Reform Jewish Voice of New York State

November 23, 2014 · 1 Kislev


January 2008
January 2008 e-Newsletter

Volume 2, Number 1
January 15, 2008
8 Sh’vat 5768 

Welcome to the January e-newsletter from Reform Jewish Voice of New York State! 

In this month’s e-newsletter:
1.     RJV, URJ & Health Care: More Access Needed!
2.     The People’s State of the State
3.  Join the Excitement: Register Today for the NYS Consultation on Conscience!
4.  Around the State: Empire State Pride Agenda Event on Long Island 

To find out more about RJV, please visit or contact Alyson at or 212-650-4272. 

Alyson Grant, Program Director
Arleen Urell, Chairperson

1.  RJV, URJ & Health Care: More Access Needed! 

RJV has been dedicated to the issue of expanding access to health care since its inception in 2002. We are further encouraged in our work by a new project at the URJ announced at the 2007 Biennial in December – the State-by-State Health Care Initiative. Click hereto read more about this project. And hereto read the related resolution, passed at the Biennial. Access to health care is a pressing issue in NYS.

There are currently 47 million people in the United States who are uninsured, including approximately 2.9 million New Yorkers. 

New York State offers a number of publicly funded programs that provide health care coverage including Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Healthy New York. As NYS already provides these publicly funded programs, we believe that the state must take the next step in providing public health care coverage to all New Yorkers in need. Please click here to read the full RJV position on health care access. RJV will continue to work on this issue during the 2008 NYS Legislative Session.

2. The People’s State of the State 

On Tuesday, January 8 – the day before Governor Spitzer’s State of the State address – more than 60 anti-poverty advocates gathered at the State Capitol to urge Governor Spitzer to take stronger action to confront the growing problems of poverty and hunger in New York State. Reform Jewish Voice of NYS was represented there, as part of the Faith & Hunger Network that hosted the event.  

Raising the welfare grant, providing greater access to health care, and calling for a more equitable taxing system in NYS were the central messages in the annual People’s State of the State rally. The groups urged Governor Spitzer to address these issues in his formal speech to the State legislature the next day. Read more by clicking here

In response to the Governor’s State of the State on January 9, the Faith & Hunger Network expressed disappointment that Governor Spitzer did not recognize the plight of those in poverty throughout the state. To read about the initiatives laid out in the Governor’s State of the State speech, click here

3. Join the Excitement!

REGISTER TODAY!  Join us on March 9, 2008 for the 6th biennial NYS Consultation on Conscience!

The NYS Consultation will be held in New York City at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and is a joint effort of Reform Jewish Voice of New York State and the URJ Greater New York Council of Reform Synagogues. We look forward to a day full of important speakers, interesting panels, and a gathering of advocates from across the state.  

Featured speakers include Rabbi Jerome Davidson, who will join us as a keynote speaker, and State Senator Liz Krueger, who will participate in an advocacy training session. The two areas of focus at the Consultation are access to health care and the environment. The health care panel will feature Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and James Tallon from the United Health Fund. REGISTER TODAY!

April 28, 2008 Advocacy Day

The 2nd Annual Interfaith Advocacy Date will take place on Monday, April 28 in Albany! In 2007, more than 70 activists joined us in Albany for a day of learning and action. Please plan to join us - it isn’t too early to start planning! The effect of Jewish, Unitarian and Protestant clergy and lay people together talking to legislators is awesome and we look forward to your involvement.

4. Around the State: Empire State Pride Agenda event on Long Island 

Join the Empire State Pride Agenda and its many co-sponsors in this event – including Reform Jewish Voice of NYS – on Wednesday, 1/23 at 7 pm for the event “The State of Marriage in New York.”

Location:  Central Synagogue of Nassau County (430 DeMott Ave., Rockville Centre, NY 11570)
RSVP: Contact Long Island Field Organizer Jeff Friedman

Come and join panelists Alan Van Capelle, Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, Marty Rouse, National Field Director of the Human Rights Campaign, Cathy Marino-Thomas, Executive Director of Marriage Equality New York, and Bob Perry, Legislative Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union as they discuss the State of the Marriage Equality bill here in New York State.  Panelists will be focusing on the vital role that Long Islanders have in making marriage a reality for same-sex couples in New York.