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On 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the RAC Talks Civil Rights



As the newly appointed director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, I am inspired by the storied history of our role in the critical social justice battles of our time. In fact, the RAC was founded at the height of the Civil Rights Movement to provide an outlet for Reform Jews to express […]

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Rabbi Jonah Pesner to Lead Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism



Rabbi Jonah Pesner will serve as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), the Washington, D.C. advocacy and social justice arm of North America’s largest Jewish Movement. Rabbi Pesner, an accomplished advocate with broad experience leading social justice campaigns, comes to the RAC with a mandate to deepen its advocacy work […]

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Reform Movement Horrified by Fort Hood Shooting



In response to yesterday’s tragic shooting at Fort Hood in Killeen, TX, Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred yesterday at Fort Hood. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. This horror cannot […]

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A Passover Social Action Update from the RAC



Every year I look forward to Passover, when we gather with family and friends, share a festive meal, and retell the story of our exodus from Egypt – with all the lessons applied to today’s urgent moral dilemmas and to the struggles for freedom in America and across the globe. At every seder, I am […]

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Saperstein Condemns Anti-Semitism Against Ukrainian Jewry



In response to several anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine, the site of ongoing social upheaval, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement: The events in Ukraine are deeply concerning for all who value human rights. We pray that the unrest will be resolved in a peaceful and […]

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Jewish Disability Advocacy Day: A Big Success!



I spent yesterday on Capitol Hill for Jewish Disability Advocacy Day, which is an opportunity to learn about legislative issues of importance to individuals with disabilities and their families and to lobby members of Congress.  People came from all over the country and the day was an inspiring day of learning and advocating as a Jewish […]

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10 Ways the Reform Movement is Supporting Post-Sandy Relief Efforts



In the six months since Superstorm Sandy devastated coastal communities in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, the Reform Jewish community has rallied to support the rebuilding effort, our synagogues, and the millions of people who were – and continue to be – impacted by the storm. Although much of the Reform Movement’s work has […]

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What Matters to Us: Reflections from the Consultation on Conscience



by Rabbi Barry Block The disconnect is striking. “The Jewish vote,” we were told last year, is all about support for Israel. But here I am at the Consultation on Conscience.  Israel is on the agenda, to be sure. But it’s a crowded agenda. And our friends in Washington seem to “get” that better than […]

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Sensible Gun Laws: If Not Now, When?



On Friday, 20 children and eight adults were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. These children, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, family, friends and teachers are just the latest victims of senseless and preventable bloodshed. The recent tragedy in Newtown, CT is a devastating reminder that over 30,000 Americans die each year as a result of […]

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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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Looking Back On Tzedek vs. Tzedakah



by Shirah Kraus As the conclusion draws closer, the 15-year-old aspiring cantor leading havdallah asks the circle of friends what we would bring back home with us. Everyone. The few vs. the many. Community. Connection. Love. Chocolate Moses. Friends. Social Action. Social justice. Babies and starfish. Questions. What happened here will not stay here. Even […]

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The United States Mourns Another Shooting: When Will The Violence End?



Sunday’s shooting outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is yet the latest reminder that, for the safety of our communities, the fight for sensible gun control policies must become a national priority. Just before 11:00 on Sunday morning, Radcliffe Haughton, who was involved in a domestic dispute with his wife, opened fire at a spa.  The facts […]

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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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