November 23, 2014 · 1 Kislev

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Reform Jewish Movement Launches Poverty Initiative for Chanukah

Feldman: Though we know that we may never fully remove the blight of poverty that plagues our nation and our world, we are nonetheless commanded not to despair; not to become so overwhelmed by the enormity of the need that we are immobilized. Rather, we are commanded to 'open wide your hand to your neighbor, to the needy and to the poor in the land.'

Contact:Alexis Rice 202.387.2800
Deena Fox 212.650.4162

New York, December 15, 2003 - Recognizing that 1 in 10 American families - and 1 in 20 Jewish families - live in poverty, the Union for Reform Judaism has committed itself to a serious fight against poverty and is embarking on a major initiative to engage Reform Jews throughout North America in efforts to ameliorate poverty.
In connection with this initiative, the Reform Jewish Movement has launched a website at www.rac.org/pubs/poverty.html that includes resources, advocacy opportunities, and program ideas on poverty.

"Though we know that we may never fully remove the blight of poverty that plagues our nation and our world, we are nonetheless commanded not to despair; not to become so overwhelmed by the enormity of the need that we are immobilized. Rather, we are commanded to 'open wide your hand to your neighbor, to the needy and to the poor in the land.'" said Rabbi Marla Feldman, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism.

As part of this initiative, the Union for Reform Judaism has joined together with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism to launch a joint project entitled Ner Shel Tzedakah, encouraging individuals, families, and congregations to devote the sixth night of Chanukah to learning about the problem of poverty and doing something about it. The project asks participants to donate the value of the gifts (or the gifts themselves) that they would otherwise exchange on the sixth night of Chanukah to organizations that assist the poor.

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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(CCAR) whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis .



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