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  • Brandeis U’s new president: ‘Discomfort is an important element of education’

    BOSTON (JTA)  — After 32 years at Middlebury College, the last 11 as its president, Ron Liebowitz is calling Brandeis University his new academic home. On July 1, the 59-year-old New York native took the reins as the ninth president of Brandeis, a Jewish-sponsored, nonsectarian research university in suburban Boston with an enrollment of 3,600 undergraduates…

  • Boston-area kosher butcher shuttered after fire causes some $500,000 in damages

    BOSTON (JTA) – A fire has shuttered a major kosher supermarket in a heavily Jewish Boston-area town and caused an estimated half-million dollars in damages. The cause of Tuesday afternoon’s fire at The Butcherie in suburban Brookline, Massachusetts, was the careless disposal of a cigarette behind the shop, in a storage area that was used mostly…

  • Israeli Americans in Boston suburb air anti-Semitism concerns at meeting with mayor

    BOSTON (JTA) – Amid a spike in anti-Semitic activity across New England, Jewish and Israeli residents met with the mayor of Newton, Massachusetts, to express their concern about incidents in the Boston suburb’s school system. More than 150 people attended the standing-room-only community forum with Mayor Setti Warren on Tuesday evening. The meeting followed the revelation in late February of several acts…

  • Israeli-founded companies in Massachusetts brought $9.3 billion to state, study finds

    BOSTON (JTA) -– Israeli-founded companies based in Massachusetts brought in $9.3 billion to the state last year, continuing to outpace the state’s economy in overall revenue and job growth, according to a new report released Wednesday by the New England-Israel Business Council. When factoring in the impact of spending on goods and services, such as office…

  • Jewish groups hail advance of Massachusetts bill protecting transgender rights

    BOSTON (JTA) — Jewish groups in Massachusetts are hailing the passage of a bill by the state’s House of Representatives that will extend the anti-discrimination protections for transgender people in public accommodations. The controversial measure, approved Wednesday by a vote of 116-32, allows people to use facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms that match…

  • Vandalism at 3 New England synagogues aims to intimidate community, ADL regional leader says

    BOSTON (JTA) — Recent vandalism targeting three New England synagogues is aimed at intimidating the Jewish community, the director of the New England office of the Anti-Defamation League said. Robert Trestan said the attacks at two synagogues in the Boston area and one in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, are part of a spike in anti-Semitic incidents…

  • ADL to recognize Ottoman Empire’s massacre of Armenians as ‘genocide’

    BOSTON (JTA) — The Ottoman government’s massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in the early 20th century was “unequivocally genocide,” the head of the Anti-Defamation League said in the group’s strongest position on the subject. Jonathan Greenblatt, the civil rights group’s CEO, also said in a blog post Friday that the ADL will support U.S. recognition of…

  • Daniel Aaron, pioneer of American studies who taught JFK, dies at 103

    BOSTON (JTA) – Daniel Aaron, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants who pioneered the field of American studies and taught the likes of John F. Kennedy, has died at 103. A prolific writer and hugely influential intellectual, Aaron, who died on Saturday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is acclaimed for combining his interests in history and literature. The founding president of the…

  • College students across US join #SolidarityHavdalah in unity with European Jews

    BOSTON (JTA) – Hundreds of college students gathered across North America and Israel Saturday to conclude Shabbat with #SolidarityHavdalah, a campaign to show unity with their European peers facing anti-Semitism. The students came together at Brandeis University in suburban Boston, as well at more than a dozen other locations in North America, from Harvard to Emory, along with two…

  • Historic Boston-area synagogues vote to join forces on shared campus

    BOSTON (JTA) — Two historic Boston-area Conservative synagogues are planning to join forces and cohabit on a shared campus following votes by the leaders of both institutions. In a joint meeting on April 6, the board of directors and trustees of Congregation Mishkan Tefila voted to sign a memorandum of understanding with Congregation Kehillath Israel,…