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Protecting Gay Youth from Dangerous “Therapy” and Marriage Rights for All



by Rabbi Stephen D. Gold On Monday, June 24th I visited our Trenton Statehouse.  I attended with a group called Garden State Equality, and our purpose that day was to speak with legislators about two specific bills, one of which would make it illegal for licensed therapists to do what is called “Gay Reparative or […]

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I Will Not Be a Silent Witness: Why We Are Calling California’s Governor Jerry Brown on August 22nd



by Charlie Rothschild I will be calling Governor Brown on August 22nd.  Why? I was speaking with Rebecca Altamirano, a member of our congregation, who is a former East Palo Alto high school teacher.  East Palo Alto has a high percentage of undocumented students. She told me about the “Sojourn to the Past” project in […]

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Lobbying for Immigration in Sacramento: Reform CA in Action



by Rabbi Rachel Timoner and Rabbi Joel Thal Simonds What does it mean to be part of a movement? What could it look like if we actually moved together? On Thursday May 23rd 42 Californian Reform Jews answered that question as we gathered in Sacramento for a day of lobbying and learning. A beautiful mix of […]

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A Long Night of Advocacy: The Dawn of Equality in Rhode Island



On May 2, Rhode Island’s governor signed a marriage equality bill, making it the tenth state to take this important step.   Shortly afterwards, Delaware and Minnesota also passed marriage bills, making this a remarkable spring of advancement towards equality. I composed the following reflection after the last critical step in the long process of advocacy […]

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What Drives You to Do Social Justice?



The question was so simple. “What drives you to do social justice?”  But the answer was so complex and varied.  The themes were similar: family role models, personal experiences of injustice, a sense of responsibility and moral obligation.  But each one of us had a story to tell, a piece to uncover, a truth to […]

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Rabbi Greene Goes to Washington!



by Rabbi Fred Greene Whenever I go to our nation’s Capitol, I get chills. The grandeur of the city, the seat of government, the idealism and commitment of people striving to do good. Yes, I am still among those who believe that most of the people who serve our nation in positions of leadership are […]

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On Choosing a Tolerant Uniform



by Todd Silverman I’ve been thinking about the recent discussion amongst the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America regarding their policy on discrimination based on sexual orientation, and here’s what I’ve come to: They shouldn’t change their policy, because I don’t think they actually believe in equality and non-discrimination for gay scouts and leaders. […]

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Triggers



by Barbara Lerman-Golomb In 1999, I was invited to a small informal gathering of moms in Princeton, New Jersey to meet with a fellow NJ mother, Donna Dees-Thomases. A week after a shooting rampage at the North Valley JCC in Granada Hills, CA, Donna, a publicist with strong political ties, who dropped her own daughters off at a […]

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How ‘Doing’ Opens our Hearts to ‘Hearing’ the Cries of Hunger



by Rabbi Susan Talve Earlier this month, I joined many in the Jewish community in St. Louis and across the country in a Food Stamp Challenge. The Challenge was sponsored by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Mazon and the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements to raise awareness for the Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) […]

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The “My Abortion, My Life” Campaign: 40 Years of Roe v. Wade



by Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk In the recent election cycle, it was common for us to hear from those advocating their position on reproductive rights in national, state and local law. Some advocated that Roe vs. Wade should be struck down by the Supreme Court. Others suggested persuasively that a court’s definition of life is not nearly […]

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Marriage Equality: Carrying the Movement Forward



by Rabbi Peter Rigler As a rabbi, I believe that we need to recognize the sanctity in same sex marriages and monogamous relationships in the strongest possible way. The key issue in the sanctity of a relationship is a commitment to exclusivity and to elevating the relationship to a state of kedusha, holiness. When two […]

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Be a Voice for Reproductive Rights



I’ll never forget Sarah. Sarah was a young woman who sought me out for guidance and support during a very troubling time. She had had sexual intercourse for the first time. Not only was she devastated that afterward the guy revealed that he didn’t really like her as much as she liked him, but also […]

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Freedom Is More than Patriotism



In the summer after the tragedy of September 11th, my family visited Stone Mountain Geogia for the incredible laser show. I remember three songs from that show – one was Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind”, the second was The Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and the last was Lee Greenwood, […]

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The Three Commandments: Does Number Two Still Apply?



As a kid, I thought there were three (not ten) commandments in our family.  I’m not sure anymore what elevated these three over “be honest,” “no playing on the stairs,” or “stay away from my peonies,” but here they are: 1. Thou shalt vote. 2. Thou shalt not cross a picket line. 3. On Friday […]

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