• Upcoming Event

  • 06 Jun

    With Gratitude

    7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

  • The Conversation Our Network Facilitates

    Earlier this week, 30 representatives from a wide range of JCRC’s member organizations and Jewish human service agencies that we work with sat down with US Representative Jake Auchincloss for a conversation on his work and the concerns of our Jewish community.  

    While the meeting was off-the-record, I can share that the discussion was wide-ranging. Rep. Auchincloss shared his thoughts openly and candidly, there was give and take – even a little push back – by meeting participants and by the Congressman. The topics we covered reflected both the diversity and the broadly held concerns of the organized Jewish community.  

    We talked about the threats to our nation’s democracy and the coming election cycle. We shared what we are hearing from people who need access to reproductive health care, and from LGBTQ+ families around the country whose access to basic healthcare is being threatened, and who are genuinely scared about rising bigotry in many states. We discussed rising antisemitism, strategies for confronting it, and the ways in which it shows up: on the far-right, on campus, and in the anti-Zionist left. We highlighted the incredible work that congregations in his district are doing to welcome immigrants and refugees. We addressed the crisis of affordable housing here in Massachusetts. And we began and ended the meeting talking about our community’s relationship with Israel, his own expressed concerns about the direction of the current government, our concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and the shared commitment he and we have to support efforts toward a two-state-solution. 

    As I looked around the room at the diversity of leaders present – from organizations with different and shared agendas, to those who are, frankly, sometimes in public conflict with each other – and as I look back at the range of our conversation, I am reminded of the unique role that JCRC, and our Council, serve for our community.  

    I, for one, do not take for granted that in an age of increased polarization and fractured discourse, we are – at least here in Boston – coming together as one community around a shared sense of interests and priorities. It is no small thing that we are able to be in relationship across broad parts of our community, willing to raise shared concerns. And, it is no small thing to be in strong relationship with elected leaders who both experience that diversity in their districts and also experience the unity of purpose that we convey when we are together. This is, in fact, what we do at JCRC: build conversation across our community with civic and elected leaders. And, it is what we will continue to do to convene and maintain this space on behalf of our community.  

    As we enter summer and look back on the year behind us and at all the ways in which we have worked with and been supported by a wide range of our public officials, we take pride in the strength of JCRC’s network, and the relationships we cultivate on behalf of our community. There was a time when our community didn’t have this access, which is at the core why JCRC’s around the country were first established. If we give in to certain trends that divide us, there may yet come a time when our community loses our ability to work together as one in these relationships. I, for one , value a community that has a strong JCRC built upon a network of member organizations across our community, and I believe we need to push back against those trends and actors that are fracturing us. The work that this network facilitates would not be possible if we were 40 organizations each standing alone.  

    Thank you for continuing to invest in your JCRC and to invest in your strong local Jewish network participating in civic space. And thank you Rep. Auchincloss for continuing to be a valued leader and partner in this work. 


    Shabbat shalom,