Tag Archives: Race and Ethnic Relations
rally in Raleigh

Sound the Shofar

 

By Rabbi Fred Guttman

Adapted from a speech given on September 3, 2015 at a rally for voting rights in Raleigh, NC.

At this time of the year, Jewish people throughout the world hear the sounds of the rams horn or what we call the shofar.   In ancient times, the shofar was used to announce the coming of the Sabbath and the beginning of a new lunar month.  It was also used by guards on city walls to announce that the city was under attack. Read more…

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Rabbi Paul Kipnes and Rachel with Torah, Arms around each other

The Call to Californians: Act to End Racial Injustice

By Rabbi Paul Kipnes

When the call came to drop everything and fly cross-country to highlight the racial injustice that still exists in America, nearly 200 Reform rabbis answered.  We put personal and work lives on hold to retrace the steps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery and beyond. Read more…

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Rabbi Limmer carrying Torah on Journey with Cornell Brooks

Why We’re Marching: America’s Journey for Justice

When the NAACP’s America’s Journey for Justice began in Selma, AL, on August 1, the Reform Movement was there as a partner and ally.

This historic 860-mile march in which nearly 200 Reform rabbis and activists are participating, will culminate in Washington, D.C. on September 16. Throughout, the marchers are demonstrating to our nation’s leaders that Americans from a diverse array of faiths and backgrounds share a commitment to racial justice, and that it is past time for passage of legislation that will help bring the United States closer to its founding ideals of equality for all. Read more…

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Julian Bond

Honoring the Life of Julian Bond

On Saturday night, legendary civil rights leader Julian Bond passed away at the age of 75. Mr. Bond spent his life fighting for social justice—he was a founding member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center and a longtime chairman of the NAACP. His loss is felt deeply by advocates, activists, national leaders and all those whose lives have been shaped – whether they know it or not – by his pursuit of justice. Read more…

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Journey for Justice

Praying With Our Feet: America’s Journey for Justice [Updated]

Beginning in August, the Reform Movement will join the NAACP on America’s Journey for Justice—an historic 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama, to Washington, D.C. The Religious Action Center is organizing hundreds of rabbis in partnership with the NAACP for the Journey, which will mobilize activists and advance a focused advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education. The Journey for Justice partnership between the Reform Movement and the NAACP reflects the long history of collaboration between our communities. Read more…

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President Obama Commutes Sentences

President Obama Pushes Ahead on Criminal Justice

In a video announcement on Monday, President Obama announced that he is granting clemency to 46 men and women. Because of much-needed reforms to sentencing laws, if convicted of the exact same crime today, nearly all of these individuals would have already served their full sentences and reintegrated into society. This announcement comes only a few months after the President commuted the sentences of 22 other individuals in April. In total, the President has issued nearly 90 commutations, the vast majority have which have gone to non-violent drug offenders. Read more…

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A South Carolina Highway Patrol honor guard removes the Confederate battle flag Friday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Confederate Flag Flies No More Over South Carolina Capitol

On Friday, the Confederate flag was permanently taken down from the South Carolina State House, after weeks of activism and debate. The debate was sparked after the killing of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina in mid-June. As Reform Jews who advocate for tolerance and equality for all of God’s people, we are glad to see this symbol of hate removed from state grounds. However, we understand that the flag is only a symbol and racial and economic inequalities persist across the country. We hope that the removal of the flag in South Carolina is only the beginning of our country’s efforts towards full inclusion and healing. Read more…

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Rabbi Judy Schindler with Co-Pastor Rhonda Kinsey

A Greater Fire

By Rabbi Judy Schindler

Two weeks ago, Charlotte’s Briar Creek Road Baptist Church was a victim of arson. It is less than three and half miles from my home. Their children’s choir sang at our Beth El MLK service three years ago and my kids were close friends with the kids of their former minister, Dennis Hall. I was moved to worship with them the first Sunday after the fire.  Read more…

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