On Tuesday night, the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House of Representatives will stand on the floor of the House chamber and announce to the assembled Members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet members, an array of guests in the gallery (including the First Lady and Dr. Biden) and millions of the American people watching live, “Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States!” This now-iconic declaration opens the State of the Union ceremony, as the President ascends the dais, hands copies of his speech to the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, and begins his address. Read more…
I was able to spend a couple hours today watching C-SPAN, which, I’ll admit, may not sound very exciting. Yet, I was able to witness a fascinating piece of political theatre that had me at times depressed, at times hopeful and often on the edge of my seat. The stage had been set in the last Congress, when during Congress’s budget bill, Republicans delayed looking at funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This delay is why the bill was known as the CRomnibus, because it funded DHS on previously agreed-to levels (the Continuing Resolution, or CR, part), and set new funding levels for the rest of the government. Read more…
By Rabbi Esther Lederman
Courage. Tenacity. Faith. These are the traits of the Jewish people that we honor during Hanukkah. And they’re what I’ve seen this week too.Many Reform rabbis called Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Aseret Yemei Teshuva to urge them to stop Luis Lopez Acabal’s deportation. Over the last two days, I spent hours with Luis’s wife, Mayra Canales, and the pastor who is providing him sanctuary in his church, Rev. Eric Ledermann. Together we met with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials and the legislative director for their House Representative, Kyrsten Sinema. Our calls helped make these meetings possible! When Rev. Ledermann and Mayra thanked me for our contributions to their efforts, I felt incredibly proud to represent the Reform rabbinate.
By Debbie Rabinovich
Do you really celebrate Thanksgiving? When I was younger, I remember being asked this question. I remember not knowing how to answer. My family had Thanksgiving dinner every year- complete with dry turkey and mysterious stuffing. We went around saying nice things to each other. That was Thanksgiving, right?
Looking back, I realize how strange that question was. I had classmates who had heard me talking about going to Peru and speaking in Spanish and they had taken it upon themselves to figure out that my family wasn’t American enough for Thanksgiving. But here’s my point of view: if it makes sense for anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s families like mine. Families of immigrants.
Washington, D.C., November 20, 2014 – In response to President Obama’s executive action providing new protections for nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants, Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: Read more…
Children represent an incredibly important part of the country, for they are one-quarter of the population. Beyond the numbers, children will be our next generation of workers and leaders. The share of federal funding directed towards children has declined and today amounts to under 8 percent of the overall budget.
In 2013, over 14.7 million children in the US were poor in 2013, and the majority of those children lived in families with working parents. 1 in 5 children in the US are currently living in poverty and 1.3 million school children are homeless. This high child’s poverty rate costs our country half a trillion dollars every year in lost productivity as well as in extra health and criminal justice costs; money that could better be spent on creating or implementing programs that could truly benefit these children and set them on a path towards progress.
I always find the week after elections to be a breath of fresh air. In the weeks (and months) before an election, we’re bombarded with political advertisements on TV and constantly confronted by friends who want us to help out their candidate. Reading the news offers no respite: NPR is saturated with stories of the campaign trail, and the New York Times is taken over by polling analysis. When the elections end, much of that bombardment subsides: I can catch up on the news stories I missed and the friendships I put aside for politics.