Tag Archives: Foreign Policy
refugee boy in boat

Reform Movement Urges Even Greater US Response to Global Refugee Crisis

In response to Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement that the U.S. would increase the number of refugees admitted to 85,000 in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We welcome Secretary Kerry’s announcement that the U.S. will increase the number of refugees in the coming two years, even as we recognize that the new admission numbers remain insufficient considering the scope of the crisis at hand.

During these Days of Awe, we are acutely aware that our actions are being judged by God. Yet we are also being judged by the millions of refugees seeking a haven, by our fellow nations, and by history. The world is facing the greatest refugee crisis since World War II when it was in many cases our own grandparents and great grandparents who were searching for nations to welcome them in their time of need. Though the circumstances then and now differ in many ways, the struggle to survive and provide a better life for one’s children is universal and it is incumbent upon each of us to do our part to address it. The nations of Europe and the international community broadly must respond with greater speed, compassion and efficacy to this crisis, and so must we.

We call on Congress to work with President Obama to fully implement the increased number of refugees to be admitted over the next two years – even as we urge the President and Congress to welcome even more refugees into our nation and fulfill its tradition as a beacon of hope and refuge to those in need.

2015-2016 LAs

Introducing the 2015-2016 Eisendrath Legislative Assistants!

It’s that time of year! The newest class of Eisendrath Legislative Assistants arrived at the RAC two weeks ago, and jumped right into the Washington, D.C. world of politics, advocacy and social justice. We are so looking forward to what they will do and accomplish for tikkun olam this year. Clockwise from the top left: Read more…

Anti-nuclear sign

Remembering the 70th Anniversary of Nagasaki, Looking at Nonproliferation Today

Sunday marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, the last time a nuclear weapon was used as a war tactic against people, almost entirely civilians. The blast left 60,000-80,000 dead within a few days, with tens of thousands injured suffering crippling injuries from radiation and tens of thousands more hurt from radiation poisoning. The anniversary of the bombings provide an opportunity to reflect on the destruction the nuclear weapons caused in the immediate aftermath and over the years, from heart-wrenching photos of survivors in the first days, weeks and months after the bombings, to the scars that will not ever truly fade away – both in Japan and throughout the global community. Read more…

new legislative assistants, Rachel, Jordan, Liya, Melanie, Claire, Jonathan

The 2014-15 LAs Say Goodbye

The legislative assistant offices at the RAC have a strange feel to them today—all of the zany pictures and decorations adorning our desks have been removed, the usual desktop clutter has vanished and there is a strong scent of cleaning solution flowing through the air. After 50 weeks at the RAC, it’s our last day, and an opportunity for us to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve witnessed during our time here. Read more…

Rohingya muslims CNN

Plight of Rohingya Muslims Continues

The persecution and plight of the Rohingya Muslims is nothing new. In fact, the United Nations has identified them as “one of the world’s most persecuted minorities.” The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority living in northern Rakhine State in western Burma. For decades, they have faced severe persecution and violence at the hands of the government. Read more…

The U.S. delegation kneels over a binder and tablet

As the Ink Cools on the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Debate Heats Up

Negotiators from the P5+1 and Iran have concluded their 20-month long negotiations process with an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program, but the agreement still faces major hurdles and a divided country as it moves towards implementation. Chief among these is the 60-day review period mandated by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (often known as the Corker-Cardin bill), which the Reform Movement supported. Read more…

Negotiators sit around a large table in Vienna

Iran Nuclear Program Agreement Announced, Reform Movement Responds

Early this morning, P5+1 and Iran announced an historic agreement aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, while simultaneously providing Iran with relief from nuclear-related sanctions. The deal, which has been the result of nearly 20 months of negotiations, comes in at a sleek 159 pages, and many top experts, including those in the Reform Movement, are still parsing through the details. Read more…

Sec. Kerry walks down a hallway with the Iranian Foreign Minister and EU Representative

Questions Remain One Month Until the Iran Talks Deadline

We’re closing in on just one month from the deadline for a final deal on Iran’s nuclear program, and there’s still much that needs to be figured out before all the parties can reach an agreement. Secretary of State John Kerry will be flying over to Geneva, Switzerland on Saturday to continue talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Amirhossein Zamani-Nia stated that 30% of the work of writing out the technical details of the agreement are yet to be completed, and while there’s a possibility that the negotiations could stretch beyond the end of June, US officials are focusing on finishing by the June 30 deadline. Read more…