December 21, 2014 · 29 Kislev

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Before You Apply

Before you beginning your application, please read this page in its entirety. A link to the application form is located at the bottom of this page.

The application deadline is February 19, 2015.

As a Religious Action Center (RAC) Eisendrath Legislative Assistant (LA), you have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the American political process while striving to influence that process according to the traditions of Reform Judaism.

The RAC is the Reform Jewish Movement's voice in Washington, D.C., covering a broad spectrum of social justice issues, including religious liberty, Israel, human rights, reproductive rights, economic justice and civil rights. The RAC advocates the policies of the Reform Movement's Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, and Commission on Social Action. The RAC also serves as a resource center: planning conferences, creating and distributing educational material and mobilizing the grassroots of American Reform Jewry.

Legislative Assistants are recent college graduates and participate in every aspect of the RAC's work. You represent the RAC and the Reform Movement in the many coalitions to which we belong. Working closely with other Jewish organizations, with interfaith coalitions such as the Washington Interreligious Staff Community, and with issue-based coalitions like the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with pending legislation, meeting with public officials, and preparing appropriate educational and programmatic materials for congregations and Reform Movement affiliates.

Approximately a quarter of an LA's time is spent on non-legislative work. This includes engaging high school students in educational programs through six Bernard and Audre Rapoport L'Taken Social Justice Seminars, other teaching and programmatic opportunities, and administrative duties. Because of our work with high school students, a background check is required for LA applicants considered for employment.

The program is intensive; the hours are long and the responsibilities are great. The LA program provides an annual stipend of $32,000 (before taxes) as well as health benefits. The program begins in August 2015 and runs for approximately 51 weeks.

Please show a copy of this letter describing the LA program to the two people who will write your recommendations. We would like one of your recommendations to come from a rabbi or other Jewish professional who knows you well and can speak about your Jewish and social justice interests. If you have not had the opportunity to establish such a relationship, please contact us to discuss alternatives. In addition, we request a recommendation from someone who can speak knowledgeably about your academic, writing and teaching abilities (preferably a college professor). Finally, because strong writing skills are so important to our work, we ask applicants to submit three writing samples. They are described further in the application.
We look forward to hearing from you.

Please direct any questions to:
Barbara Weinstein, Associate Director
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
2027 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Fax: (202) 667-9070


Materials You'll Need to Complete the Application

Once you begin your application you MUST fully complete the process. It is not possible to save a partial application and return to complete it at a later time. You will need the following information:

I. Your GPA

II. Names of Synagogues and Rabbis with which you are and have been affiliated

III. Names and Addresses of two References (one must be a Jewish professional, the other must be an academic/professor.)

Letters of reference must be received by February 19, 2015. Please share these guidelines with your Recommenders.

IV. Your Resume

V. Personal Statement (responding to a specific topic, listed below).

Your personal statement should be a brief essay (500 words or fewer) explaining how your experiences and your understanding of Jewish social justice relate to ONE of these quotes. (Please make the essay reflective of your personal experiences, rather than a theoretical exploration.)

A) "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls or be happy when he has a setback." - Pirkei Avot 4:24
B) "I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me." - Abraham Lincoln
C) "Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself." - Charlie Chaplin

VI. A writing sample to help us assess your ability to develop and sustain an idea or argument in writing. This writing sample should be:

  • Approximately 5-10 pages in length. (Not an excerpt of a longer paper.)
  • A document you have already written for school, an internship, or work. (We do not require or expect you to write new material. Simply send us something of which you are proud.)
  • On a liberal arts subject. (The paper need not relate directly to the RAC's work. It will be considered for form and style, rather than subject matter. Please do not submit a scientific, statistical or mathematical paper.)

VII. Official College Transcript (mailed separately to Religious Action Center, c/o Barbara Weinstein, 2027 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036)


The application deadline is February 19, 2015.


Ready to Apply?
Continue to the application.


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