Child poverty is a national crisis that must be addressed. In the United States, there are 14.7 million poor children and 6.5 million extremely poor children. This means that the number of poor children (14.7 million) is greater than the combined populations of Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. Read more…
On Passover, Jews around the world eat matzah instead of leavened bread to remember how the Jewish people did not have time to wait for their bread to rise before they were escaping slavery in Egypt. While matzah can be delicious in certain forms – there is nothing like Grandma Fineman’s matzah meal pancakes, her chocolate covered matzah, or her matzah brei recipes – after eating the umpteenth peanut butter and jelly sandwich on matzah, the unleavened staple can start to seem old or tiresome. When seeing boxes upon boxes in grocery stores, I am among the first to groan. Yet even though we may not enjoy eating matzah, we have to remember that we are lucky to have food on our tables and in our bellies, unlike far too many people in our country. Read more…
As Congress and the administration consider different approaches to allocating the funding to run our government, we are here to discuss the budget negotiations on our country’s most vulnerable populations. We believe that the federal budget is a moral document. We want to support vital domestic programs that respond to the needs of people in need.
In Deuteronomy, one of the five books of Moses, we are taught “If… there is a needy person among you… do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your kin. Rather, you must open your hand and lend whatever is sufficient. “Let us pray that our budget will keep maintain these ideals.
As people of faith, we advocate for a just and compassionate federal budget that will promote the dignity of all Americans and will protect the vulnerable.
Yet let us also be called to act: given this knowledge given to us during this webinar and our passions, let us “speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy.” Let us advocate for a budget that will do just that.
We pray for a budget that well help all Americans and ensure a bright future for the country.
As we sit at our Passover Seders, we relive the story of how our ancestors were slaves in the land of Egypt, and how they were freed. Our history of slavery and redemption calls on us to speak up against injustice in our world today, especially when it comes to workers’ rights.
Modern-day slavery continues to be a scourge on humanity worldwide, and it is imperative that we take action to end it. We also should not lose sight of the national policies we can enact to ensure that workers who are employed in the open marketplace are treated with justice. Read more…
by Rabbi Rachel Timoner
“Who knows whether you have come to your position for such a time as this?”
Last week we told the story of Mordechai calling Esther to action for her people just days before our country commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama. We honored Esther and Mordechai, who risked their lives to rid their community of the injustice Haman intended to perpetrate, and then we honored Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Joshua Heschel, John Lewis and many others who risked their lives to rid our country of the injustice perpetuated by structural racial inequality. Read more…
Last month, the Department of Housing and Urban Development released new guidelines which call on single-sex emergency shelters and other facilities to “place a potential client (or current client seeking a new assignment) in a shelter or facility that corresponds to the gender with which the person identifies,” while taking health and safety concerns into account. This guidance builds upon HUD’s 2012 regulation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in programs and shelters receiving HUD funding and is an important victory in the fight to provide shelter for people experiencing resources.
Too many children are going to school hungry. We are all told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but imagine that day after day, having breakfast may not be a stable option for you or your family. And imagine that food is scarce for other meals as well. How well could you do on tests? On papers? In class discussions?
A study recently released by No Kid Hungry found that three out of four public school teachers also say that students regularly come to school hungry. Though child nutrition programs like the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, already exist, these programs need to be strengthened. Breakfast is connected to benefits in the classroom: a majority of teachers see students paying better attention in class and having improved attendance. 48% of educators also note that their teens have fewer disciplinary problems when they eat breakfast.
On March 27, legally married same-sex couples will be able to take unpaid time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Signed into law 22 years ago, FMLA allows eligible workers to take a maximum 12 weeks unpaid time off of work to care for a new child (including adopted and foster children), care for a sick child, act as a caregiver for a parent, address personal serious health concerns and care for wounded service members. The rule, published last month, revises the definition of spouse to include legally married same-sex couples, regardless of whether the state they live in recognizes their marriage or not. This is an important step forward for LGBT individuals.