Tag Archives: Voting Rights
2015-2016 LAs

Introducing the 2015-2016 Eisendrath Legislative Assistants!

It’s that time of year! The newest class of Eisendrath Legislative Assistants arrived at the RAC two weeks ago, and jumped right into the Washington, D.C. world of politics, advocacy and social justice. We are so looking forward to what they will do and accomplish for tikkun olam this year. Clockwise from the top left: Read more…

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…

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…

Moving Forward: Sh’nat Ha-Evel for Michael Brown, and 50 Years after the VRA

This weekend marks one year since Michael Brown was shot and killed in the street by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO. As we take this moment to reflect on the past year, I am reminded of the Jewish tradition’s unique way of coping with death, to help mourners gradually reenter into normal life after the death of a loved one. Read more…

Voting Matters, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall

The first election that I can remember, I was four years old and I was accompanying my dad to go vote for our state representative and for our member of Congress. He brought me into the voting booth and I helped him pull down the levers as together we voted for who would represent our district. It all came full circle when I went to the city hall in Newton, Massachusetts to register to vote as soon as I turned 18, when I led voter registration efforts in college or when my dad and I went to my former elementary school to vote this past November. Through voting, I could be actively engaged in the political process and participate in the most basic right (and rite!) of democracy.

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What if D.C. had Taxation with Representation?

This weekend, Americans across the country will celebrate Independence Day. We celebrate the day in 1776 when the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, declaring their freedom from Great Britain. One of the primary complaints of the American colonists was that they were subject to “taxation without representation;” the colonists had to pay taxes imposed on them by the British government, but had no representation in government to advocate for the colonies. If this phrase is familiar to you outside of American history class, it is because it is the featured slogan on all licenses plates in the District of Columbia.

The nearly 659,000 people who live in the capital, Washington, D.C., do not have representation in Congress, but pay taxes (and are subject to all other federal laws). There is no one representing the District in the Senate, and the House of Representatives has one D.C. member non-voting delegate (Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton).

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A Rabbi’s Reflections from Roanoke

On Thursday, June 25, I traveled to Roanoke, Virginia with Legislative Assistant Claire Shimberg and other voting rights advocates from the DC metropolitan area. There, we joined with hundreds of concerned Americans to mark the 2 year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and left voters vulnerable to discrimination. Together, we rallied for voting rights and urged Congress, especially House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, to hold a hearing and restore voting rights for all. Read more…

Carrying On the Social Justice Torch for Voting Rights

51 years ago, on June 21, 1964, civil rights workers James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael “Mickey” Schwerner were abducted in Neshoba County, Mississippi and murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner had been in Mississippi preparing and registering African Americans to vote as part of Freedom Summer. The three men were executed on the side of a dark road in Mississippi, and it took 44 days for their bodies to be found. Their deaths fueled support of the civil rights movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, an Act that we are trying to strengthen and support again today.

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