Yesterday, Reform Jews from across the country lifted up their voices together to demand comprehensive immigration reform that does justice to our American and Reform Jewish values. Over 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the shadows of our communities. Families face up to decades long backlogs in acquiring visas, workers are left without protections, children are left behind as parents are deported, and LGBT Americans cannot sponsor the visa of a spouse. Yesterday, hundreds of Reform Jews across our nation called to tell our Senators: we can, and we must, do better. Read more…
Earlier this month, the RAC co-sponsored a screening of the documentary “The Invisible War” about sexual assault in the military. This wasn’t the first time I had heard of, or even seen parts of, this film. It wasn’t the first time I was appalled by the injustices, angry at the violations or moved by the testimonies. But it was the first time I left feeling that, finally, others were paying attention.
In this week’s Torah portion, we are exposed to one of the Torah’s more troubling stories. Miriam, who has been a character around which the Israelites have gathered and rallied through the exodus from Egypt, speaks poorly of her brother Moses. As a result, Miriam is cursed with leprosy. While there are many problematic elements in this story, one of the key takeaways is that words – both in the Bible and today – have a lot of meaning.
On Tuesday, May 21, lift up your voices together and call your Senators and tell them that you support comprehensive immigration reform to address our nation’s broken system. Along with others across the country, tell Congress that you demand reform that does justice to our American and Reform Jewish values.
Dial 1-888-897-0174 to hear key points and automatically connect to your Senator.
It can sometimes be tough to put a human face on many of the issues we work on here at the RAC. Sure, climate change is a pressing issue facing our planet. Yes, fighting school prayer is a crucial social justice topic with incredibly important implications. But who exactly is affected by our work? Which people, which families, are we fighting for when we lobby on Capitol Hill?
One population that often gets missed in the frenzied political discussions is children. In immigration reform specifically, we hear about the agricultural workers and the women and the adult married children and the LGBT spouses – all really significant demographics that we absolutely should be keeping in mind as we craft comprehensive legislation. But what about their children? Children of immigrants now comprise 25% of the U.S. child population. They make up a crucial sector of our future workforce, yet have little to no voice in the advocacy process.
This blog originally appeared on the WRJ blog.
Last month, the Supreme Court heard arguments on the case Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics. This case has received national attention in large part due to the extremely personal issues being addressed by the court. In particular, this case attempts to grapple with the question “can one patent a part of the human body?”
“When they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 26:44-5
We read a lot in Jewish tradition about war. Historical accounts of the wars we fought, prescriptive guidelines on how to treat strangers and enemies, even details on how to deal with trees we encounter in enemy territories. In this week’s Torah portion, we hear about something else – we hear about how God will treat us when we are in foreign lands. After a series of fairly ominous verses about the horrors of what will happen to those who do not follow God’s commandments, our fears are assuaged with the promise: “when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them…but I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors” (Leviticus 26:44-45). God pledges to watch out for us as we venture into foreign territories and enemy lands.
Yesterday, we had the incredible opportunity to hear from Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Senator Graham is an extremely established and well-respected member of Congress. He serves on the high-powered Appropriations, Armed Services, Budget and Judiciary committees, and spent eight years in the House of Representatives representing South Carolina’s 3rd district before moving over to the Senate. He has championed issues of national defense and economic reform in his years in the Senate, and is one of only two U.S. senators currently serving in the National Guard or Reserves.