DECEMBER 20, 2018 – As we enter the final days of the secular calendar year, 2018 will be remembered in the Greater Boston Jewish community as a time of change, progress, conflict, and a marked increase in anti-Semitism in our community.
Over the last year our publication has covered a unique set of milestones: Israel’s 70th anniversary on the North Shore and Boston, Rabbi Marc Baker’s appointment as president of CJP, and Lawrence Bacow being named the third Jewish president of Harvard. On the North Shore, we have written extensively about Jewish institutions such as JCC of the North Shore, Epstein Hillel School, changing curricula at Hebrew schools, policy shifts and celebrations at area temples, Jewish day camps, and Jewish inclusion programming.
We have also added special features to bolster our content. In Jerusalem, two senior journalists report exclusively for the Journal about the latest news in Israel. Closer to home, the Journal’s “Millennials” column focuses on younger members of the community. And our “Honorable Menschion” column continues to highlight residents who make a difference in many people’s lives.
The biggest story this year has been the “normalization” of anti-Semitism in America and throughout the world. The Anti-Defamation League and the FBI have issued reports about the increase of anti-Semitism in the U.S. Locally, much of the anti-Semitism has occurred in numerous area school districts, including in the town of Reading, where over two dozen anti-Semitic incidents have been reported. Nationally, gun violence and anti-Semitism merged into deadly crime scenes: At a high school in Parkland, Fla., a sniper killed 17, including five Jews. At the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, an avowed anti-Semite charged into the temple’s sanctuary on a Shabbat morning this fall and killed 11 congregants who were praying. After the Pittsburgh shooting, the Journal sent reporters to vigils in Boston, and the North Shore where thousands of Jews stood in solidarity with the victims.
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