Tag Archives: Civil Rights
Bryan Stevenson

At Consultation: Addressing Injustice in our Justice System

At the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience on April 26-28, Reform rabbis and social action leaders from across the country will gather to hear experts speak about the crucial issues of today – including racial and economic justice. On Monday morning of the Consultation, we have the privilege of hearing from Bryan Stevenson, the founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Tune in to the live stream at 9:00 AM on Monday morning to hear Mr. Stevenson share his story and his work. Read more…

people gathered praying for Walter Scott

Another Tragic Shooting Highlights Urgent Need for Action

We mourn the tragic death of Walter Scott this past weekend in North Charleston, South Carolina and send our thoughts and prayers to his family and community. Over the past year, our nation’s consciousness has been raised as we have watched Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and so many more tragically and unnecessarily lose their lives. We hope that the charges brought against the police officer indicate the seriousness with which this situation will be handled.   Read more…

President Obama at the State of the Union 2014

President Obama Takes Important Action on Commutations

On Tuesday, President Obama commuted the drug sentences of 22 individuals, more than doubling the number of commutations he has issued throughout his entire presidency. The men and women who were granted clemency had been imprisoned under an outdated sentencing regime, and “had they been sentenced under current laws and policies, many of these individuals would have already served their time and paid their debt to society,” said White House counsel Neil Eggleston in a statement. In fact, many of these individuals served years, some even more than a decade, longer than they would if convicted of the same crime today. Read more…

Sign Repeal Death Penalty

Taking Aim at the Death Penalty

Controversy has erupted in Utah since Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill into law reinstating the firing squad as a possible method of execution for death row prisoners. Lethal injection will remain the primary method of execution in the state, but the firing squad will be permitted when the proper drugs required for lethal injection are unobtainable. The news has shocked many, who find the method of firing squads to be an outdated and barbaric way of executing people. In fact, Governor Herbert himself has said that he finds firing squads to be “a little bit gruesome.” Read more…

Passover in Hebrew, matzah, kiddush cup

The Other March Madness

Whether you observe Passover according to the strict rules of Jewish law, or you attend one family Seder, or whether your Passover observance is watching The Prince of Egypt, or whatever traditions, practices or customs you find meaningful, the weeks leading up to Passover (April 3-11, 2015) feel like a Jewish March Madness. Between planning Seders, cleaning your house of chametz or mentally preparing yourself for a week of matzah, there’s a lot to get done and it always feels like not enough time. Read more…

Reforming All Aspects of Our Voting System

The right to vote is fundamental to American democracy and has been a key part of the Religious Action Center’s work since our founding in 1961. As you may know, the RAC and Reform Jews have a proud legacy of support for the Civil Rights Movement and portions of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were even drafted right in our conference room! It is for this reason that we were so disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder in June 2013, which invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act and eliminated crucial protections for voters. In the wake of Shelby, we have pushed for a Congressional fix through the Voting Rights Amendment Act, but we know that there are many aspects of our voting system that needs reform. Read more…

Redemption for All God’s Children This Passover

The United States has a mass incarceration problem. While only having 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. has 25% of the world’s incarcerated population, making us the world’s largest jailer. Between 1980 and 2012, the U.S. federal prison population rose from about 25,000 inmates to 219,000 inmates, an increase of more than 790 percent. In fact, at the end of 2013, an estimated 6,899,000 persons were under the supervision of adult correctional systems, which includes those incarcerated in prison or local jail in addition to those supervised in the community on parole or probation. Read more…

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