Posts Tagged: social justice

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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Striving for a Self-Determined Quality of Jewish Life for Jews with Disabilities



by Shelly Christensen “There comes a moment when you realize that what you’re advocating for is more than just accommodations. You’re really advocating for someone’s quality of life. That’s the moment you realize you won’t give up.” (Dyslexia Training Institute) Sometimes Facebook produces surprises, like this quote I recently found while scrolling mindlessly through my […]

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Building a New Model of Political Leadership: How Rabbi Stephanie Kolin Changed Our Community



by Steven Windmueller With the announcement this week of the appointment of Rabbi Stephanie Kolin to the position of Associate Rabbi of Central Synagogue in New York City, the progressive Jewish community has the opportunity to celebrate the evolution of Just Congregations, including its creation of Reform California, and the defining role played by its […]

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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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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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Jay Ruderman: Disability Issues are Issues of Social Justice



by Jay Ruderman Wikipedia defines social justice as, “the ability people have to realize their potential in the society where they live.” This definition can be broken down into three parts: realizing potential, in society, and where they live. For Jewish people with disabilities, each of these parts presents a challenge – and for the […]

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NFTY at Women of the Wall



By Sarah Rosemont This past November, I traveled to Israel as part of a NFTY delegation team in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Women of the Wall. Today, more than two months later, I still don’t know how to describe the trip in a way that will do it justice. How can I […]

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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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NFTY Takes on Malaria



By Olivia Kessler Did you know malaria is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito carrying the Plasmodium parasite and kills 600,000 people every year? Did you know malaria exists in 109 countries around the world, making half of the world’s population susceptible to the disease? Did you know that every 60 seconds a child […]

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URJ President to Spend Night at Homeless Shelter He Founded 30 Years Ago



In 1983, when Rabbi Rick Jacobs was the rabbi at Brooklyn Heights Synagogue (BHS), he had a vision to start a shelter to address the growing problem of homelessness in New York City. Thirty years later, the first synagogue-based homeless shelter in New York City is still responding to the need, run by volunteers from […]

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Reform Jewish Movement Applauds Implementation of State-Paid Salaries for Reform Rabbis in Israel



In response to the Israeli government’s fulfillment of its court-ordered obligation to pay the salaries of four non-Orthodox communal rabbis, Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: Tuesday’s announcement that four non-Orthodox communal rabbis have received state-paid salaries represents a major step forward for religious pluralism […]

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For the Sake of our Soul



By Rabbi Joshua Wienberg “A new light will shine upon Zion and we shall all benefit quickly from its light.” (morning liturgy) In 1897, Theodor Herzl established the first Zionist Congress, which assembled European Zionists to formally work together towards the establishment of a Jewish State. Some 24 years later, following a decision reached at the […]

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WRJ and LGBT Rights: A Brief History



by Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell From its founding in 1913, The National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods has served as a powerful and effective vehicle for Reform Jewish women to share their commitment to and advocacy for increasing justice in the world. As such, the women of our movement have been long-standing advocates for the rights of […]

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