Tag Archives: Civil Rights
Beth Shalom Fredricksburg VA

L’Taken Participant Speaks Out for Voting Rights

This past weekend at L’Taken, Ben from Beth Sholom Temple in Fredericksburg, Virginia spoke to Senator Mark Warner’s staff about voting rights. Since the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, it has become harder for many minority and vulnerable populations to obtain fair access to the voting booths. Ben gave his speech about voting rights because he cares about eliminating discrimination and protecting our democracy. A portion of his speech is below: Read more…

sunrise over DC monuments

Interpreting Our Dreams and Addressing the Problems of Our Nation

In this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Mikeitz, Joseph is brought out of jail in Egypt to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Pharaoh’s had two dreams: one showing seven fat cows and then seven thin cows; and the other depicted seven healthy ears of corn followed by seven thin ears of corn. Deeply troubled by the dreams, he calls all the wise men in the land in an attempt to interpret the dreams, but finds that only Joseph can help (Genesis 41:23). Read more…

RAC Submits Testimony for Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing

Tomorrow, Senator Durbin is holding a final hearing for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. The Senator’s goal for the hearing is to assess what has been accomplished in recent years and what still needs to be done on key civil and human rights issues. The RAC has submitted written testimony to show the strength of our community’s interest in the topics the subcommittee works on. Our testimony covers a number of the important issues including voting rights, criminal justice and sentencing reform, the death penalty, hate crimes, and more. Read more…

Ferguson clergy protest

After the Ferguson Grand Jury Decision: What’s Next?

Monday night, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced that a grand jury had decided there was not enough probable cause to indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old who was fatally shot on August 9, 2014. In response to the decision, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Steve Fox, Chief Executive of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, issued the following the statement: Read more…

Reform Movement Clergy Join Interfaith Letter Asking for Voter Protection

This midterm election, only 36.4 percent of the voting eligible population cast ballots. The disappointing turnout is not surprising- midterm election turnout has been declining and is always lower than presidential elections. But, this year is particularly troubling because of the disenfranchisement that occurred across the country. Read more…

Ferguson clergy protest

In Advance of the Ferguson Grand Jury, What Have We Learned?

The grand jury in the Ferguson case is expected to meet today in what could be its final session. If a decision is made, it will likely not be made public until at least Sunday because the prosecutors are expected to provide law enforcement 48 hours notice.  The FBI has warned that the decision will likely lead to violence by some individuals and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has already declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. As we approach this decision, it is important to reflect on how we can address the root problems that allowed the August 9 shooting and subsequent events to occur. The reports and articles below discuss what we can learn from Ferguson, how we can improve police and community relations and why it is important to prevent discrimination and promote diversity.

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Camp Coleman logo

Joining the Olim Fellows for a Social Justice Weekend in Georgia

All told, I’ve spent almost a full year of my life at URJ summer camps, and over half of that year at Camp Coleman in Northeast Georgia. For many years, Camp Coleman was not only my summer home, but also one of the only places where I really felt comfortable in my own skin. So, when I was asked to come speak at the Olim Fellowship retreat there, I couldn’t say no. Read more…

Why Voting Rights Are Still Important, Even After Election Day

Voter turnout in this year’s midterm elections was the lowest voter turnout in any election cycle since World War II (when only 33.9 percent of eligible voters cast ballots). Only 36.4 percent of the voting eligible population cast ballots this year, continuing the trend of declining participation in midterm elections. Read more…

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