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.
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?
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…)
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?
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
(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
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
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
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
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