Associated Files
Title
WBUR Oral History Project: Rabbi Jeremy Morrison
Title
WBUR Oral History Project: Rabbi Jeremy Morrison. Clip 2
Contributor
Morrison, Jeremy (Interviewee)
Guberman, Jayne (Interviewer)
Afornalli, Joanne DeCaro (Recordist)
McDonough, Ryan (Contributor)
Language
English
Date created
March 27, 2014
Type of resource
Sound recording
Genre
Interviews
Oral histories (document genres)
Format
Sound Recording
Digital origin
born digital
Abstract/Description
Countless lives were affected by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath. The WBUR Oral History Project collects stories from individuals whose lives were immediately and irrevocably changed by these events. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of WBUR, our team of oral historians, and the participation of these interview subjects, Our Marathon has tried to ensure that these stories are not forgotten. We believe that these stories matter, and that they demonstrate the ways historical events transform the lives of the people who lived through them. Oral historians Jayne K. Guberman, Ph.D., and Joanna Shea O'Brien conducted the interviews for this project. Oral History Project Manager Kristi Girdharry, Our Marathon Project Co-Director Jim McGrath, and Community Outreach Lead Joanne DeCaro recorded the interviews and provided research assistance and post-interview processing. McGrath and Our Marathon Audio Technician Ryan McDonough provided sound editing and processing for all of the interviews and clips. The opinions and statements expressed in interviews and related content featured in the WBUR Oral History Project do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Our Marathon, WBUR, Northeastern University, or any employees or volunteers affiliated with these institutions and projects. Our Marathon and The WBUR Oral History project make no assertions about the veracity of statements made by participants in this project. Rabbi Jeremy Morrison of Temple Israel, Boston, grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. A fifth generation member of the congregation, Rabbi Morrison says the synagogue has always been his second home. Rabbi Morrison notes that 9/11 had a deeply personal impact on the congregation because a member died on one of the planes. He recalls working closely with colleagues from the synagogue, Trinity Church, and the Islamic Society of Boston to create a joint service marking the first anniversary of the attacks. Negotiations around that ritual created a watershed moment in relationships with the Muslim community and Trinity Church. Those relationships became more complex in subsequent years, he says, as the Islamic Society became a focal point for public scrutiny. Some elements of the Jewish community targeted Temple Israel clergy for their partnership with the mosque. Interactions between the two communities dwindled, compounded by differences in their views on a host of social issues. The hiring of Imam Webb in 2011 constituted a Dzre-setdz in the relationship with the liberal Jewish community that resulted in a greater sense of personal relationship when the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon. As a native Bostonian, Rabbi Morrison characterizes his relationship with the Boston Marathon as a Dzconstant.dz In 2013, he learned of the explosions at the finish line after watching the race with his family in Brookline. He recalls trying to control the flow of information to his seven-year old son days later while watching the interfaith service on TV from Cape Cod. Noting that, for many congregants, the shelter-in-place order at the end of that week constituted their only direct experience of the bombings' aftermath, Rabbi Morrison describes the Friday evening service on video that he and other Temple Israel clergy created for their congregation. Although many people were confined to their homes, this innovative ritual delivered a powerful message of unity, both with the Jewish community and the community of Boston. Rabbi Morrison describes his participation the following week, along with other clergy, in an interfaith service during Friday prayers at ISB's mosque in Roxbury. Looking out at the congregation, he felt keenly aware of the mosque's role as a place of sanctuary. Noting that Jews also know what it's like to be a persecuted minority, Rabbi Morrison sensed the Muslim community's need for reassurance at that moment of vulnerability. The following months witnessed a strengthening of the relationship between the two communities, evidenced by Temple Israel's symbolically powerful invitation to Imam Webb to be the featured speaker at the synagogue's annual Martin Luther King event in January, 2014. Reflecting on the bombing's impact, Rabbi Morrison remarks that we are more inured today to the possibility of terrorism than we were at the time of 9/11.He also notes the human capacity to become socially disconnected, as well as increasing opportunities to become self-radicalized via the Internet. Regarding the meaning of Boston Strong, he asks, DzHow do we live together in real ways?dz What would make him truly proud, he says, would be the resolution of issues between Boston's different religious, ethnic, and racial communities.
Notes
The opinions and statements expressed in interviews and related content featured in the WBUR Oral History Project do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Our Marathon, WBUR, Northeastern University, or any employees or volunteers affiliated with these institutions and projects. Our Marathon and The WBUR Oral History project make no assertions about the veracity of statements made by participants in this project.
Source note
The WBUR Oral History Project. Rabbi Jeremy Morrison (Oral History), Jayne Guberman (Oral Historian), Joanne DeCaro Afornalli (Recorder), Ryan McDonough (Sound Editing and Processing)
Related item
Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive
Subjects and keywords
Boston Marathon Bombing, Boston, Mass., 2013
Permanent URL
Use and reproduction
Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Requests for permission to publish quotations should be addressed to Our Marathon (marathon@neu.edu) and should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user. Commercial use of content is prohibited. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

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