Being an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant (LA) at the Religious Action Center (RAC) means getting involved and playing a pivotal role in every aspect of the Center's work — Legislative Advocacy, Conferences, Communications and supporting the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism.
Legislative Advocacy: The LAs have primary responsibility for monitoring legislation; for representing the Reform Movement on Capitol Hill and in coalitions; and for ensuring that the voice of the Movement's more than 900 congregations, 1,800 rabbis and 1.5 million members is heard. Most of what the Religious Action Center writes begins with an LAs draft. Most of what we do on an issue, an LA will suggest. Furthermore, rabbis and congregants across the nation speak with the LAs when they need information. (Many find that their interactions and personal connections with rabbis and activists are one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.)
Conferences: Some 2,000 people participate in RAC-sponsored conferences each year, which the LAs plan, program and coordinate. Many LAs have found their opportunity to serve as the faculty for the L'Taken seminars — social action seminars for high school students — to be a highlight of their time at the RAC.
Communications: The RAC, in a real sense, is in the communications business. Whether putting new information on our web site, making advocacy network phone calls, or doing a mailing to 4,000 people, the most important thing we do is to disseminate our materials across the country. Here, too, the LAs have a key responsibility.
The Commission on Social Action: The LAs prepare materials for the Commission's meetings, work with its members and task forces on a daily basis, and advocate on its behalf on the Hill and in coalitions. Interactions with members of the Commission are a central element of our work, and are another highlight of the experience for many LAs.
About the Religious Action Center
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, representing 1.5 million Reform Jews and 1,800 Reform rabbis in over 900 congregations throughout North America. The Center represents the Reform Jewish Movement to the Congress and to the Administration; develops extensive legislative and programmatic social action materials for the Reform Movement; and trains nearly 2,000 Jewish adults, youth, rabbinic and lay leaders each year in social justice work. The RAC works under the auspices of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism (CSA), the social justice policy-making body of the Reform Movement. The CSA relates ethical and spiritual principles of Judaism to today's world.
Contact Legislative Director Barbara Weinstein