Moments of serendipity have been all too rare this year – yet I had one this week when I connected with a dear and trusted colleague, a faith leader in the Christian clergy, after a meeting. Our discussion led to an exchange about representations of God in science fiction. That’s an essay for another day. But, it did get me thinking about some of the … Continue reading Childhood Books that Shaped Me
Like so many of my generation of Jewish-Americans, I grew up with Holocaust survivors as a part of the fabric of my daily life. Both of my step-parents were hidden children. I had classmates whose parents had survived as teen slave-laborers in death camps. The twin sister of a leader in our synagogue endured horrific medical experiments at the hands of Josef Mengele, the infamous … Continue reading What Duxbury Needs to Teach Us
A couple of years ago, one of my closest thought-partners in the Boston interfaith space, Kathleen Patrón, lead organizer of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), asked me for my thoughts on an idea they were considering, a ‘refounding’ for GBIO. This interfaith network of some 40 congregations and faith institutions was considering pausing much of its action work to focus on growth – building relationships with … Continue reading My Greater Boston Tabernacle
We have a spring ritual at JCRC, but it doesn’t have anything to do with Passover cleaning. Rather, every March we find ourselves rushing to put the finishing touches on the JCRC and MA Association of Jewish Federation (MAJF)’s annual Legislative Reception, the advocacy event of the organized Jewish community on Beacon Hill. We know that nothing can replace personal relationships, forged over a hearty … Continue reading Celebrating “On” Beacon Hill
It is March. Again. That’s it. That’s all one needs to say this week. You know what I mean. Just thinking about it evokes a certain reaction; a realization that it has been a full year since we began living the way we live now. Even with hope coming – loved ones getting their shots, the promise that if we do this just a little … Continue reading It is March. Again.
This week, a message from Director of Israel Engagement Eli Cohn-Postell: I always enjoyed school growing up, but science was never one of my strong subjects. I never had a handle on how science actually worked. When doing experiments in school, for example, I always had the impression that I was supposed to come up with a pre-determined answer rather than to test a new … Continue reading The Science of Collaboration
When I’m looking for a respite from the noise of the day, I withdraw into the comfort of reading. I try to finish at least two books every week, and often have as many as five or eight open at any one time. This week, I thought that I’d share with you what’s currently on my bedside table: AFRICAN-AMERICAN POETRY; 250 YEARS OF STRUGGLE & … Continue reading What’s on my nightstand
This week, JCRC hosted a conversation between Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell and Dr. Nasreen Hadad Haj’Yahya, Director of Arab-Jewish Relations at the Israel Democracy Institute, on the barriers to equity in education in their own communities: Campbell here in Boston, and Dr. Haj’Yahya as an Arab Israeli. Both women shared their personal struggles, as they attested to the power of education to transform their … Continue reading Connecting with Boston’s Students Goes Beyond Books
The Stolperstein initiative This week, as we mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, I’m mulling over an encounter I had with one of the European Jewish communities at the center of the Shoah. As some of you know, I’m keenly interested in the Stolperstein initiative. These “stumbling stones,” small bronze blocks engraved with details about the individual lives of Europe’s Jews who were murdered in the Shoah, … Continue reading Our responsibility to a global Jewish people
“Unity.” That’s it. That’s the message. This week, President Biden delivered what is, to my mind, the best and most important inaugural speech we’ve heard in generations. It didn’t have the poetry of a Reagan or Obama speech, but it had, at its core, an urgent faithfulness to the “American Idea,” and a deep sensitivity to the fragility of our national project. It was a … Continue reading “Unity.” That’s it. That’s the message.