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2015-2016 LAs

Introducing the 2015-2016 Eisendrath Legislative Assistants!

It’s that time of year! The newest class of Eisendrath Legislative Assistants arrived at the RAC two weeks ago, and jumped right into the Washington, D.C. world of politics, advocacy and social justice. We are so looking forward to what they will do and accomplish for tikkun olam this year. Clockwise from the top left: Read more…

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Magna Carta signing

Magna Carta: A Great Legacy?

June 15, 1215 is one of the most well-known days in Western history. 800 years ago today, in Runnymede, England, King John signed Magna Carta (the Great Charter), a nascent constitution/bill of rights for English nobility. Magna Carta maintains an almost legendary role in history, although only three of its many provisions are currently in use in English law today, and it has been changed and reissued numerous times since 1215. Read more…

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Ms. Elauf, petitioner before the Supreme Court

Supreme Court Affirms Religious Freedom Protections

On Monday, the first of the closely-watched June decision days, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch, Inc. This case asked whether the religious non-discrimination provisions related to employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibit discrimination only if an applicant has let the employer know of the need for an accommodation. Read more…

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President Obama speaking at Adas Israel

President Obama on Jewish American Heritage Month

Last Friday, a small group of RAC staff members attended President Obama’s remarks at Adas Israel for Jewish American Heritage Month. We were honored to be in attendance, and it was wonderful to hear the President’s reflections on the contributions Jewish Americans have made to the United States, as well as his own personal connections to the Jewish community. Read more…

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Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner at the Center for American Progress Today!

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the RAC, will be speaking at a panel today at the Center for American Progress called “Harnessing Faith to Work for Justice.” Rabbi Pesner will be joined on the panel by Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III,  Senior Pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL, and it will be moderated by Jocelyn Frye, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

During the panel, Rabbi Pesner and Rev. Moss will discuss how their faith inspires their work on key social justice issues, and how they overcome challenges in their work. They will also focus on issues such as economic inequality, racial justice, work-family policies and more.

Read more about the event and watch the livestream at 12PM ET today here.

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church street and state street signs pointing in different directions

Sermons, Politics and the Constitution

On Wednesday, the Washington Post wrote about the topics most clergy members discuss from the pulpit as a way to illustrate that the issues most associated with communities of faith — reproductive rights and LGBT rights/same-sex marriage, due much in part to  the Religious Right — is not what is actually happening on the ground. Read more…

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House Hearing on Vouchers

No Lost Irony

On Thursday morning, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a “field” hearing on the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), or the D.C. school vouchers program at Archbishop Carroll High School, where a large percentage of the students receive these vouchers.

The Reform Movement has a long history of opposing voucher programs, not only because we believe in the importance of supporting and maintaining a robust, high-quality and high-performing public school system, but also because a large portion of voucher dollars got to parochial schools, compromising church-state separation.The irony of having the hearing at this location was not lost on those of us in attendance who work on this issue from a church-state separation perspective. Read more…

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Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner speaking at the Consultation on Conscience

At the Consultation: Sunday Programming Begins; A Celebration of Rabbi Saperstein’s RAC Tenure

Today, at the opening day of the Consultation on Conscience, we opened our programming with a short plenary followed by two rich and engaging workshop blocks. Participants had the opportunity to learn about the importance of national paid sick days legislation from Vicki Shabo of the National Partnership for Women and Families; to learn about the moral call to end climate change from Rabbi Larry Troster of GreenFaith; to delve into how create inclusive communities for people with disabilities; to hear from Rabbi Joel Mosbacher on his work to prevent the greater scourge of gun violence prevention; just to name a few of the wonderful workshops! Read more…

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