Tag Archives: Civil Rights
A picture of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Commemorating the Fifth Anniversary of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

By Michael Lieberman

This month we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), the most important, comprehensive, and inclusive federal hate crime enforcement law passed in the past 40 years.  The Anti-Defamation League and the Religious Action Center played critical roles helping to lead the very broad coalition of civil rights, religious, educational, professional, law enforcement, and civic organizations that advocated for the HCPA for more than a dozen years.

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I "Ohio" Voting stickers

Suppressive SCOTUS Decision Reminds Us to Continue to Protect the Right to Vote

With only 16 hours left before early voting was set to begin in Ohio, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to eliminate the first week of the state’s 35-day early voting period last Monday. The decision will restrict voters’ access to the polls by eliminating the only week in Ohio’s early voting period that allows citizens to register and vote on the same day. That week is referred to as the “Golden Week” and civil rights groups have said that Sunday and the evening hours are most important to black and low-income voters and the homeless, many of whom do not have the flexibility in their jobs or daily lives to vote during business hours. Read more…

NFTY students marching for civil rights

Join the RAC at NFTY Convention in Atlanta

We need only reach back into our ancient Jewish texts to know that throughout our history, it is the youth that carry hope for a promising future:  “Your old shall dream dreams, and your youth shall see visions” (Joel 3:1) This February the RAC hopes to translate those visions into action at the Social Justice Advocacy Seminar at 2015 NFTY Convention in Atlanta.

The greatest social change in modern Jewish history was brought about by the youth–the creation of the State of Israel.  Zionist youth movements made aliyah in droves in the 1920s to realize a dream of progress, hope and justice.  These young pioneers built the infrastructure of the country: they drained the swamps, built the kibbutzim and created the Haganah and Palmach.

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Vote signs, American flags

The Fight for Free and Fair Elections

Today is National Voter Registration Day. Over the course of the day, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations across the country will hit the streets in a coordinated effort to educate and register eligible voters. The goal of the day is to reach tens of thousands of voters who might not otherwise get the information they need. In 2008, six million Americans didn’t vote due to a missed registration deadline or lack of information on how to register. National Voter Registration Day hopes to put political differences aside and celebrate democracy, unifying the American people. Read more…

Do you know the signs of elder abuse? holding hands

A Comparative View of Elder Abuse in the U.S. and Israel

I spend every Tuesday at a local nursing home visiting my dear friend, Fay, a Holocaust survivor. At ninety years old, her mind is as sharp as a nail and she easily recounts the story of her life: from the horrors of the camps, to the beauty of Israel, and finally to the hard work, freedom, and challenges of America.  Each week as I ready to leave her and return to school, a look of loneliness washes over the smile on her face and I am reminded that her only other visitors are nurses and her devoted daughter who can only visit once a week.

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Throwing the Flag on Washington’s Team Nickname

I’m a proud native of Jacksonville, Florida, and probably the biggest fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Jacksonville’s NFL team) you’ll ever meet. As such, the start of fall always carries a special excitement for me because it means the start of football season, when I can see my beloved Jaguars take the field for the first time in nine months. That excitement has been extra special this year, because the Jaguars were scheduled to play in Washington this past weekend. I was able to find tickets online and so, under a beautiful autumn sky, I took the Metro with the highest of expectations for a lovely day of football.

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Barbara Weinstein

This Week at the RAC: New LA Class, ROR Victory, Statement on Events in Ferguson

The Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Class of 2014-2015 began work on Tuesday and is deep into the orientation program. This is my favorite time of year, when the new LAs infuse the office with their energy and enthusiasm, but also because it’s an excuse for me to invite former LAs back to the RAC to teach the new class.

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Text of HR 1447, Death in Custody Reporting Act

Take Action to Support Transparency in the Criminal Justice System!

The Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013 (H.R. 1447) is crucial legislation that will provide much-needed transparency in the criminal justice system. The law would require and facilitate the collection of information regarding the deaths of prisoners in custody, alleviating the environment of suspicion, concern and mistrust that exists today in many racial and ethnic minority communities from coast to coast.

In December, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Death in Custody Reporting Act.  The Senate must now introduce and pass a companion to H.R. 1447 before adjourning for the year so that the President can sign it into law.

Urge your Senators to introduce and pass this important legislation. Take action now!

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