Press Release: 2019-07-09

JCRC Leads MA Labor Leaders on Study Tour of Israel

(BOSTON) – The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Boston continues its long history of conducting annual study tours of Israel with Massachusetts community leaders through this month’s study tour, which will provide Massachusetts labor leaders with an in-depth look into the economic, political, and security challenges and successes facing Israeli society.

From July 7-16, Massachusetts labor leaders will travel throughout Israel, learning from government officials and religious, academic, media, labor, and business leaders. They will be joined by leaders from the Jewish Labor Committee, a JCRC member organization.

“This trip will allow Massachusetts leaders to deepen their understanding of Israel's politics and culture, and examine some of the economic ties that bring Israel and Massachusetts together,” said Jeremy Burton, Executive Director of JCRC of Greater Boston. “The best way to deepen the MA/Israel connection is through a mutual understanding of our common interests—participants will gain firsthand knowledge about how they can strengthen relationships with their Israeli counterparts."

The Massachusetts labor leaders will:

  • Meet with government officials, labor leaders, and other influential leaders from all sectors of Israeli and Palestinian society, developing city-to-city connections and sharing best practices in addressing current labor issues,
  • Visit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and border regions,
  • Discover the growing economic and cultural ties between Israel and Massachusetts,
  • Gain new perspectives on modern day Israel, and
  • Develop a nuanced understanding of the complex political and security challenges facing Israel.

The trip is paid for by a grant from the nonprofit Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. Participants pay a registration fee for the trip from their own funds.

The following are the participants in JCRC’s 2019 Labor Study Tour of Israel:

Ellen SmithRegional Director, Mass Nurses AssociationHugh CameronSecretary-Treasurer, International Union of Police Associations AFL-CIO
Grady EasonBusiness Representative/Organizer, New England Regional Council of CarpentersKaren CourtneyExecutive Director, Foundation for Fair Contracting of Massachusetts
FayeRuth FisherPolitical Director, Massachusetts, 1199SEIU Massachusetts Martin SanchezBusiness Representative/Organizer, New England Regional Council of Carpenters
Wayne MurphyDirector of Government Affairs, IUPAT District Council 35Thomas Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, New England Regional Council of Carpenters
Lay Leaders:
Ari FertigExecutive Director, Jewish Labor Committee
Barbara Penzner, Rabbi, Temple Hillel B’nai Torah, Jewish Labor Committee Co-Chair
David BorrusBusiness Manager, New England Regional Council of Carpenters

About the Jewish Community Relations Council

JCRC defines and advances the values, interests, and priorities of the organized Jewish community of Greater Boston in the public square. Visit us at

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