Women of the Wall

A Feminist and the Wall



By Joelle Leib

During my time at Scripps College, a women’s college in Claremont, California, I have learned much about feminism and the critical fight for gender equality. Luckily for me and my female millennial peers, American women have made tremendous strides in the past few decades, so much so that Hillary Clinton is now a frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary. Yet as someone who also identifies as a Zionist as well as a feminist, a great deal must still be accomplished before these two identities can be completely reconciled. Read more…

Man and woman praying in Tallitot

There’s a Place for Us in Israel



Reform Jews in Israel and around the world are still feeling the wounds of a string of hurtful comments by Israel’s Minister of Religious Affairs, David Azoulay. In June, Minister Azoulay called Reform Judaism “a disaster for the nation of Israel,” and earlier this month, stated that Reform Jews were really not Jews at all. The comments have been met with widespread condemnation, including from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but we know all too well the parable of the feather pillow: once something is said, the hurt never fully goes away. Read more…

Employee denied pregnancy accommodations

Continuing the Call for Pregnant Workers’ Rights



In June, we applauded the reintroduction of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, or PWFA (S. 1512/H.R. 2654), which gained bipartisan support for the first time since it was originally introduced in 2012. When the bill was reintroduced in June, only the Senate version of the bill was bipartisan—but now, the House bill is bipartisan as well!

Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO-06) joined the House bill as its first Republican co-sponsor. In the Senate, Senators Ayotte (R-NH) and Heller (R-NV) joined Senators Casey (D-PA) and Shaheen (D-NH) as lead sponsors, helping to lead the way in support of pregnant workers. This bicameral, bipartisan co-sponsorship is significant progress, meaning PWFA has a much stronger chance of moving forward in this Congress. Read more…

The U.S. delegation kneels over a binder and tablet

As the Ink Cools on the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Debate Heats Up



Negotiators from the P5+1 and Iran have concluded their 20-month long negotiations process with an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program, but the agreement still faces major hurdles and a divided country as it moves towards implementation. Chief among these is the 60-day review period mandated by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (often known as the Corker-Cardin bill), which the Reform Movement supported. Read more…

Seneca Falls Convention

167 Years Later, Celebrating the Seneca Falls Convention



Today marks a major anniversary for women’s rights: on July 19-20, 1848, advocates for equality for women gathered in Seneca Falls, NY., Event leaders advertised the first women’s rights convention, organized by women, as “a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of Woman.” Today, we celebrate the Seneca Falls Convention as a major milestone for women’s equality, both in its time and as the beginning of the women’s movement, sparking the monumental change that has occurred in the 167 years since. Read more…

Making DREAMs a reality



By Jenny Swift

When I was a senior in high school, the question I was asked by family and friends more times than I would like was where I would be attending college next year. For students who are undocumented the question might be different: what will you be doing next year? It’s a small difference, but a noticeable one. Tens of thousands of children who have grown up in this county and have attended and graduated from public schools are stuck, without the opportunity to advance, because the documentation required to apply to college, and more importantly, federal aid, is often out of the grasp of students whose parents brought them to this country when they were small children. Future doctors, lawyers, teachers, and the scientist who will cure cancer are all unable to reach their true potential due to immigration laws that keep children down, not raise them up to achieve the American dream. Read more…

Arizona anti-gay bill protest

Beyond Marriage Equality



On Wednesday night at the ESPY Awards, Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, named after the African American tennis star who died of AIDS in 1993. In her moving speech, Caitlyn described the struggles trans people face, including bullying, suicide and even murder, and the importance of education and accepting trans people and their identities. Caitlyn’s speech highlighted several of the many issues that the LGBT community and their allies now have to address following the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision.

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Recap: Catholic and Jewish Faith Traditions Call for Action on Climate



By Jennifer Queen

Listen to the full text of the July 15: Interfaith Update on Papal Encyclical webinar here.

Though Pope Francis may not know it, he and the ancient rabbis have a lot in common. As I participated in the Interfaith Update on the Papal Encyclical webinar yesterday, Rabbi Tarfon’s words, “it’s not your obligation to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it,” from Pirkei Avot (2:15-16), continually came to mind. The conversation between Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner and Rachel Laser from the Religious Action Center, founder of the Catholic Climate Covenant Dan Misleh, and Mark Rohlena from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, unfolded around Laudato Si: Sulla cura della casa commune (or Praised Be You: On the care of the common home), Pope Francis’ encyclical, released in June.

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