Solidarity Forever Singalong

I have always loved musicals. When I was younger, I remember watching the musical Newsies, a movie about a group of young newspaper workers calling for fair treatment in response to new restrictions by newspaper giant Joseph Pulitzer that make it harder for them to earn money. I would belt out “Pulitzer may own the world but he don’t own us” along with my favorite characters. Through song, the characters illustrate what collective bargaining and organizing can be.

In addition, I remember loving Billy Elliot when I first saw it with my family. The scene when Billy’s family members were all marching on strike along with other coal miners was particularly striking for me.  “Solidarity, solidarity, solidarity forever. We’re proud to be working class, solidarity forever,” the coal miners sing. Though they were not the protagonists of the musical, I felt sympathetic to the coal miners’ experiences. How could these workers be experiencing this unjust treatment?

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Naftali Bennett speaks to crowd in Beit El.

What’s New with the Israeli Coalition Government?

When we last checked in with the Israeli governing coalition in June, we found fractures in the coalition dealing with Israel’s secular-religious divides, such as Religious Minister David Azoulay calling Reform Jews a “disaster for the nation of Israel”. Recently, however, the coalition has found itself embroiled in controversy that is perhaps the most divisive issue in Israel: the settlements. Here are some the stories we’ve been following: Read more…

President Obama Unveils New National Strategy to Combat HIV/AIDS

Last week, President Obama signed an Executive Order releasing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020. This new strategy builds upon the National/HIV AIDS Strategy that President Obama launched in 2010—the nation’s first comprehensive strategy addressing the issue. This new strategy’s vision is that “the United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare, and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”

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Rohingya muslims CNN

Plight of Rohingya Muslims Continues

The persecution and plight of the Rohingya Muslims is nothing new. In fact, the United Nations has identified them as “one of the world’s most persecuted minorities.” The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority living in northern Rakhine State in western Burma. For decades, they have faced severe persecution and violence at the hands of the government. Read more…

People looking at burned house.

Reform Movement Horrified by West Bank Terror Attack

Our hearts are heavy today after learning of a vicious act of terrorism in the West Bank, in which Israelis are suspected of setting the home of a Palestinian family on fire. Tragically, the fire claimed the life of a toddler and badly injured others. Rabbi Jonah Pesner offered thoughts on the tragedy: Read more…

medical symbol, stethoscope, white lab coat

Happy 50th Birthday Medicare and Medicaid!           

Fifty years ago, on July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Social Security Act Amendments, which established Medicare and Medicaid and dramatically changed the landscape of health insurance in America. Before the programs went into effect, approximately half of all seniors lacked insurance and many other people, especially people with disabilities, families with children, pregnant women and low-income Americans were unable to afford the medical services they needed. Today, Medicare and Medicaid provide health insurance to about one in three Americans—that’s more than 100 million people!

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Support abortion access

For Texas, Reproductive Justice is a Numbers Game

By Megan Sims

If I drive east from the house I grew up in for five minutes, I will go by an abortion clinic. If I drive west from the house I grew up in for five hours, I will be in Lubbock, a moderately sized city, home to Texas Tech University and the economic hub of the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the country. One-fifth of the city’s population lives in poverty. Read more…

Mitzvah Fatigue and the Power of Interfaith Climate Action

This past weekend, I attended the Religions for Peace USA Earth-Faith-Peace Teach In with a group of my fellow young faith leaders engaged in climate justice work. The group included participants from a wide array of religious traditions, from Franciscans to Zoroastrians, who flew in to the Teach-In from as far as Bombay and Brazil, as nearby as Boston and Washington, D.C. Together, our group explored sites of environmental degradation and pollution, learned about cap and trade and carbon tax models for mitigating climate change and shared environmental education and advocacy best practices from our communities.

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