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.
By JCRC Executive Director Jeremy Burton As a Jew, it is not hard to appreciate how Black Americans have drawn inspiration and motivation from the Exodus story over the course of their 400-year struggle for liberation in this country. The examples are plentiful, from Harriet Tubman being the Moses of her people, to Taylor Branch’s titling his seminal work on the civil rights era Parting the … Continue reading The darkest night brings the greatest visions
The sadness and the anger we feel right now can be overwhelming. This political moment is supposed to be a time to celebrate the strength of our democracy, a time when the world should look on with admiration – as it first did over two hundred years ago when President Adams left office – when we mark the peaceful transition of power between political opponents. Instead, … Continue reading Our Wounded Democracy
This being the final working Friday of 2020, I’ve been feeling a certain pressure to write something expansive and thoughtful; reacting to one last big topic we’re wrestling with, or reflecting on one more dynamic that informs how we as Jews navigate our internal debates, participate in American civic life, and understand the great issues of our day. While I hate to disappoint you, this … Continue reading Hope for the year ahead