of our team have moved on, and new and talented additions have been made. There have been challenges – navigating an increasingly polarized world, increasing fractures within our community, rising violence in world, and increased hate and antisemitism; including, specifically, here in Boston targeting the Jewish community.  

And, there have been achievements. With our partners and allies we:  

  • Passed a Genocide Education mandate in Massachusetts and, through the legislature, established a 1.5 million dollar Genocide Education trust fund;  
  • Rallied our community and newly elected Mayor Wu, in the cold of winter, to Shine a Light on antisemitism; 
  • Mobilized a vast network to support Afghan and Ukrainian refugees arriving in our community;
  • Convened partners to begin the long hard work of supporting access to abortion in our new post-Roe world;
  • Mobilized volunteers from 15 synagogues and communities who tutored over 500 students at 15 public schools across the region
  • Brought our community together in response to the Mapping Project – and had the wall-to-wall support of our elected leaders and civic partners;
  • Organized our first delegation of civic leaders to Israel since 2019; and,
  • Secured 9 million dollars in state funding for Jewish human service agencies, and 3 million for non-profit security, double the amount from last year. 

This is just a small part of what we’ve achieved this year.   

We could not have done it without the partnership and support of each of you. To those of you who have partnered with us, mobilized with us, and volunteered for this work – you are JCRC and you are the ones who share this success with us.  

I’m grateful to all of you who’ve supported JCRC financially this past year. We depend on your direct support to do this work on behalf of our community.  

As we begin a new season, we also begin our new fiscal year on October 1. If you still would like to join us for Celebrates on September 15,  please email Erica Daniels-Strater at . And even if you can’t I, and we, would very much appreciate your financial support at this time. 

The year ahead will no doubt continue to be one of challenge and change. But through our community and our collaboration across our network, and with your support, we will have the continued capacity to meet whatever the year ahead will bring. 

Shabbat Shalom,

Jeremy