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Key Leaders of the Reform Jewish Movement Gather in Chicago for Semi-Annual Policy Meeting

WASHINGTON - October 14, 1998 - The Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism will be holding its biannual policy meeting in downtown Chicago on October 18-20, 1998 to organize, educate, and motivate key leaders from the Reform Jewish movement. Commission members will be meeting for three days to evaluate the recent Congressional session, discuss opportunities for action, and formulate new policy directives. The CSA will consider issues such as community organizing, social security, civil rights, Hispanic-Jewish relations, health care, religious liberties, and international affairs.

The Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism (CSA) is the official social justice arm of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the lay and rabbinic bodies of the Reform Jewish Movement. The Commission, comprised of rabbis, lay leaders, and social action leaders from the Reform Jewish movement, serves as the board of the Movement's Washington office, the Religious Action Center. The RAC works to ensure that policy makers hear a progressive Jewish voice on the over 60 social justice issues on which it plays an active role.

Plenary sessions, which are open to the press, include a conversation with Rabbi A. Jacob Wolf, Rabbi Emeritus K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Congregation at 7:30p.m. Sunday, October 18 and a session entitled "Public Education Today: The Key Challenges, The Most Promising Answers" with Don Moore, Executive Director, Designs for Change at 4:00p.m. and Paul Vallas, Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Public Schools at 4:45p.m on Monday, October 19. Both plenary sessions will be held at Chicago Sinai Congregation, 15 West Delaware Place, Chicago, IL 60610.

The Commission's meeting in Chicago this weekend marks the first time the CSA has ever met outside of New York or Washington, DC. Chicago plays a special role for the CSA, since a number of its Commission members are from the area, including past Commission chair, Evely Laser-Shlensky, Marvin Dickman, Carlyne Gilbert, Rabbi Douglas Kohn of Beth Tikvah Congregation, and Sharon Morton. As CSA chair David Davidson noted, "We are very much looking forward to being in Chicago and drawing upon the vast resources of this great city."

Other participants in the meeting include Judge David Davidson, Chair of the Commission on Social Action; Dr. Leonard Fein, Director of the Commission on Social Action; and Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, representing 1.5 million Reform Jews and 1,800 Reform rabbis in 875 congregations throughout North America.



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