February 14, 2016 / 5th of Adar, 5776
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Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston

JCRC promotes a society that reflects the best of American and Jewish values—in Greater Boston, Israel and around the world—by convening and mobilizing the Jewish community.

Through advocacy, organizing, service and partnerships, JCRC pursues social justice, ensures a vibrant Jewish community, and builds a network of support for Israel.

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  • It is no secret that I love comic books.

    When I was young I found comfort in the X-Men, a band of teenagers who upon reaching puberty discovered that they had mutations. Their newfound powers made them special and wonderful, but also made them outcasts to be persecuted and discriminated against. That I was struggling with being gay in a traditional Jewish community, and that the X-Men’s lead figures – Professor Xavier and Magneto - met while caring for Holocaust survivors in Haifa ...

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  • With apologies to Bostonians… the great New York catcher/manager Yogi Berra, who passed away this week, used to say that “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

    With regard to the debate on the Iran nuclear deal, I’d offer that, “It’s all but over, but the work has not even barely begun.”
    I must admit that I was a bit naïve this summer.
    I honestly thought that reasonable people with differing political perspectives could hav...

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  • Last night, JCRC was very proud to host JCRC Celebrates: Generations of Service, where we recognized JCRC’s community service programs and the generations of leaders who’ve made them possible. Through the generosity of our community, our inaugural live auction raised nearly $45,000 to benefit our service programs, and we are extremely appreciative to all.

    Why, some have asked, do we put service programs at the heart of our work as a community relations agency along with our ad...

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  • In the coming weeks, we can expect to see a series of reflections marking the 10th anniversary of Israel's 2005 disengagement from Gaza under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (such as this powerful photo essay from Ha’aretz this week).

    I find that a lot of Americans - including members of our Jewish community - don't fully appreciate how heavily these events from a decade ago weigh on the Israeli psyche today. When JCRC study tours are in Israel, as a delegation is this week, we discu...

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  • This Sunday we will observe the fast of Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the lunar month of Av, on which we commemorate the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago.  I have no doubt, especially this year, that you will be inundated with various messages concerning this day, the tradition that “the Temple was destroyed because of Sin’at Chinam (gratuitous hatred among Jews),” and, with the Iran nuclear deal on the table, messages b...

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  • Last week we publicly celebrated the Massachusetts legislature’s agreement to increase the state’s share of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) (a refundable tax credit to help low-income workers, particularly those with children) in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget.  Upon seeing that news, you may have wondered, how did JCRC decide to make a statement recognizing this accomplishment, and more generally, how does JCRC decide when and how to make public pronouncemen...

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  • No surprise - there’s been a tidal wave of statements, op-eds, media interviews, talking point memos, and other commentary regarding this morning’s announcement of an Iran Nuclear Deal.  We can’t begin to read it all, let alone share it here, but, in addition to JCRC’s statement earlier today, we’ve rounded up some select materials below, including:  All statements from our member agencies, as well as one from Prime Minister Netanyahu; Talking points f...

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  • My grandmother, Sarah Faust Burton, was a proud Southern Presbyterian woman who moved from North Carolina to Indiana to build a life with her Jewish husband. Years after her passing, my grandfather encouraged me to embrace a heritage including our family connection to groups like the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. While at first I found his enthusiasm baffling, I came to understand that, in his own way, he thought it was important not to romanticize...

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  • I'm writing this week’s message from Dnepropetrovsk as I prepare to make my way back to Boston, after spending a week representing the Boston Jewish community on an important Jewish Federations of North America mission. I hope you've been following my posts throughout the trip on Facebook. I’ll admit, I've been struggling with what to take away from my third visit to this community I've come to love.

    There is so much despair here. There are worries about escalation ...

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  • This Sunday, I will be flying to Ukraine to represent CJP and the Boston Jewish community on an important Jewish Federations of North America mission. 

    We make this visit in the second year of an ongoing crisis that has not abated. The economy there is struggling, with inflation at about 40%. Tensions continue with Russia and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine continues to work toward building an open, responsive government that aspires to be more integrated into western ...

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