This weekend we, the “People of the Book,” will mark the giving of said Book. Jews around the world will celebrate Shavuot, as we retell the experience of Moses ascending Mount Sinai and receiving the Ten Commandments. For me, one of the most powerful aspects of this holiday is that it does not stand alone, but rather, it exists in direct relationship with Passover, exactly … Continue reading Shavuot and “Embracing the holy space”
In Leviticus 19:17, we read: “You shall not hate your kinsfolk in your heart, rebuke your kinsman and do not incur guilt because of him.” Unpacking this verse, Maimonides tells us: “When one person wrongs another, the latter should not remain silent and despise the person… Rather, we are commanded to make the matter known and ask the person: ‘Why did you do this to … Continue reading From a place of love
It is well known that Greater Boston’s organized Jewish community was deeply divided over the approval of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the JCPOA, or the Iran Deal). Today, too, we are not of one mind as we receive the news of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the JCPOA. Regardless of our views about the JCPOA, both then and … Continue reading Statement Regarding President Trump’s Announcement on the JCPOA
There’s a good chance that you actually watched comedian Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondence Dinner this week. You might have also caught Prime Minister Netanyahu’s dramatic prime time reveal of data taken in a bold nighttime raid in Teheran earlier this year. And I’m guessing that not many of you watched President Abbas’ address to the Palestine National Council. But if you are … Continue reading How do we cut through the noise?
At the risk of repeating a tired trope, I will point out that there is virtually no matter on which the Jewish community is united in our analysis and opinions. That is arguably most true with regard to our concerns for the future of the State of Israel. And there is probably no subject that has invited more angst-ridden pieces in recent Jewish discourse than … Continue reading The Israel conversation we’re striving for…
The topic that’s dominated just about every conversation I’ve had this week has been BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), the global campaign to deny Israel’s legitimacy. My week began by sitting on a Sunday morning panel at the J Street conference, about countering BDS. And throughout the entire week, I’ve been working intensively with many of our members and partners – within and beyond the Jewish … Continue reading “I get it. BDS is wrong, but then what?”
Update #3 For the last week an intensive effort has been underway to consult with members of the Cambridge City Council about a resolution that invites a boycott of Hewlett Packard (HP) because of business done with Israel. The initiative is being proposed by Mass Against HP (MAHP), a working group of “Jewish Voice for Peace,” an organization that is … Continue reading Cambridge BDS Hearing Postponed — But Must Sustain Respectful Advocacy
On April 23rd, the City Council of Cambridge, MA is scheduled to consider a resolution that invites a boycott of Hewlett-Packard (HP) for business done with Israel. The initiative is supported by Our Revolution Cambridge, Democratic Socialists of America, and Students for Justice in Palestine. It is being proposed by Mass Against HP (MAHP), a working group of Jewish … Continue reading A Shameless Undemocratic Abdication to the Global BDS Movement?
Every Friday at lunch time for the last seven years, a team of volunteers from JCRC and CJP jump into Ubers to dash to the Condon School in South Boston. Along with a volunteer team from the law firm of Nutter McClennen & Fish, they meet with the second graders they’ve been paired with, to spend an hour together immersed in the joy of reading. … Continue reading Reading Buddies and the New Normal
On April 23rd, the Cambridge Massachusetts City Council is expected to consider a resolution that calls for the City “to end its contracts” with Hewlett-Packard (HP) until, according to the organizers, HP “ends their support for violence against and oppression of Palestinians, deportations and surveillance of immigrants in the U.S., and oppression and surveillance of those currently and formerly incarcerated in … Continue reading Community Alert: Cambridge City Council Hearing on Israel Boycott – Monday, April 23rd