Honoring 20 Years of the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy

By Jeremy Burton | May 19, 2017 | Comments Off on Honoring 20 Years of the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy

This coming Wednesday, JCRC will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy (GBJCL). As we honor some very special leaders who helped us reach this momentous occasion, we also reflect on the thousands of community members who’ve made such a difference in children’s lives through this initiative. The GBJCL team leaders are largely unsung heroes within our volunteer pool. These … Continue reading Honoring 20 Years of the Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy »

Out of Many One: Stories from Boston’s Muslim Community

By Jeremy Burton | May 12, 2017 | Comments Off on Out of Many One: Stories from Boston’s Muslim Community

In December, in the wake of the election, JCRC mobilized synagogues and Jewish organizations across greater Boston to participate in a gathering at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, as one united community across religious, racial, and socio-economic lines. Our community came together to reaffirm a commitment to our shared values and to each other. Organized by the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), the event, … Continue reading Out of Many One: Stories from Boston’s Muslim Community »

Questions We Ask Ourselves in a Time of Disruption

By Jeremy Burton | May 5, 2017 | Comments Off on Questions We Ask Ourselves in a Time of Disruption

On a recent Friday afternoon we received an urgent request; could we sign on to an interfaith coalition to defend the Johnson Amendment? If you’re scratching your head right now, you’re not alone. The Johnson Amendment is not exactly a household term. Enacted in 1954, and named for its author, then Senator Lyndon Johnson, the amendment bans religious institutions and other tax exempt institutions from … Continue reading Questions We Ask Ourselves in a Time of Disruption »

Celebrating Israel’s Independence with Hope

By Jeremy Burton | Apr 28, 2017 | Comments Off on Celebrating Israel’s Independence with Hope

On Monday we will commemorate Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day. On Tuesday we will celebrate Yom Ha’AtzMa’ut, the 69th anniversary of Israel’s independence. Over the coming months we will mark many important anniversaries in the story of the Jewish state: in June, the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War – that moment of existential threat to Israel’s survival, the unification of Jerusalem, with consequences … Continue reading Celebrating Israel’s Independence with Hope »

Preserving the Legacy: Join us this Sunday for Yom HaShoah

By Jeremy Burton | Apr 21, 2017 | Comments Off on Preserving the Legacy: Join us this Sunday for Yom HaShoah

This Sunday, April 23rd, at 10:30am at Faneuil Hall, we will again come together as one community to commemorate the Holocaust. Each year, as part of this Yom HaShoah program, we recognize the winners of the Israel Arbeiter Essay Contest. Mr. Arbeiter, a Holocaust survivor and a leader in our community, is a passionate advocate for Holocaust education. His story of survival in the face … Continue reading Preserving the Legacy: Join us this Sunday for Yom HaShoah »

Beyond Books and Borders

By Jeremy Burton | Apr 7, 2017 | Comments Off on Beyond Books and Borders

On the eve of Passover, when we share our national story and reenact our journey, I share with you the story of one of our literacy volunteers and the deep connections she has fostered with her students through their shared life journeys. In May of 1960, Marion Bank was 13 and living in Chile when she experienced the largest recorded seismic event to date. What … Continue reading Beyond Books and Borders »

Four Questions, Four Actions

By Jeremy Burton | Mar 31, 2017 | Comments Off on Four Questions, Four Actions

Click here to download our Seder Supplement for 2017/5777, featuring action items and Boston-specific stories about immigrants and refugees.   With Passover just over a week away, and many of us already deep into preparations, I ask you to pause with me for just a moment, as we acknowledge some remarkable community-wide efforts addressing issues deeply resonant of themes of the Festival of Freedom. As … Continue reading Four Questions, Four Actions »

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 »

Embracing Optimism: Peres’ Message of Constructive Engagement

By Jeremy Burton | Mar 10, 2017 | Comments Off on Embracing Optimism: Peres’ Message of Constructive Engagement

This blog was originally posted on JewishBoston.com. At last week’s kickoff event for the CommUNITY Israel Dialogue, we honored the life and legacy of Shimon Peres. Israel’s former Consul General to New England Nadav Tamir began by sharing one of Peres’ guiding principles: unfettered optimism. Peres chose to be an optimist despite facing various levels of opposition during his decades of public service in Israel. Peres, … Continue reading Embracing Optimism: Peres’ Message of Constructive Engagement »