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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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Never Turn Your Back on Justice



Five years ago, I served as a volunteer on the campaign opposed to the ratification of Proposition 8. In my mind, the proposition was a direct assault on the rights of same-sex couples, many of whom are members of my community. During the 2008 elections, I walked through my neighborhood passing out leaflets encouraging people […]

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Jewish Leaders Call on Knesset to Reconsider Bedouin Resettlement



Last week, Rabbi David Saperstein, on behalf of the Religious Action Center, joined with T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association to urge the Knesset to reconsider a bill that will resettle between 30,000 Bedouin in Israel’s Negev. On June 24, the Knesset voted 43-40 to approve a first reading […]

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What Would the Talmudic Rabbis Think of the NSA?



Thanks to two leaks of classified information, we have been hearing about data collection practices at the NSA. The evolution of new technologies requires us as a nation to thoughtfully consider how to strike the proper balance between protecting national security and protecting individual privacy. The revelations of the last few weeks, arguably, fall somewhere […]

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Let’s Talk About Gender Identity



Wow! In my first two days interning at the RAC, I have learned so much about some of the issues that the RAC specializes in, including LGBT rights. On Monday, June 17th, I attended a meeting held by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health to discuss important issues that affect the LGBT community. The […]

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Nothing But Nets Goes to Camp!



School is out, the weather is hot and mosquitoes are buzzing! This can only mean one thing: Reform Jewish youth across North America are in the final countdown to the opening day of summer camp! As someone who grew up going to camp and then spent many college summers working at Jewish summer camps, each […]

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Nation Marks 6 Months Since Sandy Hook Shooting



A human ribbon of remembrance formed on the lawn just west of the Capitol. Donning green shirts, which represented the school color of Sandy Hook Elementary, those gathered marked the six-month anniversary of the shooting in Newtown, CT. Despite public outcry and a groundswell of support for proposed legislation, our nation has yet to realize […]

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Proud, Yet Ambivalent: Immigration Reform, Pride and the LGBT Community



The very first Pride Parade took place on June 28th, 1970 in commemoration of the first anniversary of the Stonewall raid in New York City. The parade, almost a year in the making, was an opportunity for gay men and women to step out of the proverbial closet and respond as a community to the […]

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Reform Movement Mourns Passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg



On the occasion of the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg, Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: “Senator Frank Lautenberg’s death is not only a great loss for his family and friends, but for the U.S. Congress, the nation, the Jewish people and the global community. Throughout a public service career that spanned more than six decades, from his military service in World War II to his leadership in the Senate, Frank Lautenberg was a force for justice.”

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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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Rabbis Organizing Rabbis Advocacy Day



Yesterday, rabbis from across America came to Washington D.C. to raise their voices in support of comprehensive immigration reform. The rabbis participating in the advocacy day spoke with key legislators about the bipartisan Senate immigration bill introduced last month, expressing their support for the legislation, offering ways to continue to strengthen it and discussing strategies […]

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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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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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Is There Only One Set of Religious Values?



For a long time the common refrain has been that “religious values” meant “conservative or traditional.” With the decline of the so-called Religious Right the monopoly on terms like “Values Voters” or descriptions that equate religion with only one set of beliefs and values about some contentious issues in civil society. So, when I saw […]

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