The JCRC Weekly Blog

From Israel: Finding Inspiration in Dysfunctional Times.

By Jeremy Burton | Dec 5, 2019 | Comments Off on From Israel: Finding Inspiration in Dysfunctional Times.

A short while ago, I arrived at Ben Gurion airport. Together with JCRC’s Director of Israel Engagement, Eli Cohn-Postell, we’re starting out on our biannual civic leaders study tour, this time together with members of the Massachusetts Senate. A few weeks ago, I was talking with an Israeli friend with both British and American citizenship. This person, only half-jokingly, commented that, at the moment, it … Continue reading From Israel: Finding Inspiration in Dysfunctional Times. »

Can We Retire the Concept of “Conversion” To Judaism?

By Jeremy Burton | Nov 26, 2019 | Comments Off on Can We Retire the Concept of “Conversion” To Judaism?

This blog post was originally published in the Times of Israel.  My mother was raised Catholic. She became Jewish while in university, going through a process – guided by her rabbi and supervised by a rabbinical court in San Francisco – of wide-ranging study covering Jewish practice, history and culture. I was born Jewish a few years later. Growing up, at our shabbat table in … Continue reading Can We Retire the Concept of “Conversion” To Judaism? »

Reading my way through Europe (and then some…)

By Jeremy Burton | Nov 22, 2019 | Comments Off on Reading my way through Europe (and then some…)

This past summer, our professional staff used this space to post a delightful reading list of books they love and use in their work. During my sabbatical, I had the pleasure of finishing 36 books covering a range of subjects and projects in which I was interested. Many of my readings covered history, memoirs, Jewish and political philosophy and the current state of America. For … Continue reading Reading my way through Europe (and then some…) »

Should American Jews Stop Trying to Defeat Antisemitism?

By Jeremy Burton | Nov 14, 2019 | Comments Off on Should American Jews Stop Trying to Defeat Antisemitism?

This blog post was originally posted on Times of Israel. Should we, American Jews, stop trying to defeat antisemitism? It is a question I’ve been pondering as I recently spent a month traveling through Europe and experiencing Jewish memory. And it is a question I’d love to hear from others about: Should we, as an American Jewish community, stop carrying the fight to “end” antisemitism … Continue reading Should American Jews Stop Trying to Defeat Antisemitism? »

My Journey Through 1,000 Years of Jewish Memory

By Jeremy Burton | Nov 8, 2019 | Comments Off on My Journey Through 1,000 Years of Jewish Memory

Alhambra’s Chamber of Ambassadors, where the Edicto de Granada was issued on March 31, 1492, ordering the expulsion of Spain’s Jews. This week, I returned from sabbatical. I’m so grateful to our board for this privilege and for the ability to set aside three months for reflection and reconnection outside of the doing of our work. It was an opportunity for quiet contemplation, hiking, reading, … Continue reading My Journey Through 1,000 Years of Jewish Memory »

On Not Letting Fear Define Us

By JCRC | Oct 31, 2019 | Comments Off on On Not Letting Fear Define Us

(L-R) Rabbi Avi Bukiet, Rabbi Claudia Kreiman, Rabbi Bill Hamilton, Rabbi Rachel Saphire, and Rabbi Marc Baker ⁩leading the Tree of Life Community Remembrance at ADL’s “The Good Fight” This week, the last message from Acting Executive Director Nahma Nadich. Next Friday, look for a special message from Jeremy Burton, who will be back from sabbatical. One year ago, eleven Jews woke up on Shabbat morning, went to … Continue reading On Not Letting Fear Define Us »

Ten Thousand and Counting

By JCRC | Oct 25, 2019 | Comments Off on Ten Thousand and Counting

This week, a message from Barry Glass, Director of TELEM, JCRC’s teen service volunteer program: They didn’t get the email. Had they received it, they would have learned that the TELEM inter-generational program at the Simon Fireman Senior Living Community in Randolph was cancelled that night because of the pending snowstorm. Instead, the three intrepid high school seniors, who had been regularly driving themselves to … Continue reading Ten Thousand and Counting »

Complicated Friendships

By JCRC | Oct 18, 2019 | Comments Off on Complicated Friendships

From JCRC Director of Israel Engagement, Eli Cohn-Postell: I recently had the privilege of a brief but intimate conversation with Justice Salim Joubran as I transported him to the airport following a Boston Partners for Peace event. Justice Joubran is the first Palestinian to receive a permanent appointment to the Israeli Supreme Court and, in his retirement, he is giving back to Israeli society as … Continue reading Complicated Friendships »

Guarding Our Tongues

By JCRC | Oct 11, 2019 | Comments Off on Guarding Our Tongues

This Friday, a message from Acting Executive Director Nahma Nadich. As I sat in shul on Yom Kippur this year, joining with my community in the traditional vidui (confession) of the Al Chet repeated ten times throughout the day, I was struck by how many sins on that long list have to do with speech. For the sin we have committed before you with the … Continue reading Guarding Our Tongues »

4,700 Books, 100 Classrooms

By JCRC | Oct 4, 2019 | Comments Off on 4,700 Books, 100 Classrooms

This week, a message from Director of Service Initiatives Emily Reichman: As Jews, we are “the people of the book.” During these High Holy Days, we pray to be written in the Book of Life. Books—education—are central to our identity, and as immigrants to this country, we experienced the power of reading in unlocking opportunities for generations in our new homeland. New research confirms what … Continue reading 4,700 Books, 100 Classrooms »