Interfaith Org Holds Delegate Assembly

April 29, 2008

Author: Molly Ritvo

Source: The Jewish Advocate

Standing before more than 300 leaders of different faiths at a Greater Boston Interfaith Organization action meeting, Massachusetts Secretary of Elder Affairs Michael Festa recently spoke about the importance of supporting the elderly population.

The assembly, which was held on April 8 at Temple Emanuel in Newton, aimed to make an impact on the issues of elder care, according to Meir Lakein, head community organizer for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston. The meeting also represented the first time a Boston Conservative synagogue became involved in congregational organizing.

“The traditional rep has been for many years that ‘social action’ is something that Reform and Reconstructionist Jews do,” Lakein said. “Temple Emanuel is one of the first Conservative synagogues in the country, and most likely the most prominent one, to get deeply engaged in organizing. This is an important precedent of a much larger significance.”

Nahma Nadich, director of social justice programs at the JCRC whose work is funded by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, explained that GBIO represents more than 50,000 people from different congregations and churches that have joined together since 1996 and coalesced around social and economic issues they have advocated for changing.