Tag Archives: Criminal Justice

President Makes Positive Steps Forward in Demilitarizing Police

The topics of criminal justice reform and community-police relations have been at the top of the news cycle for months. In fact, just yesterday the President traveled to Camden, New Jersey and visited with local law enforcement and met with young people in the Camden community to hear directly about the progress the revamped police force has made in building trust between law enforcement and the people of Camden. Through trips such as this one, and his establishment of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, President Obama has demonstrated his commitment to improve communities and police departments across the country and respond to the series of deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. Read more…

RAC staff and supporters marching in Baltimore

Another Way to Welcome Shabbat

On Friday May 1, a number of us boarded the MARC train to Baltimore on our way to a march and rally organized by Jews United for Justice. We were once again disappointed and outraged by the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of the police. Though we were standing up for justice for Freddie Gray, we knew that we were also asking for justice in our broader criminal justice system. Read more…

RAC staff and supporters marching in Baltimore

Healing and Progress in Baltimore

A tragedy in the city of Baltimore and the protests and riots that followed have once again refocused national attention on race, class, and unequal treatment under the law. Even as Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced last Friday that charges would be brought against the police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, RAC staff were en route to nearby Baltimore to stand with our partners in a peaceful protest calling for accountability and reform in law enforcement.

Read more…

Developing our own Holiness Code

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to deliver the following words before the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism at the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience:

Read more…

Rabbi Rebekah Stern

From Heartbreak to Action: Racial Inequality in California

by Rabbi Rebekah Stern

I lay in bed one night late last summer, scrolling, as I often do, through my Facebook newsfeed on my phone. As a congregational rabbi and a mother of two young children—a now almost five-year old girl and two-year old boy—these last moments before I fall asleep are the only ones I seem to have to catch up on the lives of my more distant friends.

These were the first painful weeks after Michael Brown’s death. The weeks when we were reminded that there is sometimes a shocking discrepancy between the way that my white family experiences interaction with law enforcement and the way that black families often do.

Read more…

Ferguson clergy protest

At the Consultation: Black-Jewish Relations Past, Present and Future

At the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience April 26-28, 2015, we are thrilled to have Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, Missouri and Aaron Jenkins of Operation Understanding DC lead a workshop on how congregations can engage in the important civil rights work of our time. Rabbi Talve will speak about her activism in the St. Louis and Ferguson area in the time since Michael Brown’s death, and the role of congregations and faith leaders in leading this work. Mr. Jenkins will talk about his work as Executive Director of Operation Understanding DC and the importance of dialogue, especially between the black and Jewish communities. Read more…

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…

<