Achieving wins for our community
on Beacon Hill
For decades, JCRC has championed the values and interest of Greater Boston’s Jewish community on Beacon Hill.
In 2018, JCRC achieved an unprecedented level of success in advancing the priorities of the Jewish community in the state budget process, securing a total of $3,842,000 in state funding for a broad range of human services, more than $2 million of which will now go to support the work of our partner agencies. In collaboration with these agencies, we‘ve secured funding for our three overarching priority areas: creating pathways to economic opportunity, supporting individuals and families in their homes, and ensuring safety for our most vulnerable.
The 2019 budget bears powerful testimony to our impact. Additional dollars will support our community’s longstanding priorities – as well as addressing more recent threats, such as nonprofit security. When JCCs and day schools were experiencing the disruption and fears of bomb threats, JCRC acted swiftly, leading efforts to create a pilot program to provide security support to nonprofits. In the 2019 budget, the state doubled the grant to $150,000, with access to these vital grants for all regions of the Commonwealth. In this time of heightened urgency at home and across the country, JCRC is vigilant about identifying and addressing critical new challenges as they emerge.
Jewish Vocational Service’s Bridges to College program has helped helped over 500 students improve their academic skills and enroll in college.
During a legislative season with only modest gains, we advocated and organized our community to support the passage of a sweeping Criminal Justice Reform bill. In partnership with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), we activated hundreds of Jews at five synagogues, who championed the bill by hosting discussions with legislators in which they advocated powerfully for provisions to stem the flow of mass incarceration. The bill’s passage has led to greater interest in the critical role District Attorneys play in achieving our community’s criminal justice priorities.
With the scourge of gun violence continuing unabated, JCRC seized an opportunity to further strengthen state legislation. Continuing our ongoing work with the MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, we advocated successfully for passage of the Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) bill. ERPO temporarily allows loved ones to remove weapons from people who pose a risk to themselves and others. We have responded with voter education campaigns, partnering with the ACLU on education programs in synagogues underscoring the depth of our commitment
to this issue.
Supporting MA/Israel Business Connections
At a time when the commitment to the US-Israel relationship is being challenged, JCRC acted decisively to create a robust foundation for stronger ties. In close collaboration with the New England Israel Business Council, we secured funding in the state Economic Development Bill that guarantees $250,000 to facilitate and support the Massachusetts-Israel Economic Connection. The new funding will be dedicated to the pursuit of economic collaboration between Israel and the Commonwealth.