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Man holding Torah at dawn

Beyond Cheesecake: Social Justice on Shavuot

Over Memorial Day Weekend, Americans will be honoring the lives of those lost in service to their country. This weekend is also known as the celebration of the symbolic beginning of summer (often with barbecues and white pants, sometimes a dangerous combination). And, coinciding with Memorial Day Weekend this year is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, when we celebrate the giving of the Torah at Sinai (and cheesecake). Read more…

Protest in Tel Aviv

Unrest in the Israeli Ethiopian Community

Over the last week, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest discrimination and unequal treatment by law enforcement against the Ethiopian minority in Israel. Read more…

RAC staff and supporters marching in Baltimore

Healing and Progress in Baltimore

A tragedy in the city of Baltimore and the protests and riots that followed have once again refocused national attention on race, class, and unequal treatment under the law. Even as Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced last Friday that charges would be brought against the police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, RAC staff were en route to nearby Baltimore to stand with our partners in a peaceful protest calling for accountability and reform in law enforcement.

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Chinese dragon for New Years

Moments of Shared Celebration

Today is Rosh Chodesh Adar (chodesh tov!) and Chinese New Year (xin nian kuai le!). We should never lose sight of our responsibilities to and our place in the global community, but when these celebratory days coincide, we are reminded even more of how important it is to find opportunities for dialogue and connection. Two RAC staffers reflect on Chinese-Jewish relations, and how meaningful this relationship is. Read more…

Vigil

Anti-Semitic Copenhagen Attacks Deplorable

Yesterday’s twin attacks in Copenhagen are a tragic reminder of the fragility of peace, security and pluralism. Our thoughts and prayers, of course, go out to the victims and their families. Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander, president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, issued a statement, saying: “The attacks in Copenhagen are an assault on our values and on all free and democratic societies that embrace human dignity.”

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Rabbi Jonah Pesner appears on the Rachel Maddow show

Rabbi Jonah Pesner on the Rachel Maddow Show

You may not have seen it last night, but Rachel Maddow interviewed Rabbi Jonah Pesner, the RAC’s new director. You can watch the entire clip below, but essentially, Rabbi Pesner was responding to political leaders accepting support and funding from a hate group in making an important trip to Israel.

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Welcome Rabbi Jonah Pesner

The RAC Welcomes New Director Rabbi Jonah Pesner

Today, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism welcomes our new director, Rabbi Jonah Pesner. Rabbi Pesner succeeds long-time director Rabbi David Saperstein, who stepped down following his confirmation as the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Rabbi Pesner is an accomplished advocate with broad experience leading social justice campaigns, and comes to the RAC with a mandate to deepen its advocacy work while mobilizing the Reform Jewish community and its allies. Read further, including from Rabbi Pesner and words of congratulation from Rabbi Saperstein, URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs, CCAR Chief Executive Rabbi Steve Fox, and from Commission on Social Action Chair Jennifer Kaufman, in this press release from the Union for Reform Judaism. Read more…

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