Tag Archives: Health Care
Seder plate

A Tomato on the Seder Plate?

Passover is holiday full of symbolism. We eat the bitter herbs to remind us of the bitterness of slavery. We dip parsley in saltwater to recall the tears of our ancestors in Egypt. The charoset is meant to resemble the mortar the Israelites were forced to use while building structures for Pharaoh and their Egyptian oppressors. These traditional symbols have paved the way for contemporary symbolism, allowing modern Jews to use the Seder plate as a place for social or political expression.

In recent years, placing an orange on a Seder plate has become a statement with various interpretations. Introduced by Jewish feminist and scholar, Susannah Heschel, the orange has come to represent the inclusion of women and LGBT people in the Jewish tradition. In general, the orange is meant to symbolize the rejection of the notion that “a woman, [gay person or other historically marginalized person] belongs on the bimah as much as an orange belongs on the seder plate.”

This year, I invite you to include another item on your Seder plate, a symbol of food justice. Read more…

Marketplaces Hit Critical Enrollment Goal

This week, in the closing days of the open enrollment period, the Administration made several key announcements regarding the Affordable Care Act. First, President Obama announced that over 6 million people have signed up for health insurance through state and federal exchanges, and traffic on healthcare.gov is hitting record highs. The number of enrollees is significant, since that figure is the total number of enrollees that the Congressional Budget Office estimated after the initial troubles with rollout. In addition to those six million Americans who have bought insurance on the exchange, it is still unclear how many additional people bought newly-available insurance plans directly from insurers, outside the exchanges. Many estimate that this figure could double the number of Americans who have obtained insurance.

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It’s The Final Countdown

It’s the home stretch. The final countdown. The beginning of the end. For what, you ask? You probably already know. Read more…

Substance Abuse: Keeping it in Check on Purim

As many well know, the Talmud tells us that “a person has to get drunk on Purim until he cannot distinguish between ‘cursed is Haman’ and ‘blessed is Mordechai’” (Megillah 7b). To do so is a mitzvah, but one that should be carried out in moderation.

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President Obama at Temple Emanu-El

ACA Enrollment Deadline Approaches

It’s March—which signals the home stretch of the open enrollment period that will end on March 31st. Since open enrollment began in October, over 4 million Americans have enrolled in a private health insurance plan through the federal and state-based Marketplaces. In addition, between October and January almost 9 million Americans were determined eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), largely due to significant expansions of those programs under the Affordable Care Act.

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Halting Another Polio Crisis

In 2002, there were 1,600 polio cases in India.  In 2009, there were 741, nearly half of the world’s cases.  On January 13, 2014, India celebrated its third consecutive year of being polio-free.  This momentous accomplishment was marked throughout the worldRead more…

Double Booked: It is Time for Paid Leave

By Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro

In 1986, I received news that no woman wants to hear: I had ovarian cancer. Fortunately, my doctors had discovered it by chance at its earliest stage. But to beat the disease, I would have to undergo treatment for several months.

At the time, I was Chief of Staff to Senator Chris Dodd – a tough but rewarding job with long days and not much down time. When I told him about my diagnosis, he said: “Rosa, take all the time you need to get better. Your job will be here when you get back.” And so, without having to worry about my job or paycheck, I underwent radiation treatment for two-and-a-half months. I have been cancer-free ever since.

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President Obama at Temple Emanu-El

Jewish Community Day of Action for Health Care Coverage

Today is the Jewish Community Day of Action for Health Care Coverage—and Reform Jews across the country, including at the RAC, NFTY, WRJ and more are taking part.

The goal of the Jewish Community Day of Action is to educate both American Jews and the public at large about their coverage options on the new healthcare Marketplaces. Jewish organizations across the country—large and small, denominational, community-wide, local, and otherwise—are participating in this key effort, with support from the White House’s Office of Public Engagement. The Jewish community chose February 18th because the number 18 represents chai, or life. Our tradition teaches us that human life is of infinite value and that the preservation of life supersedes almost all other considerations. As Jews, we believe that God endowed humanity with the understanding and ability to become partners with God in making a better world. The use of our wisdom to cure illnesses has been a central theme in Jewish thought and history.

We are thus inspired to ensure that as many Americans as possible have access to healthcare. Regardless of the politics around the Affordable Care Act itself, enrollment on the new Marketplace exchanges is a way for individuals and families to obtain more affordable healthcare coverage.

The RAC has rolled out a number of resources in preparation for this Day of Action. At rac.org/health, you’ll find educational and program resources, information about the law, Jewish resources on healthcare, and information on how to “take action,” including our Medicaid expansion action alert and enrollment resources. More specifically, if your congregation is interested in helping to promote affordable healthcare, you should check out our new resource here, or contact me at carnowitz@rac.org for ideas about how to help promote enrollment in your community.

These resources are not just for today—they are intended to be used through the rest of the enrollment period, which ends on March 31, and to prepare for open enrollment next year.

Enroll America is offering a variety of training and educational opportunities for those interested in enrollment outreach in their communities:

Ensuring that all individuals and families have access to comprehensive and affordable healthcare coverage is one of our key moral obligations. Let’s carry out that obligation by working to educate the public about their options and ensuring that as many of our fellow Americans as possible have access to affordable care.