Health Care Roundup: the Supreme Court, Open Enrollment, and a New Lawsuit

Jewish tradition emphasizes the importance of access to health care. Maimonides lists health care among the ten most important communal services that has to be offered by a city to its residents. (Mishneh Torah, SeferHamadda IV:23). It is therefore important that we stay up to date on the latest developments in the health care landscape […]

Read more

Including Native Americans in a More Jewish, More Just Thanksgiving

This year, in advance of Thanksgiving, we’ve written about using the national holiday as an opportunity to engage in interfaith dialogue and a chance to consider those among us who have less. What we have not yet talked about this year is the tragic underside to a holiday that in most of our memories is […]

Read more

Reform Movement Clergy Join Interfaith Letter Asking for Voter Protection

This midterm election, only 36.4 percent of the voting eligible population cast ballots. The disappointing turnout is not surprising- midterm election turnout has been declining and is always lower than presidential elections. But, this year is particularly troubling because of the disenfranchisement that occurred across the country.

Read more
Women politicians

Money in Politics a Stumbling Block For Women and Minority Candidates



When Representative Alma Adams (D-NC-12) was sworn in earlier this month, we hit a milestone for women in politics: 100 women—the most in history—currently serve in Congress. There’s been a lot of conversation about how, despite the progress this figure symbolizes, 100 women out of 535 Senators and Representatives is not enough. Noticeably absent from this conversation, however, is a discussion of how money in politics affects who runs for office.

When we talk about money in politics, we tend to focus on candidates’ campaign expenditures. But the outsized influence corporate donors and wealthy individuals have on political campaigns affects far more than a candidate’s campaign events or the ads we see on TV in the final push before Election Day. Campaign contributions affect who can run for office in the first place, with money serving as a substantial barrier for women and people of color seeking to start a campaign. Read more…

Turkey Thanksgiving

My Family’s Immigration Story: Something to be Thankful For



By Debbie Rabinovich

Do you really celebrate Thanksgiving? When I was younger, I remember being asked this question. I remember not knowing how to answer. My family had Thanksgiving dinner every year- complete with dry turkey and mysterious stuffing. We went around saying nice things to each other. That was Thanksgiving, right?

Looking back, I realize how strange that question was. I had classmates who had heard me talking about going to Peru and speaking in Spanish and they had taken it upon themselves to figure out that my family wasn’t American enough for Thanksgiving. But here’s my point of view: if it makes sense for anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s families like mine. Families of immigrants.

Read more…

cornocopia

Turkey and Interfaith Talk



It’s mid-November and we have transitioned from pumpkin spice lattes to actual pumpkin pie; Thanksgiving is around the corner. Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday to consider as an American Jew in that is nationally celebrated and steeped in ritual, but not directly connected to any one religious tradition. The upcoming holiday presents an opportunity to reach out of our immediate Jewish community and engage with our friends and family of other faiths and of no faith.

Read more…

Ferguson clergy protest

In Advance of the Ferguson Grand Jury, What Have We Learned?



The grand jury in the Ferguson case is expected to meet today in what could be its final session. If a decision is made, it will likely not be made public until at least Sunday because the prosecutors are expected to provide law enforcement 48 hours notice.  The FBI has warned that the decision will likely lead to violence by some individuals and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has already declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. As we approach this decision, it is important to reflect on how we can address the root problems that allowed the August 9 shooting and subsequent events to occur. The reports and articles below discuss what we can learn from Ferguson, how we can improve police and community relations and why it is important to prevent discrimination and promote diversity.

Read more…

Reform Jewish Movement Applauds New Protections for Undocumented Immigrants



Washington, D.C., November 20, 2014 – In response to President Obama’s executive action providing new protections for nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants, Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: Read more…

Stop Violence Against Women

I-VAWA? WE-VAWA: We All Must Do Our Part to End Violence Against Women and Girls



One out of three women worldwide will be physically, sexually, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. In some countries, it’s as many as seven in ten. Violence against women is a human rights violation that devastates lives, fractures communities and prevents women from fully contributing to the economic development of their countries.

Take a minute to think about the things we do every day: go to work, go to school, provide food for ourselves and for our families. We generally do not equate these tasks with putting ourselves in danger. But, that’s not the case everywhere. Often, the perpetrators of violence against women and girls commit that violence while women are on their way to work or to collect food and water, or while girls are on their way to school—that is, if they are allowed to go to school at all. Read more…

cornocopia

As We Celebrate Thanksgiving, Let’s Not Forget the Least Among Us



Next Wednesday, I am flying home from Washington DC to Boston to celebrate Thanksgiving. One of my family’s Thanksgiving traditions is to wake up a little earlier than my younger brother and sister would like and volunteer for Little Brothers of the Elderly, a non-profit that sends volunteers to the homes of elderly men and women throughout the Boston area to ensure that they have a happy Thanksgiving

Read more…

Today We Remember: Commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014



Today, we remember:

Brittany Stergis, shot dead in her car in Cleveland, OH on December 5, 2013.

Kanday Hall, murdered and found in a field, in Baltimore, MD on June 3, 2014.

Aniya Oarker shot in the head in East Hollywood, CA on October 3, 2014.

Today, we remember. We remember these three individuals who were murdered in anti-transgender violence. And we remember the many other victims of anti-transgender violence this past year whose lives were ended too soon. And we remember that despite increased societal acceptance of transgender individuals, anti-transgender violence is still widespread.

Read more…

<