JCRC Stands With Tarsy

How often do you read about an individual who quits a job for a moral reason? How about a person who takes an action for morality’s sake only knowing that it could mean their job? Very infrequently and almost never.

Well, we had a case of it in Boston recently. I’m late to it because I’ve been traveling. Andrew Tarsy, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, broke with the national leadership of his organization, over the question of the Armenian genocide. Another Jewish group in town, the Jewish Community Relations Council, admirably came out publicly in support of Tarsy.

“The Armenian genocide represented a failure of the international community to intervene aginst the worst possible crime, the destruction of a people. We must never forget the Armenian genocide and maintain our guard against those who deny its occurrence,” stated Boston’s JCRC. “In light of the current controversy between the ADL and the Armenian community, we stand by that statement and applaud the N.E. Regional chapter of the ADL and its Director, Andrew Tarsy, for their bold and unprecedented action of standing up to their national body. We stand with them and in support of the local Armenian community which has always recogznied the Holocaust and been with us each and every year to commemorate it.”

Tarsy is a highly talented lawyer and communal leader in Boston. He showed his chops early on when, shortly after he joined the ADL’s regional office as its civil rights director, he made sure to attend the South Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston, where we first met. This showed a willingness to travel outside the normal Jewish confines of Brookline and Newton and a desire to really get to know the town. Boston and the world has not seen the last of him.

I must add that I am deeply concerned about the blow-back from this incident, which goes far beyond the confines of our city.

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