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Inclusive ENDA Advances in the Senate for First Time



Today, for the first time ever, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to advance and inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (S. 815). If passed, ENDA would finally make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, demote or fail to promote an employee based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. […]

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Over 500 Rabbis and Cantors Send Letter to the Boy Scouts of America



All eyes are on Grapevine, Texas today as the Boy Scouts of America begins the annual meeting of its National Council. Earlier this year the Boy Scouts of America announced that it would postpone a reconsideration of its policy prohibiting gay scouts and scout leaders until the meeting this week (see the letter that Rabbi […]

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More Than Just The Corners of Our Fields



As a fellow Eisendrath Legislative Assistant, Raechel Banks, wrote yesterday, “There are many ways to ‘share our bread with the hungry’ (Isaiah 58:7).” She discussed a very tangible  way of helping to combat hunger in our midst (I still have blisters on my fingers from cutting potatoes for 3 hours straight). Today, however, I want […]

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Teach Your Children Well: The Boy Scouts and Bullying in Schools



We read in Proverbs, “Train up a child in the way the child should go, and even when the child is old, they will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).  This idea speaks not only to the importance of education in the Jewish tradition, but to carrying out that education in a way that teaches […]

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Remembering Rwanda on Yom Hashoah



On Yom Hashoah we remember the great tragedy that we as a people and as a world faced during World War II over 60 years ago. But how do we use that memory today? To what end does that experience motivate our community? Surely one answer is that we as a people must be particularly […]

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Ban on Scouts Undermines Shared Principles



For over a decade the Union for Reform Judaism has advised its synagogues to break ties with Boy Scouts of America, to not sponsor troops or allow them to use their facilities. This week it looked like all of that might change, but synagogues wishing to return to the BSA will have to wait at […]

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It’s That Time of Year Again…



No, I don’t mean Hanukkah. No, I don’t mean the month-long slog toward Christmas. I don’t even mean the impending rush to solve our nation’s fiscal crisis before Congress and their staff tries to get home for Christmas. No, now is the time to apply for the Commission on Social Action’s 2013 Fain Awards! What […]

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Thinking About a Debt Beyond Our Own



We’ve been hearing a lot recently about the so-called fiscal cliff: that moment, a few weeks off, when massive spending cuts kick in and major tax breaks expire. There has been a lot of frantic talk and heady discussion about how (and whether) America will dig in right now and face the hard facts about […]

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Human Rights Campaign Releases Historic Jewish Organization Equality Index



Earlier this week the Human Rights Campaign, a frequent coalition partner of the Religious Action Center, released its first ever Jewish Organization Equality Index. Based on the model that HRC has used for years to evaluate corporations, the JOEI seeks to illustrate how well various Jewish communities have sought to welcome and integrate LGBT members. […]

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Veterans Day



Today millions of Americans will join together to celebrate Veterans Day. This contemporary American holiday grew out of Armistice Day and commemorates the ending of World War I on November 11th, 1919. As we remember this day, when the nations of the world agreed to lay down their weapons and begin the long project of […]

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War in Afghanistan Enters 12th Year



On a recent visit to Capitol Hill I found myself outside of Senator Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) office. Senator Lautenberg is one of only a handful of Senators left who served in the U.S. military during World War II. Outside of Senator Lautenberg’s office is a sign that reads: “As a World War II veteran, Senator […]

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Mental Health Awareness and the LGBT Community



The Jewish community tends to think of October as the month to recuperate from the High Holy Days, but October is also the National Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health and mental health coverage are critical issues for millions of Americans, but there are a number of overlooked issues including the serious mental health concerns […]

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Rabbi Saperstein Submits Testimony on Hate Crimes



On August 6th, 2012, Wade Michael Page – identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as having ties to white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations – open fired at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights responded yesterday by holding a public hearing on […]

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