Just hours before we gathered last night as JCRC and the Mass. Association of Jewish Federations, for our first in-person Legislative Reception since 2019, we had a very important meeting that reflects another – yet deeply related – aspect of our work. Yesterday, we, and a small group of leaders from JCRC, ADL New England, AJC New England, CJP and the Mass. Board of Rabbis, sat down with Cardinal O’Malley and other leaders from the Catholic Church. His Eminence had invited us to his home to talk about the bonds that connect the Jewish and Catholic communities in Boston, and how he and the archdiocese seek to be good allies to us in these times of rising antisemitism.
I have been, over the years, grateful for the Cardinal’s solidarity and friendship – standing with us in times of crisis and partnering with us on areas of shared values, such as our deeply collaborative efforts in support of our immigrant neighbors. It is conversations like these, and the investment in relationships that connect us to other communities here in Boston, that are central to why we exist as JCRC.
From there, most of us made our way to JCRC’s Legislative Reception which has long been the signature event for our Jewish community on Beacon Hill, bringing together our network of communal organizations, human services agencies, valued leaders, and critical and trusted partners in state government. We honored allies and leaders who work with our community to stand up to antisemitism, to build a deeper understanding about Israel, to ensure our communal security, and to forward a vision informed by our Jewish values that advances a democratic and pluralistic society.
It was my honor to introduce Governor Maura Healey at her first public event with the Jewish community since being inaugurated as Massachusetts’ first LBTGQ and first-elected woman governor. She has been a long-time friend and partner to the Jewish community as our attorney general and we were honored to have her join us. We thanked her for the budget investments that the Healey-Driscoll administration has already made in so many of our communal priorities including funding the Genocide Education Trust, nonprofit security grants, services for immigrants and refugees and for early childhood education.
If you missed the event, I encourage you to watch her remarks here.
I cannot possibly minimize the importance to our community – in times like these – that we have the support and partnership of civic leaders at the highest levels. Not only are we grateful to Governor Healey and Cardinal O’Malley this week, but also to all the members of the MA legislature who were with us last night, and all the other faith leaders who have shown up with and for us in recent weeks.
We should not and do not take for granted that in these challenging times, our Jewish community does not walk alone. This wasn’t always true here in Boston.
That we have these partners is a reflection of the work we do at JCRC and across our network. I am proud of who we are, the work that we do, and the relationships which we build based on these shared commitments. Our work on Beacon Hill and with our interfaith partners is central to the work of JCRC, and the ways in which we advance the values and interests of our community by building relationships with civic leaders and working together toward the common good. I thank you for your support and partnership in these efforts.