Tag Archives: JCRC Statement

JCRC Dismayed by Elimination of Funds for Israeli-Palestinian Co-existence

JCRC is strongly opposed to the recent Trump Administration decision to eliminate USAID funding for projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. We are particularly disturbed by the Administration’s decision to cut off funding for co-existence programs for Israelis and Palestinians. The suspension of all USAID support will harm the chances for peaceful reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, and will only serve to punish the Palestinian people for the failures of their leadership and create an opportunity for extremist groups to gain strength in the Palestinian Territories.

Israeli-Palestinian co-existence programs are the best long-term strategy for achieving peace and the two-state solution. The support of co-existence programs allows the United States to exert its global influence to create change that speaks to our deepest values of justice, dignity, and peace. JCRC calls on the Trump Administration to reverse this decision, and to rethink how United States aid can be used to encourage rather than discourage peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

Boston JCRC Statement Regarding Nomination of David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel

The announcement of David Friedman as United States Ambassador-designate to Israel has been received with much discussion and diverse reactions within our community.

Many within the organized Jewish community find cause to be hopeful that the coming administration presents an opportunity to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship. Not least of the reasons for this optimism are President-Elect Trump’s repeated declarations of concern for Israel’s security and his valuing of Israel as a close ally of the United States. Additionally, President-Elect Trump has, on several occasions, talked of his desire to help negotiate a resolution to the conflict for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

JCRC believes that it is the prerogative of any President to appoint qualified cabinet members and ambassadors who will advance his or her priorities and agenda. Still, the expressed views and activities on a range of matters by David Friedman raise serious questions about whether he can and will effectively advance the United States’ long held commitment to a two-state resolution.

For over two decades it has been the bipartisan policy of the United States government, of the government of Israel – including the current Prime Minister – and of JCRC and our organized Jewish community to work for a two-state solution. Whether President-Elect Trump supports a two-state solution, or believes that an ambassador who does not share his commitment to same can still carry out U.S. policy, is a matter of vital concern.  We urge the Senate to clarify this issue during Mr. Friedman’s confirmation hearings.

We take this opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the organized Jewish community of Boston to achieving a two-state solution - to be achieved through direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians - as the only viable approach that will ensure Israel's security and future as a Jewish and democratic state. The realization of this goal may take time but it is dependent on keeping this option viable. JCRC will continue to devote our own efforts to expanding the potential for achieving it. JCRC will therefore oppose any change in U.S. policy that moves our nation away from support for achieving a two-state resolution.

Additionally, JCRC believes that it is intolerable that any representative of the United States - particularly one who would represent our nation to the Jewish state - could and does refer to members of our Jewish community as “worse than Kapos” or “not Jewish.” Further, we know that the Middle East is a tinderbox which can burst into flames at the slightest provocation. What is needed now is a strong, judicious ambassador who knows how to facilitate conciliation; not someone who will fuel polarization and heighten conflict.  Mr. Friedman has the right to his opinions, but his injudicious readiness to express them and his stubborn refusal to step back from them and issue a clear, public and unqualified apology, suggests a danger that he will pose to U.S. interests in the region if his nomination is approved. We urge our Senators to address this matter during the confirmation process.

 

Jeremy Burton             Adam Suttin       Beth Badik
Executive Director     President            Chair, Israel and Global Jewry Committee

 

Statement from Boston JCRC on Orlando Attack

As we complete our observance of Shavuot tonight, we are heartbroken by the news of the horrifying massacre in Orlando early yesterday morning. We are only beginning to fathom the horror, the unthinkable “firsts” that mark this nightmarish event. It bears repeating that this is the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, the worst gun violence assault ever in our nation, and the single worst attack targeting the LGBTQ community. There’s much we have yet to learn about the dark forces behind the carnage, but this much we do know: this attack took place in what should have been a safe haven and place of belonging for the LGBTQ community, and at a time of celebration in the month of Pride.

The LGBTQ community was clearly and specifically targeted by a murderer acting upon baseless hatred. The targeting of any Americans for who they are and for living freely is an attack on all of us and on the freedom which constitutes the very soul of this nation. In the wake of this horrific act, we must resist the temptation to focus solely on a single factor at play. There are multiple dynamics, each one perilous in its own right and demanding a vigorous response.

We must face facts:

  • Gun violence proliferates in our culture. Assault weapons meant for military use are readily available, to a wide variety of consumers.
  • The LGBTQ community continues to be subjected to a deep and targeted hatred, despite recent achievements in civil rights.
  • And, if the killer's own words are to be taken at face value - we are all threatened by a violent and radical reinterpretation of a religious tradition, including faithful adherents to that tradition.

To talk about any one of these while ignoring the other does a disservice to the victims, to Americans, and to our ability as a nation to address this attack effectively and to prevent the next attack from being a sad inevitability.

We must also acknowledge that none of these challenges is new:

  • We have called over and over for action, as mass shootings happen across our country every two weeks in schools, malls, workplaces, houses of worship, and on so many of our streets. While the motivations of these attacks differ, all are made fundamentally worse by our all too easy access to guns. “Thoughts and prayers” and platitudes for the victims are insufficient. Nothing short of immediate, concrete, and measurable action is acceptable to restrict access to assault weapons and illegally obtained handguns.
  • We’ve seen the LGBT community targeted in the past. Here too, prayers and expressions of solidarity for victims in the wake of this violence ring hollow when they come from those who have engaged in and supported the rhetoric of homophobia, or have put up obstacles to legal protections for the LGBTQ community. Now is the time for serious reflection about the ways in which all of us nurture a culture of hatred toward this community and other minorities, and to insist on action to make ours a society that embraces and protects all of us in our differences and our dignity.
  • Last year, when a Jewish religious extremist committed a terrorist murder at the Jerusalem LGBT Pride March, we reminded the Jewish community that such radicalism and violence are not reflective of our community. Still, we said then, the path to radicalization and violent extremism begins someplace, and it is incumbent on all of us to address the roots of its formation in our faith community. So too today we must welcome and lift up the clear rejection of these actions by leaders of communities with which this terrorist is identified, while also insisting that all faith communities reflect on the ways in which the path he took began - and we must offer our partnership and support to those who work to ensure that the seeds of violent extremism are rooted out in each of our communities.

To recognize and name that the terrorist claimed to act in allegiance with Daesh also requires us to affirm that Daesh does not represent the mainstream Muslim community. Radical Islam is a real and serious challenge in our time that threatens not just our nation but also threatens the global Muslim community. While we must protect our nation and defeat this extreme ideology, engaging in rhetoric or enacting policies that demonize all Muslims is an obstacle to that end. Rather we must work to ally ourselves with and reach out to Muslim communities - here in the U.S. and abroad - who are fighting for the soul of Islam, a religion that they interpret as advocating peace and humanity and rejecting violence. We must work together with our partners in communities here in New England who quickly spoke out and rejected the violence in Orlando.

JCRC and the organized Jewish community join with others in Boston in declaring our solidarity with the LGBTQ community, with the people of Orlando, and with all those who are standing up to reject violence and the spread of extremism and hate in all its forms.

 

jbsg               A-Suttin Signature_lite

Jeremy Burton                                Adam Suttin
Executive Director                       Board President

JCRC Condemns Anti-Semitic Remarks at High School Sporting Event

Taunting cheers at a high school basketball game took a very dark and troubling turn on Friday night when students from Catholic Memorial High School chanted “You killed Jesus!” at their game against Newton North High School on Friday night.

 

We join with our colleagues at AJC and ADL in both rejecting hatred and expressing our disdain of such anti-Semitic sentiments and also in our appreciation for the leadership of Newton North and Catholic Memorial High Schools responding with swift and decisive action. We are also grateful to Cardinal Sean O’Malley for sending a clear message to our community that Anti-Semitism in any form is unacceptable.

CJP, JCRC Condemn Palestinian Terror against Israelis

CJP, JCRC and Boston’s Jewish community were horrified to learn of a series of attacks against Israelis yesterday.

In a single day of violence, 15 people were attacked by Palestinian terrorists. This brings the number of casualties to well over 200 Israelis as well as Americans, Russians and others since September; 34 have died.

Yesterday's attacks were in three locations throughout Israel – in Jerusalem, where a Palestinian attacker shot two border policemen; in Petah Tikvah, where an Israeli was stabbed but managed to remove the knife and fight off his attacker; and in Tel Aviv/Jaffa, where a Palestinian man went on a rampage that killed one and wounded 12 others.

Taylor Force, a 29-year-old graduate student at Vanderbilt University and a U.S. Army veteran, died from his wounds.Taylor Force His wife was severely injured in the attack. Fifteen others are hurt in the series of attacks, some seriously. The victims, as has been the pattern for nearly six months, were chosen seemingly at random - a pregnant woman, young people walking along Tel Aviv’s beachfront promenade, a man on a suburban sidewalk.

The spasm of terrorist violence occurred on a day when Vice President Biden arrived in Israel to reiterate the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security. The Vice President was a little over a mile away from the scene of the attacks, meeting with former Israeli President Shimon Peres, a crusader for peace. The Vice President condemned, in the strongest possible terms, the brutal attacks and added “the United States of America … condemns the failure to condemn these acts.”

We share his affirmation. Attacking people on the street, stabbing a pregnant woman with a knife, shooting random Israelis in uniform, is not a "natural reaction" to disagreement. They are acts of barbarism that violate the very essence of humanity.

We call for an immediate end to Palestinian terror and incitement, particularly on social media, which has inspired so much hatred and bloodshed. As we pray for peace and a two state solution, we remind the world that Hamas’ terrorist leaders continue to encourage, even reward murderous acts, and the Palestinian Authority continues to ignore, and even, at times support violent incitement in the media, schools and websites.

Peace will only come when Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist and teach it to their children and when Israelis – the majority of whom yearn for peace and a resolution to this conflict - and Palestinians commit themselves to a negotiated and enduring agreement.

As we pray for the injured and mourn Taylor Force, we also stand with the Israeli people who want peace, even as they confront this wave of violence and terror with courage and fortitude.

We reaffirm our support of their desire for peace and a lasting resolution that leads to two states for two peoples, with safety, security and prosperity. 

Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston Names Adam Suttin President of Board of Directors

2016 Board and Officers Announced

(BOSTON) May 11, 2015 – The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston (JCRC) has elected Adam Suttin as its new President and Chair of the Board of Directors. Suttin begins his new term today.

Adam Suttin is a partner at J .W. Childs Associates, which he co-founded in 1995. Prior to joining the private equity firm, he was with Thomas H. Lee Company. Adam is a director of six companies within the J.W. Childs portfolio.

Suttin most recently served as First Vice President of JCRC and a member of the Finance, Development, and Governance Committees. A past volunteer with JCRC’s Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy, he has previously served as JCRC’s Treasurer and Chair of the JCRC’s Finance, Development and the TELEM teen service Advisory Committees.

Suttin serves on the Combined Jewish Philanthropies Board of Directors and the Gann Academy Board of Trustees where he acts as Treasurer. He is a graduate of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ Cynthia and Leon Shulman Acharai Leadership Program, and also a former member of the JVS Board of Directors.

The JCRC Council also approved the slate of officers, board members and community representatives for the 2016 fiscal year. Besides Suttin, JCRC Officers are: Vice Presidents Stacey Bloom, Debbie Isaacson, and Miriam May; Secretary Alex Klibaner; Assistant Secretary Howard Brick; Treasurer Scott Gilefsky; and Assistant Treasurer Campe Goodman.

Newly elected Board members are Darren Black, Alex Goldstein, Fredie Kay, Sam Slater and Amiel Weinstock. Dana Gershon will serve as a Presidential Appointee. For a complete list of the JCRC Council’s Officers, Board of Directors, Community Representatives, and member organizations, visit JCRC Leadership and Structure.

The JCRC Council is responsible for determining the international and domestic policies and positions for which the JCRC publicly advocates in the name of Greater Boston’s organized Jewish community. The Council is comprised of officers, board members, community representatives, and representatives of JCRC's 42 member organizations.

About Jewish Community Relations Council
JCRC defines and advances the values, interests and priorities of the organized Jewish community in greater Boston in the public square.

On May 11, 2015 JCRC welcomed our incoming Officers, Board and Council members, and our exemplary volunteers.

 

With Gratitude: An Evening of Volunteer Appreciation

Event Photo Gallery

JCRC Statement on Passage of Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act

JCRC welcomes the overwhelming bipartisan passage by the United States Senate of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.  We thank Senator Warren and Senator Markey for supporting this important legislation.
 
Iran continues to be a state sponsor of terrorism and a destabilizing threat to the entire region. A nuclear capable Iran poses a threat to the security and interests of United States and to our allies, including Israel.  The organized Jewish community of Boston believes that a diplomatic resolution is the ideal path to end the threat of Iran becoming a nuclear power.  We believe that this legislation provides Congress with an opportunity to assert an appropriate role in this vital foreign policy matter. 
 
We urge Massachusetts’ Representatives in Congress to work toward speedy action on this bill and to support passage of the legislation in the House without amendments.

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Jeremy Burton
Executive Director

 

 

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Jill Goldenberg
President

JCRC Welcomes Today’s Bipartisan Senate Foreign Relations Committee Vote on Iran Deal

JCRC welcomes the bipartisan compromise by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on legislation to provide for congressional review of a nuclear deal with Iran, if and when an accord is reached. The organized Jewish community of Boston believes that a diplomatic resolution is the ideal path to end the threat of Iran being able to become a nuclear power. The current framework agreement presents the possibility of a successful deal while also raising areas of concern that need to be addressed in order to ensure that it is a good deal.
 
Today’s compromise, if adopted into law, will enable our representatives in Congress to ask questions while working with President Obama to ensure the quality of any deal. We hope that the spirit of bipartisanship shown today will establish a new phase in the debate over and the evaluation of these negotiations, one in which our reasonable questions can be addressed thoughtfully and honestly without political manipulation or partisanship of any nature.
 
We welcome Senator Markey’s vote as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to support this bipartisan compromise. We thank him for the time and thoughtful consideration he has given in recent weeks to us and others who are deeply invested in the outcome of these negotiations. We urge the full Senate to take up and pass this compromise bill, which the President has indicated he will sign. We call upon Senator Warren to join Senator Markey in supporting this compromise when it reaches the full Senate.

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Jeremy Burton
Executive Director

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Jill Goldenberg
President

JCRC Statement on Developments in Iran Negotiations

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston (JCRC) is following reports today out of Lausanne, Switzerland that a framework agreement has been reached between the P5+1 and Iran.  The organized Jewish community of Boston reaffirms our continued belief that a diplomatic resolution is the ideal path to end the threat of Iran developing the capacity to become a nuclear power.  We appreciate and honor the indefatigable efforts of Boston’s own Secretary of State John Kerry in these negotiations.

At this time, we do not have sufficient information about the details of today’s developments to know whether this agreement achieves the goal of ending the threat of a nuclear Iran. We look forward to learning more and we will be consulting with our member organizations in the coming days. A good deal should and must be able to withstand public debate and scrutiny.

JCRC urges the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to scrutinize any agreement in the days ahead to insure that it is one which achieves its stated goals.  We look forward to hearing the voices of the delegation in support of a good deal for all concerned.