I often say that good policy comes from good process. When it comes to the effective functioning of a healthy democracy, good process starts with an engaged electorate that votes. I’ll keep this one brief because I know you don’t need to be persuaded: In times of crisis and in times of calm, there is no more sacred task than voting. It is, quite simply, … Continue reading The most powerful non-violent tool
We’re turning this week’s blog over to our staff—we asked them to create a Summer Reading List full of books and podcasts they love. Here are their recommendations: Nahma Nadich Bakari Seller’s new memoir chronicles his life growing up “country” in Denmark South Carolina, where he made history by defeating an incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the state legislature and the youngest … Continue reading What we’re reading – and listening to – this summer
My autographed copy of John Lewis’ memoir This week, a message from Deputy Director Nahma Nadich: Though I knew that Congressman John Lewis was suffering from pancreatic cancer, I still reacted to the news of his death with surprised tears. Given all that he had endured through his blessedly long life and the countless times he subjected himself to state sanctioned violence in pursuit of … Continue reading Lessons from the Legacy of John Lewis
I’ve spent a lot of time in recent months discussing rapidly unfolding events in meetings with JCRC partners as well as with other local and national networks and coalitions JCRC is a part of. In many such meetings there often comes a point where the issue is raised of whether JCRC will make a statement – either as a representative of the organized Jewish community, … Continue reading How and When Does JCRC Make a Statement?
“Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem” by Francesco Hayez (Photo: Wikipedia Commons) The past few weeks have been difficult here at JCRC, as they have been for almost everyone. We said goodbye to cherished colleagues who were laid off as we suspended various programs because of economic pressures. As we gathered together as a smaller group for the first time this week, many of us … Continue reading On Holding Loss and Finding Hope
The Hebrew month of Tammuz began earlier this week. Later this month we will usher in an intense, three-week mourning period, when I will join many other Jews around the world in fasting and engaging ritual mourning to lament the many calamities in our history, from the destruction of the first Temple through the Holocaust. Commemorating and retelling our history is a sacred obligation, shared … Continue reading The next generation committed to telling our story
This Friday, a message from Deputy Director Nahma Nadich. This week has been painful for us at JCRC. Due to the COVID-related economic crisis, we made the excruciating decision to suspend programs we value, and to lay off staff we cherish. Afterward, we gathered together as a team to reflect and to mourn. One of the staff members who will be leaving us asked if … Continue reading Glimmers of hope in dark times
Our spring ritual at JCRC is to elect our new Board and Community Representatives – as we did at our annual meeting this past Wednesday – and to reflect on the past program year; the challenges we faced and the accomplishments we achieved. What a year this one has been. Though I hesitate to use words that are now included in every sentence of our … Continue reading What gave us strength this year
Next Friday, JCRC will be closed as Jewish communities around the world celebrate Shavuot. We will retell and re-live the experience of Moses ascending Mount Sinai and receiving the Ten Commandments. The week leading up to Shavuot is the final week of the Omer, the intentional counting of the 49 individual days and the full seven weeks from the Passover Seder until this holy day. … Continue reading A Jewish approach to this moment
This week, a message from Executive Director Jeremy Burton and Director of Synagogue Organizing Rachie Lewis: You may have heard the disconcerting reports emerging from the Bristol County House of Corrections regarding events on Friday night, May 1st. Testimony from immigrant detainees in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention there reports that inmates were assaulted and pepper sprayed, endangering their lives and furthering their vulnerability … Continue reading What happened to ICE detainees at Bristol?