About the Religious Action Center
For six decades, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC) has been the hub of Jewish social justice work. As a joint instrumentality of the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, we represent the values of the largest and most diverse Jewish Movement in North America. The RAC mobilizes around federal, state, and local legislation; supports and develops congregational leaders; and organizes communities to create a world overflowing with wholeness, justice, and compassion. As part of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, our work is completely nonpartisan.
The RAC’s work is mandated by the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), whose 900+ congregations across North America include 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Representatives of these two organizations, as well as the URJ's affiliates, comprise the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism (CSA), which governs the RAC’s policy positions.
The RAC represents the Reform Jewish Movement to the Congress and to the Administration; develops extensive legislative and programmatic social justice materials for the Reform Movement; organizes congregations and congregational leaders across lines of race, class and faith; and trains nearly 2,000 Jewish adults, youth, rabbinic and lay leaders each year in justice work.
About the Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Fellowship
Being an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant (LA) at the RAC means getting involved and playing a pivotal role in our work: legislative advocacy, programs, communications, organizing, and supporting the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism. The salary for the 2020-2021 class is $36,000 and the program dates are August 25, 2020 - August 13, 2021.
Legislative Advocacy: The LAs have primary responsibility for monitoring legislation; representing the Reform Movement institutions on Capitol Hill and in coalitions; and ensuring that the voice of the Movement's more than 900 congregations, 2,000 rabbis and 1.5 million Reform Jews is heard. LAs each take on different policy portfolios, based in resolutions adopted by the CSA, the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, bringing a Reform Jewish perspective to the crucial social justice issues of the day. The LAs are the lead staff member on their policy issues, playing a key role developing strategy, drafting materials, and driving our work forward.
Leadership Development and Programs: Some 2,000 people participate in RAC-led conferences each year, which the LAs help plan, program and coordinate. Many LAs have found their opportunity to serve as the faculty for the L'Taken Social Justice Seminars — the six weekend social justice seminars for high school students that we run each year — to be a highlight of their time at the RAC.
Communications: LAs help guide our website, action alerts, blog posts, social media, and other communications, helping disseminate our message and materials across the country to decision makers, the media, congregational leaders, and Reform Jews.
Organizing: LAs have an opportunity to work with the field team to enhance our legislative advocacy at the state and local level and support congregations to bring social justice closer to the center of their work. Building transformative relationships across lines of race, class and faith are core not only to policy achievements, but also to bringing about a world where all people experience wholeness, justice, and compassion.
The Commission on Social Action: The LAs prepare materials for the Commission's meetings, work with its members and task forces, and advocate on its behalf on the Hill and in coalitions. Interactions with members are another highlight of the experience for many LAs.
Contact Legislative Manager Juri Jacoby at 202-387-2800.