This Anti-Semitism. And This Anti-Semitism. And Us.

By Jeremy Burton | Nov 17, 2017 | Comments Off on This Anti-Semitism. And This Anti-Semitism. And Us.

The next two statements will each annoy, at various levels, some part of the organized Jewish community that is represented within JCRC: Rising anti-Semitism and its increasing mainstream toleration on the left in the United States and around the world is a serious concern that we need to name and address as a community. Rising anti-Semitism and its increasing mainstream toleration on the right in … Continue reading This Anti-Semitism. And This Anti-Semitism. And Us. »

Putting Justice in the Criminal Justice System

By Jeremy Burton | Nov 10, 2017 | Comments Off on Putting Justice in the Criminal Justice System

In our inception, we at JCRC have known from our own history in Boston that the criminal justice system is not always just. Hillel Levine and Lawrence Harmon’s “The Death of an American Jewish Community” chronicles the period in the 1940s when Jewish teens experienced regular assaults by Irish gangs, often fueled by the anti-Semitic radio diatribes of Father Charles Coughlin. But following the street … Continue reading Putting Justice in the Criminal Justice System »

Taking Action for a Two-State Solution

By Jeremy Burton | Nov 3, 2017 | Comments Off on Taking Action for a Two-State Solution

The achievement of the two-state solution has, for a long time, been a question of when and not if. We have raised a generation of the Jewish people on the idea that the two-state solution is the only resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that ensures justice and security for all peoples. For our community here in Boston, the two-state solution continues to be our aspiration … Continue reading Taking Action for a Two-State Solution »

The American Tradition of Defending Our Democracy’s Norms

By Jeremy Burton | Oct 27, 2017 | Comments Off on The American Tradition of Defending Our Democracy’s Norms

In 1796, President George Washington voluntarily set the precedent for a two-term limit on the Presidency, stepping aside and giving up power on his own. Historians tell us that his decision was informed both by his desire “to pass through the vale of life in retirement” and to honor his early promise not to seek unfair power as a government official. The two-term custom he … Continue reading The American Tradition of Defending Our Democracy’s Norms »

Iran and Our Fractured Politics

By JCRC | Oct 20, 2017 | Comments Off on Iran and Our Fractured Politics

Last Friday, President Trump announced that he would not certify to Congress that Iran was in compliance with, nor that it was in the United States’ national interest to abide by, the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan on Action (JCPOA), aka the Iran Deal. It is no secret that the American Jewish community was and remains deeply divided over the agreement; we were nearly evenly split … Continue reading Iran and Our Fractured Politics »

Listening & Learning: Preparing for Yom Kippur

By Jeremy Burton | Sep 29, 2017 | Comments Off on Listening & Learning: Preparing for Yom Kippur

This past Tuesday, JCRC was privileged to host the Connie S. Birnbaum Memorial Lecture, with over 350 people in attendance. There were two notes that evening that I find myself reflecting on as we head into Yom Kippur. In introducing the lecture, Herbie, Connie’s husband who founded this lecture 14 years ago, talked about her commitment to K’lal Yisrael. He pondered a discussion he’d had with … Continue reading Listening & Learning: Preparing for Yom Kippur »

New Year Brings New Lessons from Malden High Students

By Jeremy Burton | Sep 20, 2017 | Comments Off on New Year Brings New Lessons from Malden High Students

As we welcome the new year, we close the door on a summer that has shaken many of us. We were saddened and horrified when, in the space of six weeks, two glass panels from the New England Holocaust Memorial were destroyed by acts of vandalism. The second glass panel was shattered just days after white supremacists and self-proclaimed neo-Nazis marched in the streets of Charlottesville. Though … Continue reading New Year Brings New Lessons from Malden High Students »

The Legacy of Connie S. Birnbaum 

By JCRC | Sep 15, 2017 | Comments Off on The Legacy of Connie S. Birnbaum 

I never had the privilege of meeting Connie Spear Birnbaum, who died in 2003 at age 48 of breast cancer. But as I’ve come to learn about her much too short life, it’s clear that she left behind a powerful legacy; a call for Jewish unity in our community. Connie moved to Boston to pursue her Masters in Jewish Communal Service at Brandeis University. It … Continue reading The Legacy of Connie S. Birnbaum  »

When To Speak Up; When To Speak Out

By Jeremy Burton | Sep 8, 2017 | Comments Off on When To Speak Up; When To Speak Out

Hardly a day goes by when someone doesn’t ask me: “Is JCRC making a statement on x today?” And hardly a week goes by when we don’t hear a critique of our choices. Some ask, “Why are you speaking on that?” From others we hear, “How could you possibly stay silent in the face of such an urgent issue?” Allow me to share just a few considerations … Continue reading When To Speak Up; When To Speak Out »

Legacy and Future

By Jeremy Burton | Aug 11, 2017 | Comments Off on Legacy and Future

The other day, after moving to our brand-new renovated offices a few weeks ago (come visit!), we re-installed our wall of photos showcasing all the past JCRC presidents and executive directors, going back to our founding in 1944. I shared an image of the wall with our living past presidents and directors. The responses have been delightful, and prompted me to think about what it … Continue reading Legacy and Future »