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Reform Movement Lauds Introduction of Disability Rights Bill

Rabbi Landsberg: “Too often, American society excludes those who need assistance. Chief among these examples is our current Medicaid system, which prevents us from keeping our communities intact by forcing those in need of long term care into institutional facilities.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Jason Fenster
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 24, 2009 – In response to today’s introduction of the Community Choice Act of 2009 by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Danny Davis (D-IN), Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, Senior Advisor on Disability Issues for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

Jewish tradition is replete with teachings that form the basis of our commitment to welcoming people of all abilities into our congregations and communities. We are urged to “Speak up for those who cannot speak…speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy” (Proverbs 31:8). The Jewish people find its strength in community, providing for and including all people in each aspect of religious and public life.

Too often, American society excludes those who need assistance. Chief among these examples is our current Medicaid system, which prevents us from keeping our communities intact by forcing those in need of long term care into institutional facilities.

The Community Choice Act would reform the Medicaid program to provide equal access to community-based attendant services, allowing individuals greater choice in the care they receive. By allowing Americans with disabilities and our nation’s older adults to receive care in their homes and communities, we ensure that they have the right to remain active participants in their families, neighborhoods, and congregations.

We applaud Senator Harkin and Representative Davis for their leadership on this crucial legislation and look forward to working with the faith, disability, and civil rights communities to ensure its passage.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.



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