This post is part of our Passover series, in which we think about the application of our age-old Passover story and traditions to the crucial issues we face today. For ways to infuse your seder with social justice, see our holiday guide.
Passover is a special time when we gather with family and friends to retell the story of our people’s freedom from bondage. We read from the haggadah and delve into the Exodus story, perform rituals that are thousands of years old, and eat a bounty of delicious and symbolic foods. Unfortunately, not everyone is fortunate enough to enjoy the luxury of a festive meal, let alone the assurance of eating regularly.
As the House and the Senate release and mark up their budgets this week, there’s a lot of jargon being tossed around. You may have heard that the House-proposed budget include “block grants” for SNAP and Medicaid. What does that mean – and why should Jews care?
In response to Congress’ failure to reach a budget agreement and the triggering of sequestration, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
On Purim we read about Esther
And how Haman’s plot didn’t best her
But this year there’s more
Evil plotting in store
As we worry about the sequester.
–Rabbi Joe Black
As I mentioned last week, I was in LA for NFTY convention this past weekend – and I had a ball. The NFTY staff is phenomenal and put on what is one of the best events I’ve ever been part of. What struck me most is that, as you’d expect in any gathering of 800 teens, there’s a lot of differences among the participants. Some are sporty, some introverted, some like the late night concerts, some are whizzes at Jewish text and liturgy. Yet despite the range of interests and skills, there was space and opportunities for all. I was also impressed by the quality of the conversations I had with the NFTYites in the sessions I ran, talking about “light” topics like torture and mental health. The teens were engaged, thoughtful, and smart. Best of all, about 20% of convention participants were alumni of L’Taken!