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Far too often, conversations about transgender and gender non-conforming people focus squarely on prevailing discrimination and hateful speech, with not very much acknowledgment of the unwavering pride and perseverance this community so often displays. In 2009, a transgender activist named Rachel Crandall decided that was the wrong approach, and founded International Transgender Day of Visibility to celebrate the lives of transgender and gender non-conforming people around the world while continuing to fight transphobia through education and activism. Since then, March 31 has been a day to...

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Health Care and Congress

Last Friday, as news quickly spread throughout Washington and around the country that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was being pulled from consideration, I stood just feet away from where Members of Congress were entering to cast their votes. For the past four months, I have worked as part of a multi-faith coalition committed to protecting the Affordable Care Act from repeal...

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Reform CA and PICO full group gathering on Prop 57

This year we will be focusing on a slate of 11 bills before the California Legislature centered around five vulnerable populations: immigrants and refugees; victims of hate and bias (including religious minorities and LGBTQ people); those in danger of losing health care and facing diminished reproductive rights; communities of color (especially in relationship to the criminal justice system); and all of us who are vulnerable around environmental justice and climate change. As Brit Olam Congregations (Covenant for the World We Want), you can work on the whole slate or focus on whichever of...

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No Hate

Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) published its annual “Year in Hate and Extremism.” While the contents of this report are never pleasant and are often very challenging, this year’s report struck a particularly frightening chord. In the report, Mark Potok, Senior Fellow at SPLC and the author of the report called 2016 “a banner year for hate.”

According to the report,...

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Over the past few weeks, the weekly parsha, Torah portion, has covered the building of the mishkan, the tabernacle. Parashat T’rumah begins this series of parshiot and details God’s instructions for how the Israelites are to build the sanctuary so that God “may dwell among them.” One of the primary goals of the construction is for the Israelites to connect to God through communal building of holy space.

Debates over the federal government’s budget are in full swing, with President Trump’s...

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