Building Bridges with Muslim Leaders

By JCRC | Mar 24, 2017 | Comments Off on Building Bridges with Muslim Leaders

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in a weekend retreat of the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI) of the Shalom Hartman Institute (SHI). MLI was launched in 2013 under the co-leadership of Imam Abdullah Antepli, director of Muslim affairs at Duke University, and SHI senior fellow Yossi Klein Halevi. Over four years, four cohorts and some seventy participants, MLI has nourished a community … Continue reading Building Bridges with Muslim Leaders »

Layers and Narratives of Complexity

By Jeremy Burton | Mar 17, 2017 | Comments Off on Layers and Narratives of Complexity

Last month I had the opportunity to spend four days traveling in Palestinian Authority controlled areas of the West Bank, and in Jerusalem neighborhoods with Palestinian majorities. This opportunity was provided by Encounter, which invites American Jewish leaders to engage with Palestinian experiences and perspectives. I found some familiar experiences: meeting co-existence activists in Bethlehem (including one we meet with on our JCRC trips); touring … Continue reading Layers and Narratives of Complexity »

How We Remember: April 23 is Our Community Holocaust Commemoration of Yom HaShoah

By Jeremy Burton | Mar 3, 2017 | Comments Off on How We Remember: April 23 is Our Community Holocaust Commemoration of Yom HaShoah

Last year I wrote about Dr. Robert Berger z’l, a Brookline Holocaust survivor, who had an immeasurable impact on our community and beyond. We were privileged to have him participate in our Yom HaShoah Committee, where he advocated passionately not only for the accurate portrayal of the horrific ordeal endured by Holocaust survivors, but also for teaching about the extraordinary ways in which they successfully rebuilt their lives … Continue reading How We Remember: April 23 is Our Community Holocaust Commemoration of Yom HaShoah »

Resilient Living

By Jeremy Burton | Feb 24, 2017 | Comments Off on Resilient Living

Jewish fears were front and center this week as the tide of bomb threats against JCCs and other institutions continued to roll across the country, disrupting communities, and sowing seeds of dread and anxiety. The desecration of hallowed Jewish ground at a cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri traumatized us as well. As buildings were evacuated, as members of our community reeled in horror at the … Continue reading Resilient Living »

A Two-State Solution is Still the Answer

By JCRC | Feb 17, 2017 | Comments Off on A Two-State Solution is Still the Answer

Much has and will be said about the meeting this week between President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu. There are elements of this important engagement that should receive broad welcome in the organized Jewish community, such as the strong affirmation by the President that the United States will work to prevent Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon. There are also elements that should provoke … Continue reading A Two-State Solution is Still the Answer »

Moving Beyond the Chaos: Guidelines for Action | A Message from our Senior Synagogue Organizer

By JCRC | Feb 10, 2017 | Comments Off on Moving Beyond the Chaos: Guidelines for Action | A Message from our Senior Synagogue Organizer

While Jeremy is in Israel for professional development opportunities, we offer some post-election reflections from our Senior Synagogue Organizer, Rachie Lewis. Since the election, we at JCRC have been immersed in conversations across our community as we struggle to understand the meaning of this political moment. We have reached out to JCRC board members, rabbis, synagogue leaders long involved in the work of social justice, … Continue reading Moving Beyond the Chaos: Guidelines for Action | A Message from our Senior Synagogue Organizer »

End Discrimination in the Commonwealth

By JCRC | Feb 3, 2017 | Comments Off on End Discrimination in the Commonwealth

While Jeremy is in Israel for professional development opportunities, we offer some reflections on an important legislative priority from our Director of Government Affairs, Aaron Agulnek. At the beginning of every two-year legislative session in the Commonwealth, upwards of 7,000 bills are filed by Senators and Representatives, covering almost every issue imaginable (and likely, many that you may not have known were even issues). Each … Continue reading End Discrimination in the Commonwealth »

A Visit with the People’s Lawyer

By Jeremy Burton | Jan 27, 2017 | Comments Off on A Visit with the People’s Lawyer

When I was just starting on my own path to becoming a Jewish communal professional, a JCRC director (from another city) patiently explained to me why the national Jewish community relations field organized our policy and advocacy work with one bucket being defined as “Jewish Security and the Bill of Rights.” It wasn’t that we, the organized Jewish community, only care about the Constitution as … Continue reading A Visit with the People’s Lawyer »

A Prayer for Our Nation

By Jeremy Burton | Jan 19, 2017 | Comments Off on A Prayer for Our Nation

Last July, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York accepted an invitation to deliver the invocation at the Republican National Convention. Under pressure from some members of the Jewish community, he withdrew from the event. We share with you the invocation that Rabbi Lookstein had planned to deliver last summer, and we invite you to join us today in reflection on his … Continue reading A Prayer for Our Nation »

Our Tradition of Dissent

By Jeremy Burton | Jan 13, 2017 | Comments Off on Our Tradition of Dissent

Dissent: The act of expressing opinions at odds with those officially held. In the Jewish tradition, even God handles dissent with grace. When God tells Abraham about the plan to obliterate Sodom, Abraham objects. He bargains. God listens and negotiates, but ultimately stays the course. The city is destroyed, but the relationship between God and Abraham endures and God fulfills the promise to establish Abraham … Continue reading Our Tradition of Dissent »