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  • Letter Urges State support of Non Profit Security Grants

    JCRC works with our public officials to create partnerships for safety and security enhancements at vulnerable non-profit institutions. With the alarming rise in threats and violence against the Jewish community, it’s clear that more is needed. JCRC launched a community wide campaign to fully fund a grant program to help synagogues, day schools, community centers, and other targeted institutions to make vital security enhancements. We stand with our partners of every faith and creed to denounce hatred and demand justice.

    JCRC organized a letter, signed by 143 Jewish institutional leaders from across the Commonwealth, to Governor Baker asking for full funding of the state Non-Profit Security Grant program.

    Click here for the PDF of the Letter

    Below is the text of the letter:

    May 20, 2019

    Dear Governor Baker:

    While celebrating the end of Passover, the celebration of the Jewish people’s liberation, we were confronted yet again with the horror of another murderous attack on a Jewish synagogue in Poway, California, six months to the day of the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The sanctity of our houses of worship has been pierced by the horror of antisemitism and our sense of security is in peril.

    While we are grateful to our partners in government for denouncing violence, hatred, and antisemitism and offering comfort and offering healing in our time of need, our communities require more. Across the country, threats and acts of violence have escalated against synagogues, black churches, mosques, cultural centers and other religious institutions. Seemingly every week, we join with clergy and leaders from every walk of life, decrying the bloodshed and pleading for sanity, and a restoration to calm. But antisemitism is on the rise, even here. A recent ADL audit found that “people across Massachusetts continue to experience antisemitism at historically high rates” as we record the fourth highest number of incidents (following California, New York and New Jersey), highlighting the awareness that this tide of hatred toward Jews isn’t dissipating anytime soon.

    Several states reacted swiftly, by partnering with at-risk institutions to develop security enhancements and protocols, including: The State of New York offered $10 million in grants to vulnerable non-public schools and cultural centers, including religious-based institutions; New Jersey released $11.3 million in funds; Maryland released $5 million; and recently the Governor of California announced $15 million in grants.  Massachusetts, however only has a pilot program of $150,000, with no funds yet allocated for the next year. We need to do better.

    We respectfully ask our leadership in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to step-up and fulfill its basic obligation by fully funding the non-profit security grant program to provide these critical resources to ensure that our communities and our congregations are safe and secure. As faith communities meet our responsibility to welcome and embrace all who enter our doors, we need our government to realize its responsibility to offer the protection to make “freedom of religion” a reality in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts basks in its well-deserved reputation as a shining beacon, a model across the nation of freedom, equality and justice.  In this moment of crisis for our community, we are called once again to lead and not follow.


    Jeremy Burton, Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council, Boston

    Rabbi Marc Baker, President & CEO, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Boston

    Dara Kaufman, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, Pittsfield

    Judy Usow, President & Board Chair, Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, Pittsfield

    Steven Schimmel, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Central MA, Worcester

    Amir Cohen, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford, New Bedford

    Laurie Tishler Mindlin, Executive Director, Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation, Andover

    Stewart Bromberg, CEO, Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, Springfield

    Joshua Vogel, Communications Director, Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, Springfield

    Mark Sokoll, President & CEO, Jewish Community Center of Greater Boston, Newton

    Kait Rogers, Chief Finance and Admin. Officer, Jewish Community Center of Greater Boston, Newton

    Marty Schneer, Executive Director, Jewish Community Center of the North Shore, Marblehead

    Michael Paysnick, Executive Director, Springfield Jewish Community Center, Springfield

    Rabbi Alison Adler, Temple B’nai Abraham, Beverly

    Rabbi Allison Berry, Temple Shalom, Newton

    Rabbi Laura Abrasley, Temple Shalom, Newton

    Rabbi Eric Gurvis, Temple Shalom, Newton

    Rabbi Shoshana Friedman, Temple Sinai, Brookline

    Rabbi Andrew Vogel, Temple Sinai, Brookline

    Nora Abrahamer, President, Temple Sinai,

    Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman, Temple Ohabei Shalom, Brookline

    Shari Churwin, Education Director, Temple Ohabei Shalom, Brookline

    Rabbi Barbara Penzner, Temple Hillel B’nai Torah, West Roxbury

    Rabbi Benjamin Samuels, Congregation Shaarei Tefillah, Newton

    Rabbi Ronne Friedman, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Israel, Boston

    Rabbi Elaine Zecher, Senior Rabbi, Temple Israel, Boston

    Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman, Senior Scholar, Temple Israel, Boston

    Rabbi Matthew Soffer, Senior Associate Rabbi, Temple Israel Boston

    Rabbi Jenn Gubitz, Temple Israel, Boston

    Rabbi Suzie Jacobson, Temple Israel, Boston

    Cantor Roy Einhorn, Temple Israel, Boston

    Dan Deutsch, Executive Director, Temple Israel, Boston

    Gary Pforzheimer, President, Temple Israel, Boston

    Marc Maxwell, Vice President, Temple Israel, Boston

    Alane Shanks, Treasurer, Temple Israel, Boston

    Rabbi Cari Bricklin- Small, Temple Shir Tikvah, Winchester

    Rabbi Danny Burkeman, Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland

    Rabbi Jordana Schuster Battis, Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland

    Scott A. Cohen, President, Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland

    Susan Altman, Executive Director, Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland

    Rabbi Daniel Liben, Temple Israel of Natick, Natick

    Rabbi Darby J. Leigh, Kerem Shalom, Concord

    Rabbi David J. Meyer, Temple Emanu-El, Marblehead

    Rabbi David Lerner, Temple Emunah, Lexington

    Shelley Rossman, Director, Pre-School of Temple Emunah, Lexington

    Rabbi David Weiner, Knesset Israel, Pittsfield

    Rabbi Eliana Jacobowitz, Temple B’nai Brith, Somerville

    Rabbi Emily Mathis, Director of Community Development, Tremont Street Shul, Cambridge

    Brian Eisenstein, President, Tremont Street Shul, Cambridge

    Rabbi Howard A. Cohen, Congregation Shiray Hayam, Swampscott

    Rabbi Howard Jaffe, Senior Rabbi, Temple Isaiah of Lexington, Lexington

    Barry Tuber, President, Temple Isaiah of Lexington, Lexington

    Steven Jaworski, Facilities Manager, Temple Isaiah of Lexington, Lexington

    Rabbi Jay Pearlman, Temple Beth Shalom, Needham

    Rabbi Todd A. Markley, Temple Beth Shalom, Needham

    Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler, Temple Sinai, Sharon

    Rabbi Joshua Breindel, Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley, Sudbury

    Rabbi Keith Stern, Temple Beth Avodah, Newton

    Elyse Hyman, Executive Director, Temple Beth Avodah, Newton

    Rabbi Kenneth Carr, Temple Chayai Shalom, Easton

    Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch, Temple Anshe Amunim, Pittsfield

    Rabbi Louis Polisson, Congregation Or Atid, Wayland

    Laura Blumberg, President, Congregation Or Atid, Wayland

    Rabbi Mayshe Schwartz, Director, The Chai Center and YJP, Brookline

    Rabbi Mendy Kivman, Chabad of Greater Milford, Milford

    Rabbi Micah Citrin, Temple Beth David, Westwood

    Rabbi Ron Fish, Senior Rabbi, Temple Israel, Sharon

    Rabbi Rachel Silverman, Temple Israel, Sharon

    Joshua Blumenthal, Executive Director, Temple Israel, Sharon

    Marion Gribetz, President, Temple Israel, Sharon

    Rabbi Mordechai Rackover, Principal, Temple Israel of Sharon Religious School, Sharon

    Rabbi Moshe Bleich, Director, Wellesley-Weston Chabad, Wellesley

    Rabbi Nechemia Schusterman, Chabad of Peabody, Peabody

    Rabbi Raphael Kanter, Tifereth Israel Congregation, New Bedford

    Rabbi Richard E. Perlman, Senior Rabbi, Temple Ner Tamid, Peabody

    Rabbi Sharon L. Sobel Temple Beth Am, Framingham

    Rabbi Susan Abramson, Temple Shalom Emeth, Burlington

    Rabbi Thomas M. Alpert, Temple Etz Chaim, Franklin

    Richard Shulman, President, Temple Etz Chaim, Franklin

    Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, West Newton, President of the MA Board of Rabbis

    Rabbi Victor Reinstein, Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue, Jamaica Plain

    Rabbi William Hamilton, Congregation Kehillath Israel, Brookline

    David E. Williams, President, Congregation Kehillath Israel, Brookline

    Jonathan E. Slutzman, Vice President, Congregation Kehillath Israel, Brookline

    Paula Silver, Director of Administration, Congregation Kehillath Israel, Brookline

    Rabbi Yehoshua Zehavi, Congregation Agudat Achim, Leominster

    Scott Zibel, President, Congregation Agudat Achim, Leominster

    David Susman, Security Committee Chair, Congregation Agudat Achim, Leominster

    Rabbi Yisroel Freeman, Chabad Center of Sudbury, Sudbury

    Randy O’Brien, President Temple Kol Tikvah, Sharon

    Randy Kafka, Temple Kol Tikvah Sharon

    Sanford Keliher, Vice President, Temple B’nai Abraham, Beverly

    Bernard Der, Security Committee Chair, Temple B’nai Abraham, Beverly

    Sara Smolover, President Temple Beth Zion

    Sarah Baron-Kelly, Administrator, Temple Beth Emunah, Easton

    Cantor Vera Broekhuysen, Spiritual Leader, Temple Emanu-El, Haverhill

    David Belsky, Safety & Security Chair, Temple Emanu-El, Haverhill

    Scott Hannula, Assistant Secretary, Temple Emanu-El, Haverhill

    Stephen Ashkinos, Executive Director, Temple Beth Elohim, Wellesley

    Bob Schecter, President of the Board of Trustees, Temple Beth Elohim, Wellesley

    Stephen Winer, Executive Director, Congregation B’nai Shalom, Westborough

    Zach Dunn, Executive Director, Congregation Mishkan Tefilah, Brookline

    Lynda Gordon, Tri President, Congregation Mishkan Tefilah, Brookline

    Caryl Goodman, Tri-President, Congregation Mishkan Tefilah, Brookline

    Steven Kaitz, Tri-President, Congregation Mishkan Tefilah, Brookline

    Susan Schreiner Weingarten, Chairperson, The Boston Synagogue, Boston

    Cynthia Levitt, Executive Director, Temple Emeth, Chestnut Hill

    Michael Clayton, President, Temple Emeth, Chestnut Hill

    David Jacobson, President, Adams Street Synagogue, Newton

    David Leers, President, Temple Beth Elohim, Acton

    Ellen Rappaport Tanowitz, President, Temple Reyim, Newton

    Jeff Lurie, Executive Director, Temple Emanuel, Newton

    Liz Goldstein, Executive Vice President, Temple Emanuel, Newton

    Joanna Myers, President, Congregation Shalom, North Chelmsford

    Kenneth Lifton, Security Chair, Temple Shalom Emeth, Burlington

    Kenneth Milgran, Director of Security, Young Israel Congregation, Sharon

    Marilyn Okonow, President, The Vilna Shul, Boston

    Mark Fydenberg, President, Temple Beth Israel, Waltham

    Marilyn Racette, Security Committee Chair, Temple Beth Israel, Waltham

    Maureen Chapman, Executive Director, Temple Emanuel of Andover, Andover

    Nancy J. LaFleur, Executive Director, Temple Emanu-El, Haverhill

    Paul Cooperstein, President, Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills, Milton

    Rabbi Binyomin Mermelstein, Executive Director, Torah Academy, Brookline

    Rabbi Uri Feldman, Dean, Yeshiva Ohr Yisrael Highschool for Boys, Chestnut Hill

    Julie Galler, Executive Director, Striar Hebrew Academy, Sharon

    Susan Tanchel, Head of School, JCDS Boston’s Jewish Community Day School, Watertown

    Elizabeth Waksman, Board President, JCDS Boston’s Jewish Community Day School, Watertown

    Amy Gold, Head of School, Epstein Hillel School, Marblehead

    Lisa Scott, Assistant Director, Gan Elohim Preschool, Wellesley

    Dr. Jerrold I. Katz, Interim Head of School, Gann Academy, Waltham

    Gail Schulman, COO, Gann Academy, Waltham

    Ellen Chajes, Executive Director, Bais Yaakov School, Boston

    Rabbi Neal Gold, Jewish Chaplain, Babson College, Boston

    Ethan Sobel, Assistant Director, Boston University Hillel, Boston

    Jonah Steinberg, Executive Director, Harvard Hillel, Cambridge

    Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, President, Hebrew College, Newton

    Amy Schechtman, President & CEO, 2Life Communities, Brighton

    Ed Pletman, Director of Finance, Camp Ramah New England, Norwood

    Jonathan Cohen, President, Eli and Bessie Cohen Camps, Wellesley

    Arlene Remz, Executive Director, Gateways: Access to Jewish Education, Newton

    Louis J. Woolf, President & CEO, Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston

    Samuel I. Mendales, Executive Director, Hillel Council of New England, Newton Centre

    Lital Carmel, Regional Director, Israeli-American Council, Newton

    Kimberlee Schumacher, President & CEO, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston, Newton

    Carl Zack, Interim CEO, Jewish Family & Children Services, Waltham

    Jamie Grossman, Board President, Jewish Family & Children Services, Waltham

    Dale Okonow, Board Member, Jewish Family & Children Services, Waltham

    Jerry Rubin, President & CEO, Jewish Vocational Services, Boston

    Marc Jacobs, CEO, Jewish Family Services Metrowest, Framingham

    Lino Covarrubias, COO, Jewish Family Services Metrowest, Framingham

    Idit Klein, President & CEO, Keshet, Boston

    Carrie Bornstein, Executive Director, Mayyim Hayyim Mikvah, Auburndale

    Dan Trajman, President & CEO, New England Israel Business Council Inc., Newton

    Rabbi David Jaffe, The Kirva Institute, Sharon


    Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito
    Senate President Karen Spilka
    Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo
    Secretary Michael J. Heffernan, Executive Office of Administration & Finance
    Secretary Daniel Bennett, Executive Office of Public Safety & Security
    Senator Michael Rodrigues, Chair, Senate Committee on Ways and Means
    Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Chair, House Committee on Ways and Means