The Weekly Blog

The JCRC Summer Reading List

By JCRC | Jul 12, 2019 | Comments Off on The JCRC Summer Reading List

While Jeremy is in Israel on our July Study Tour, we are turning this week’s Friday message over to our staff—we asked them to create a Summer Reading List full of recommendations for books they love and use in their work. Here is a selection of JCRC staff recommendations: Common Ground by J. Anthony Lukas—recommended by Aaron Agulnek, Director of Government Affairs Common Ground is … Continue reading The JCRC Summer Reading List »

Invoking the Holocaust in Contemporary Debates

By Jeremy Burton | Jun 28, 2019 | Comments Off on Invoking the Holocaust in Contemporary Debates

The New England Holocaust Memorial In the coming year, we’ll be marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the Shoah. Here in Boston, we’ll also mark the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the New England Holocaust Memorial (NEHM). NEHM was specifically placed in the center of our city, along the Freedom Trail and across from City Hall, because its founders wanted the memorialization … Continue reading Invoking the Holocaust in Contemporary Debates »

Penny & Anna: 8 Years of Reading Together

By Jeremy Burton | Jun 21, 2019 | Comments Off on Penny & Anna: 8 Years of Reading Together

A GBJCL volunteer & her tutee During this 75th year of JCRC, we’re taking time to mark important milestones. The end of the school year is a very special moment that happens annually, when students and teachers reflect on all the learning that has taken place over the year and take pride in their accomplishments. Our Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy (GBJCL) marks this … Continue reading Penny & Anna: 8 Years of Reading Together »

75 years of civic engagement

By Jeremy Burton | Jun 14, 2019 | Comments Off on 75 years of civic engagement

Seventy-five years ago today, on June 14, 1944, leaders of sixteen local Jewish organizations gathered in Boston. These groups formed what has since come to be thought of as the “organized Jewish community,” by founding an umbrella institution “for the purpose of acting in unity in matters relating to civic protection” for the community — the Jewish Community Council, now known as JCRC. This act … Continue reading 75 years of civic engagement »

Representation matters

By JCRC | Jun 7, 2019 | Comments Off on Representation matters

This week’s Friday message is from Aaron Agulnek, JCRC Director of Government Affairs Seventy-five years ago this month, JCRC was founded by a group of Jews demanding a seat at the table in civil society. They were living through the worst of times for the worldwide Jewish community, where inaction led to destruction and death at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. With … Continue reading Representation matters »

Building a Shared Future in Israel

By JCRC | May 31, 2019 | Comments Off on Building a Shared Future in Israel

Givat Haviva International School in brings together Arab and Jewish students. This week, we had the pleasure of hosting Mohammad Darawshe, Director of the Center for Equality and Shared Society of the Givat Haviva institute (a Boston Partners for Peace organization), here in Boston. Mohammad’s story is not a particularly unusual one amongst Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, but the actions that come from his … Continue reading Building a Shared Future in Israel »

Antisemitism that defies partisanship

By Jeremy Burton | May 24, 2019 | Comments Off on Antisemitism that defies partisanship

Last week, I wrote about the importance of relying on mainstream institutions and leaders of our community to determine what is antisemitism. I identified three that I, as one individual, look to: the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, and Dr. Deborah Lipstadt. Predictably – I got flak over my choices. I heard from some on the left of our community who objected to these voices. … Continue reading Antisemitism that defies partisanship »

Lessons from the Tlaib Controversy

By Jeremy Burton | May 17, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons from the Tlaib Controversy

(Alex Wong/Getty Images) American discourse on antisemitism went through yet another round of toxic controversy this week following an interview with Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). If you are seeking a deeper and more nuanced understanding of what she actually said, I recommend this editorial by JTA editor-in-chief Andrew Silow-Carrol. And, if you want a quick yet thoughtful read on the problem with the underlying “narrative” … Continue reading Lessons from the Tlaib Controversy »

“We, the People”

By Jeremy Burton | May 10, 2019 | Comments Off on “We, the People”

The foundation of our American democracy is “We, the People”; an engaged electorate, with robust participation, and elected officials who represent communities. Communities and people from whom power flows. But democracy is a fragile thing. In his excellent book “The People vs. Democracy,” Yascha Mounk outlines how this fragility takes many forms: the internet era has “weakened traditional gatekeepers, empowering once-marginal movements and politicians.” A … Continue reading “We, the People” »

Building Hope and Resiliency

By Jeremy Burton | May 3, 2019 | Comments Off on Building Hope and Resiliency

If you had told me last week that joining a public letter calling out the New York Times for a cartoon would be only the second most noticed message this week about rising antisemitism, I would not have believed you. But if you had told me one year ago that a synagogue shooting resulting in the murder of a Jewish woman wouldn’t even rise to … Continue reading Building Hope and Resiliency »