NFTY and the RAC are partnering with a broad coalition of national organizations to promote “Wear Orange,” a new national campaign to end gun violence in America. As part of the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, the campaign is asking supporters to wear orange as a sign of solidarity and commitment to change in the face of an all too tragic status quo. Read more…
On Thursday, the 15th anniversary of the historic Million Mom March, NFTY and the RAC announced that we would be founding partners in “Wear Orange” (www.WearOrange.org), a new campaign to reduce gun violence in America. The campaign honors the 88 Americans whose lives are cut short by gun violence every day — and the countless survivors whose lives are forever altered by shootings each year – by designating June 2, 2015 as the first annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
And we’re inviting you – especially Reform Jewish teens — to take part! Everyone who agrees that we should do more to save lives from gun violence to do one simple thing: Wear Orange. Read more…
Last week I joined the Religious Action Center’s programming team at NFTY Convention 2015 in Atlanta, GA to help lead a social justice track.
At the January 9-12, 2015 L’Taken Social Justice Seminar, Jason Weiner, Joey Chanin, Drew Baker, and Jacob Shippel from Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell, Georgia spoke to staff from the offices of Georgia Senators Johnny Isakson and Senator David Perdue, and Congressman Tom Price (GA-6) to share why raising the minimum wage is important to them as Jews, as Americans, as Georgians, and as young people. Here are some excerpts from their speech:
By Alexa Broida
I had the pleasure of spending MLK weekend with NFTY Southern in Memphis at their “Kallah Clave” social justice weekend. Back in the fall, the NFTY Southern Regional Advisor, Becci Jacobs, reached out to Mitzvah Corps as a partner in the visioning of the event and we began brainstorming together. Being able to have been not only a guest, but a part of planning the event, gave me additional insight into the depth of dedication of the planning process. Over the last few days, as I’ve begun to really process the significance of the event and to find the words to even begin to do justice to the incredibly powerful experience that the team there put together, I’ve continued to feel inspired and empowered. Read more…
By Reuben Bank
When people ask me why I’m passionate about social justice I always struggle to find the correct answer. There are several generic responses that I could go to such as, “because there are so many unjust things in the world,” or another classic, “because I have a passion for helping people,” but these never seem to work for me. They don’t encompass the real reasons that I am passionate about tikkun olam, about repairing the world. I’m not passionate about social justice by itself, I’m not interested in doing random community service hours every weekend. As a Reform Jewish teenager, I am passionate about being a part of a movement.
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.
I’ll be honest: I don’t normally read articles about sports. I usually skip over the entire sports section of the newspaper, but the other week, I found myself reading some exciting sports-related news: on November 14, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) first openly gay male athlete will compete in one of the big four sports (basketball, baseball, football and hockey). Although I’m not a sports fan, as someone who cares deeply about building inclusive Jewish communities, I felt this story and the reaction of the team could inform our own inclusion work as a Jewish community.
Last April, Derrick Gordon came out publicly, becoming the first openly gay player in Division I men’s college basketball. Since coming out, Gordon’s relationship with his team has changed significantly. A recent profile by Outsports illustrates the transformation of his relationship with his teammates from one in which they made snide remarks and avoided showering with him when they suspected him of being gay to one in which they now ask him about his dating life and treat him just like any other teammate. Gordon’s story illustrates the impact coming out can have on transforming a homophobic atmosphere into one of acceptance and inclusion.